Monday, September 19, 2011

Lecture and Demo in Westfield

Yesterday I was in Westfield as a guest of the Westfield Art Association. I had been asked to appear as the guest artist of the month, to present my art and process to the group. Every few years I get invited to do one of these, so I have a set routine. I told my contact that I would do a slide presentation, and then demonstrate some block cutting and printing. They had never had slides before at one of these, but they were open to the idea and had the room set up for them (above) when I arrived.

The meeting opened with the members (close to 20 in attendance) dealing with some organizational business. Then they turned to floor over to me. I had some small framed works set up at the front on some small table easels, as a supplement to the slides. I showed slides of a dozen or so examples of historical printmaking, to explain the evolution of the medium and process behind each type of printmaking. Then a few examples of some prints by members of the Outlaw Printmakers. Then I gave an overview of my history as an artist, showing some slides of early student paintings, the first woodcuts, the highlights of my grad school years, and then some representative examples of my professional New Jersey work.

The group took a break for refreshments (a long table with nice variety of foods and beverages) and to move the chairs over to a set of tables on the side of the room, with tilted mirror mounted behind it. I showed a few more examples of actual prints, such as a few unframed supermarket prints, some of the boardwalk prints, and the first proof of my smoker image.

I had brought the new St Benno block with me, discussed the different kinds of cutting tools I have, and demonstrated how each is used to do different kinds of cutting. I didn't get very far in the process, but at least people could see the resulting cut sections. After that I did a demonstration of printing, using an old block. Then it was time to clean up my ink and pack up to leave. I put out an assortment of old postcards from shows, many of which were taken.

I believe that the two hour event was successful. Some in attendance were very interested and asked many questions- about my art, the process, and the materials. The art itself received many compliments and a few people told me specifically how much they enjoyed my presentation. I'm glad it all went off as planned and am always happy to spread the knowledge of printmaking to an appreciative crowd.


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