Process for Body Language

As part of my upcoming exhibition Body Language at Squirrel Haus Arts, I thought I’d talk about my overall creative process for the series.

Though the work culminates as photolithographs, my process begins with photographs. My creative methodology begins with photography, using myself or my husband as a model. For this body of work the photo sessions were an intuitive process, focusing on movement and positioning. Some images stood alone but most were then cut and collaged as printouts or manipulated as digital collages, to then work from to create simplified sketches.

Playing around with different configurations for Mind and Body

These combinations of images became creatures such as Brute and Mind and Body. Other images were combined because they would be impossible to photograph in one shot, such as Tower and Tower II. From these abridged sketches, drawings on clear film were created, using a solution that contains toner from laser printers.

Testing the toner solution
Waiting for toner to dry..
Some images needed certain areas to be blocked out during the drawing process. Here the figures in Tower need to blocked to create the background area. The figures and the background were intended to become two separate drawings/layers for the print
The two drawings layered upon one another
Blocking out for Tear
Detail of Tear
Final drawings on two layered films. The figure and the surrounding element were shot on separate light-sensitive lithographic plates.
The final print, ready to be pulled from the press

My final visualization was for these toner drawings to become photolithographs and screenprints. Both photolithography and screenprinting are techniques that require a “positive” image, in order for that image to be exposed to the UV sensitive surfaces of the photolithographic plate and the silkscreen. The opaque toner on transparent film makes the drawings ideal for these processes.

Exposure test and detail shot of Searching
Brute inked up and ready to go on the litho press
Pulling a successful proof of Brute
The Fight was unique in the series in that it was three prints layered over one another to create the actual final image. Here I’m deciding which order they should be layered in. One reason I wanted to print on gampi tissue paper was to utilize its translucent quality
Final version of The Fight
Editioning The Fight

I chose to print on lightweight, translucent paper (gampi tissue), to add to their aura of fragility, but to also prompt them to move with and respond to air movements in the gallery space.

Final installation for Tear (three versions)

“Body Language” to open at Squirrel Haus Arts

Visit Squirrel Haus Arts in Minneapolis to see my latest series of work Body Language. This exhibition is being shown in conjunction with my friend and fellow printmaker, Louise Fisher and her show “24/7 Interior”. Both exhibitions were created during separate residencies and we’d both really appreciate your support! Here are the details:

Come to our reception to hear artist talks from each of us on our work and process. Look for our opening on Squirrel Haus Arts Facebook’s Event Page, coming very soon. We’d love to have some great conversations with you all!

24/7 Interior | Body Language
Exhibitions by Louise Fisher & Grace Sippy
Squirrel Haus Arts – 3450 Snelling Ave, Minneapolis 55406
September 23rd and 24th, 4-8pm
September 25th, 11-4pm
September 30th, 4-8pm
October 1st CLOSING RECEPTION, 6-8pm (food and drink provided)
Artist Talks at 7pm

October 2nd 11-4pm

www.louisefisherart.com
www.squirrelhausarts.com

New Exhibitions Coming Up

I have a couple exhibitions that I am a part of coming up soon. If you are in the Fort Wayne, IN or surrounding area, check out Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery’s 41st National Print Exhibition. This juried exhibition will feature contemporary printmakers working in all printmaking mediums, including intaglio, lithography, relief, screen printing, monoprints, letterpress, artist books, digital prints, and print installations.

April 1st – May 2nd

Hailing from Cleveland, OH the 2021 National Juried Exhibition was organized by the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory & Educational Foundation. From the images I have seen on their online gallery, they have selected a diverse range of work, from prints, to artist books, print installations, sculptures, collage, pulp paintings and more. I wish I lived closer to see it in person because it looks wonderful!

April 9th – May 22nd

Works are framed and for sale at both exhibitions.

Jerome Emerging Printmaker 2019 -2020 Exhibition

The Fight

My nine month residency at Highpoint Center For Printmaking as a Jerome Emerging Printmaker has come to an end, and from September 14th through October 10th my work Body Language will be on display in the Main Gallery with the other two selected Jeromes, Karmel Sabri and Benjamin Merritt. If you are in the Twin Cities area and want to see some fantastic work, come check out our show. We all worked very hard. Due to COVID-19 the viewing times during this exhibition’s run is by appointment only, between 10am and 4pm Monday through Friday. You can also view Body Language here.

International Biennial Print Exhibit: 2020 ROC

International Print Biennial 2020 ROC

Among other international printmakers, I am exhibiting at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts from July 4th – September 27th, 2020. My piece Dreamscan III (Janus Figure) was selected from 1220 artist entries.

Dreamscan III (Janus Figure)
Dreamscan III (Janus Figure) – Digital inkjet, screenprint, and chine-collé, 30×24″, 2018

” The International Biennial Print Exhibit: R.O.C., inaugurated in 1983, is the first biennial-style exhibition organized as an open competition in Taiwan and one of several international competition-com-biennials for printmaking boasting a long history. The biennial aims to bring together outstanding and creative print arts worldwide by establishing a platform for exchange through an open-call international competition and exhibition, thereby enriching diverse development in the print arts and fostering its growth. The event owes its success to enthusiastic response and support from international printmakers and has evolved into a celebrated occasion for international exchange in the print arts community.

Entries by 1220 artists from 80 countries were received at this edition. After two rounds of jury review, 164 submissions from 40 countries have been selected, including one Gold, Silver and Bronze Prize each, 2 Special Jury Prizes, 5 Merit Prizes and 5 Honorable Mentions. The 15 winning works entered by artists from countries including Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Poland, Serbia, Argentina and Columbia represent a broad spectrum of print arts with different cultural contexts. These spectacular winning and nominated works, varying widely in technique, theme and cultural context, will be on display at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts from July 4 to September 27 this year. In addition to interpreting a myriad of topics grounded on their personal experience and cultural background, these artists also strive to proactively address social phenomena and their surrounding environments, be it through introspection and concern about natural, ecological or social circumstances, expression and exploration of personal spiritual realms, or contemplation and questioning of spatiotemporal or intrinsic issues. Their reflection and articulation fusing figurative lexicons have contributed to the breadth and depth of this exhibition. In particular, the memories and mental images imprinted by these artists during the year 2020 of global COVID-19 pandemic shall prove especially profound and meaningful. “

Stones From Other Mountains: 2020 International Outstanding Printmaking Artists’ Works Exhibition

Stones From Other Mountains

This is a late update but important, nonetheless. I can’t emphasize enough how much of an honor it is to have been included in this exhibition. In a statement made by the China Printmaking Museum Director of Office of International Exchange and Collection Zhao Jiachun, he states that

“[…] invitations are mainly sent to three types of artists: 1. Famous contemporary foreign printmakers, leading figures of certain printmaking schools and representative artists of printmaking institutions. 2. International jury members of previous Guanlan International Print Biennials. 3. International artists who have won major international printmaking awards.”

I feel so lucky to be considered one of these three descriptions, and to have exhibited at the China Printmaking Museum among so many giants.

Jerome Emerging Printmaker 2019-20

2019-2020 Jerome Group Photo
Me, Benjamin Merritt, and Karmel Sabri photo by Josh Bindewald

Excited to share I’ve been selected as a Jerome Emerging Artist in Residence at Highpoint Center For Printmaking for 2019 – 2020! I will be getting free membership for 9 months, a stipend, professional development assistance and an exhibition with my co-fellows Benjamin Merritt and Karmel Sabri. Thank you to Highpoint Center For Printmaking and to the Jerome Foundation.

Thrilled!

Syzygy: A Union of Opposites

My solo exhibition Syzygy: A Union of Opposites is now open for viewing in the Threshold Gallery at Highpoint Center For Printmaking and runs until September 29th! Please join me at the reception on Friday, July 19th from 6:30-9pm. For one night only, the work will receive a 20% discount. There will be food and drink, and also coincide with the opening reception of Hot Off The Press: The 35th Cooperative Exhibition. I always see openings as a chance to engage with the viewer directly and get into some interesting discussions, so it should be a good time.

My current work is propelled by my ongoing interest in psychoanalysis and the figure, while experimenting with methods that are new to me. Syzygy (si-zuh-jee) showcases my work focusing on the union of opposing forces and ideas in the context of theories surrounding identity. Specifically, my visual research focuses on spaces that exist within the psyche and the unconscious, while using the body, mark-making and environment as a visualization of those spaces.

This exhibition was a lot of work (it always is…) but there are almost 20 pieces, all created from October 2018 to June 2019: monotypes, screenprints, and digital inkjet-screenprint hybrids. It all started with a residency/visiting artist gig at MIAD (Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design) I received last October, part of their Monothon 2018 event (thanks again guys!). It was so incredible for many reasons but it was also when I began to experiment with toner wash drawings used as positives for screenprinting.

Toner drawing for Coexist
Toner drawing on mylar for Coexist

Toner is commonly used in laserjet printing both commercially and at the home office. In printmaking, toner is often used in paper lithography (Xerox lithography) and in toner transfers. As a drawing medium for positives, it is primarily used in traditional lithography and photolithography but can also be used in other printmaking techniques such as intaglio. I am not the first to experiment with toner in screenprinting, however I have not seen it commonly used in this way before, so it has been a pleasure to learn, analyze and play with the technique.

4 layer test screenprint
4-layer screenprint test

Residency at the Grand Marais Art Colony

I recently got some exciting news and found out I was selected as an Artist In Residence for 2020 at the Grand Marais Art Colony! I will be going in early March for a two week residency and present an artist talk. This feels especially good because it is my first artist residency where my proposal was accepted (vs being invited without a jury).

My proposal involved something very personal, so early March is perfect for my residency, as there will not be many others around this time of year. In terms of technique I plan to push myself in developing my monotype skills further and to create an artist book.