Layering Workshop with Kamla Kakaria and Rickie Wolfe

Color story: heading home from Pratt after class

A few weekends ago, I took a printmaking workshop from Kamla and Rickie. I’d taken an etching/intaglio class this summer, printing only black ink on a variety of papers, and distracted, I oriented myself in this direction for this workshop–which was instead monotype, and very much about building and layering image and color. Surprise!

Color, sigh. I am one of those people who can’t commit to color–to one, to many, to any. When I moved into my current apartment, I was able to paint it any color I wished. I spent a lot of time pondering this, painted a lot of “committed color” swatches on my walls. . .and ended up returning to the paint store, starting all over, and finally selecting two pale-ish, not-so-committed, but distinctly different colors: grey (bedroom) and cream (everywhere else). The woman who helped me carry everything to the car looked down at the paint swipes on top of all the cans and issued a statement: You like your whites. 

I felt deflated for a few moments. I’d spent weeks on my color selections. I’d invested so much time and research (shelter mags, interior design books from the library, frequent visits to Apartment Therapy) as well as thought and intention, and for what? To have a stranger point out that I’d once again gone with white.

But there is a difference between the colors we choose to live with on our walls and the colors we’re interested in working with in our art. In this workshop, I thought about color mostly as a means of generating and layering visual information–not something I was going to be waking up or winding down to every day.

Some images from the weekend. . .

Tap out--my first round of color testing

Inked plywood

I brought home from my studio a bunch of my wood color-test samples to take with me to the wood finishing workshop I attended the week after this workshop. . .and decided to ink over the paints on this one and print with it instead.

Detail from a long panel

Panels right off the press

I seldom finish anything in a workshop, and this one was no exception. The most important thing to me is getting the information and being able to test it. Leaving with an idea roughed out or a model made is a bonus. At the end of this workshop, I had several examples of what we’d learned. One of my favorite things about print classes and workshops is that it is fairly easy to go back into these random bits later, work them additively or reductively, and end up with a finished piece.

I just signed up for Rickie’s collage class in December, and will bring the above strips in to continue working on. Eventually, they’ll be cut down into an artist’s book.

What to do with your failures, the things that can’t be saved regardless of any additional working into? Cut them down, score and fold, and then adhere them into one of these amazing structures. . .

Rickie's scrap-prints ball

Rickie demoing Pronto Plates