It's Friday so it's time to check in with an artist and see what it's like to spend a day in their studio. This week is unique because I met Maren Munoz because of this project. I am so glad I did because I love her work and am happy to add her to my list of artists whose work I need to definitely keep an eye on! Today's feature walks you through the step of doing an edition so for those of you who are not super familiar with the print process this may be a bit of an eye opener for you. Check it out!
My life is in a state of upsidedownness at the moment, so it was really fun to have a studio day in the midst of all the craziness. I just finished grad school in May, and now, I just live in Madison, Wisconsin like a regular person. I was watching all the college kids the other day and thinking about "back to school" stuff, and then I realized that this is the first time in about 20 years that I won't be going back to school! But it's high time, and I am very excited about the change.
Now for my studio day....
Trying to get back on a normal schedule in the event that I actually get a job. My first move is to make coffee. I'm house sitting, but I brought my own coffee set up. I also have a half of a peanut butter and fluff sandwich for breakfast. Marshmallow fluff is one of my vices, and I'm definitely too old to be eating it. I wasn't allowed to eat it as a kid (rightly so) and now I'm making up for lost time.
I like getting up early because it's really peaceful around the house, and I can get a few things done. Since I'm printing today, I spend my morning time cutting rubylith stencils that I will need early on in my work day.
My boyfriend gets up, and we watch an episode of Project Runway Season 9, which seems like a bad idea as far as productivity goes, but it is actually good because it gives me time to drink 3 cups of coffee. I am a super slow drinker of beverages.
I'm printing in the UW Madison print shops today. It's Labor Day and school hasn't started so I pretty much have the place to myself. I'm trying to get the whole edition done today because A) it's already late and B) I want to be completely cleared out by the time classes start tomorrow. I was invited by two up-and-coming lady printmakers named Lisette Chavez and Nyla Hurley to participate in a print exchange portfolio called Women of the West (I am a native of Colorado.) It was due on the 1st, so now I'm hustling to get it to them. I actually had a finished edition but decided to scrap it because I hated it and just couldn't have it going out into the world as a representation of my work. I guess my standards are getting higher!
For this print, I'm doing all the colors using screen print with a linocut over the top as the key image.
Burning my rubylith stencils into screens. This part always bends my mind a little bit making sure that everything is facing the right way so that the registration will work correctly. I have to concentrate really hard for a second to make sure it's all right.
All set up and ready to start printing. I have learned the hard way, from many incredibly painful printing sessions, that it pays to really take the time and have everything prepped so that printing goes as smoothly as possible.
It also really REALLY helps if you listen to the 90s R&B station on Pandora while you print. Hit after hit after hit!
First color run. Love this blue so much. It has a hint of shimmer. I love this layer all by itself actually - the shapes are cool.
The edition size for the portfolio is 20, so I think I have about 34 prints total, which gives me some wiggle room if anything gets screwed up, which somewhere along the line, it usually does.
Yellow is the second color run. My colors are very transparent, so they layer up to create another green, which saves me from doing a whole other run.
Light pink is the final color run, and it also layers up to give me a few more colors.
I need a little pick me up at this point before I go in the relief lab and start printing the final layer.
One of the professors at UW is out of town this week, so I'm covering his first classes, which means making copies of the syllabus. It takes such a long time that I get it going and then run for coffee. I am all about the multi-tasking.
Mixing up my ink - decided to make a dark brown instead of black. I absolutely love black but I've found that sometimes it can be too harsh.
Pulling a proof on newsprint.
Pulling an actual proof... Holding my breath and keeping toes and fingers crossed.
Looks pretty damn good! This part is always very exciting... Assuming that everything lines up. It can also be soul shattering.
Things are starting to go wrong with the printing (filling in, ink weirdness, pressure issues etc) and ordinarily, I would stop for the night but I have to get this done, so for better or for worse, I just keep going. Sometimes that's my philosophy anyways. Just get so sick of working on an image and I'm ready to move on to the next thing.
Finishing out the day with a little gluttony. I feel like I deserve it though! Pizza, wine, and more Project Runway rounds it all out.
Thank you so much, Maren! Be sure to check out Maren's website to see more of her work. Find her here.
This is the last week I have scheduled for studio features. As I receive more I will post them. If you are interested in documenting your day please get in touch. You can see past days here.
Have a great weekend!!