Saturday, August 4, 2012

Show of small hand printed works

Look Closer: Small and miniature printmaking exhibition
Baggage Building Arts Center
Prince Arthurs Landing, Thunder Bay ON
Aug 1 - 31

I currently have a public showing of 30 studies that are on display until the end of the month in a section of a brand new arts center located in the newly developed Prince Arthurs Landing here in Thunder Bay.  
The exhibition is titled Look Closer. It was funded courtesy of an exhibition assitance grant from the Ontario Arts Council.

Here is an excerpt from my artist statement for this particular series:

With this series titled “Look Closer” I have put together a collection of works on paper originating from various above and below surface matrix that are hand-printed. These are select pieces from a collection that spans a period of over 20 years and that represent a cross section of various printmaking techniques I have explored to date. The uniqueness of this particular series is the size of the imagery. About half of these fall into a category known as miniature art. True miniature art by definition would not be bigger than what could fit into the palm of your hand. Some of the works exceed this but are still considered small in size.
There are several reasons why I chose to create artwork of this scale.
First, it forces you the viewer to get close and personal with each work. It is my hope you develop an intimate relationship with the image. There is a saying that less is more. I think such is the case with this series. They are not so small that the image is unrecognizable but still requires a close proximity to really see details.
Working with imagery on this scale forced me to refine the techniques being used and determine how to work a surface to allow particular small details to become evident, as for example wood engraving. If these were in a larger format then I wouldn’t have had as much of a challenge since details would be more prominently displayed and easier to view.
Finally I made good use of odds and end pieces of plates, blocks and screen stencil areas that might otherwise have been tossed in the bin.

I have a video tour of the works uploaded to my YouTube page
click this link if you would like to see all of the works featured as recorded on video:

Here are some more photos taken on-site:

Baggage Building Arts Center
Prince Arthurs Landing
Marina Park, Thunder Bay Ontario

Cascading water feature and second entrance to the gallery/gift shop on the upper left.
This is an older Canadian National/Canadian Pacific Railways baggage building
that found a second life as a seasonal art gallery from the 1970s through to 2007.
The structure was designated historically relevant and was renovated from 2008 - 2102 
and had an addition added onto the side of the building extending out towards the lake.
The structure has once again found use this time around as a community based arts space
complete with a gallery, gift shop and areas for artists to work and public workshops can take place.

 Outdoor large scale sculpture installation at the Water Garden pavillion

entering the building from street level and looking towards the artists and workshop area
defined by plenty of natural light

workshop area

 Gallery and Gift shop on the upper level

Here is a grouping of pieces set on a panel that designates the entrance area to my exhibition.
The sunset block print in the pine frame is on loan from friends for the duration of the show.
 This particular image had broad appeal when it made its debut about 8 years back
and was one that best defines some of the regional influences in my work .

overall frame size for these landscape studies
measure 8 x 10 inches (20 x 25 cm)

 one of my small polymer plate etchings that incorporates the addition of watercolour 
you can see the printed image area is really no larger than a business card
(which are the size of the tags below each work)

 section of a panel that features vertical format prints

another panel with square studies and two horizontal studies of cats

 I had a little time before the opening to experiment again with collagraph printmaking
here is a print that emerged recently from the studio

Giant's Head
ã 2012

This is a study of a local geographic landmark viewed from the shore across the bay.
The plate was constructed using torn paper, dried plant material, PVA glue, peeled away layers of paper from the mat board and acrylic gel medium. It was sealed with several layers of shellac.
I printed it with Akua carbon black intaglio ink and then added in colour using watercolour washes.