Although I love drawing and painting, it seems that for over 40 years that printmaking has been my master! Often the technical aspect of this process makes me question being such a slave to this obsession, but there is no escape!
Perhaps that fact that you can not totally control printmaking, and the often unexpected results being a constant part of the process, creates excitement that is addictive! Over the years I have worked with most printmaking techniques, and have at this stage in my process come back to the basics of relief printing.
The Screen Monoprinting technique I developed was to get away from the time consuming traditional screen printing process. In order to create a colourful print, a new screen had to be created for each colour. After years of creating multiples in this manner, I was happy to create only one image using screen-monoprinting, but have beautiful colours in one pull of my sqeegee!
For my latest series of prints, I have put colour temporarily aside to focus on the strong black and white images of relief printmaking. My first print ever was a relief print, and as much as I love colour, working in relief has forced more focus on the linear image.
The act of carving is true escapism. I could carve all day every day! The printing, however, is more labor intensive and problematic. The excitement of pulling a print, however, when you never really know what it will turn out like, is always thrilling!
This newest series shows my love of nature and plants. Flowers and growing things show such tenacity, beauty and strength. The lines and textures created by Mother Nature are so endless and magnificent, my images can only begin to honor what nature has created. I am blessed to be able to do most of my creating in beautiful Muskoka. The inspiration is evident in my work.
In regards to the signing and editioning of prints. The number on a print indicates the total number of prints in the edition. As the printing of these large format relief prints is so time intensive, and my desire to create multiples to sit on my shelves gone, I print only a couple of each print, but number them out of 25 to give me the option to print more in the future. With the prints mounted on wood, I have not signed all of them if I felt the pencil would damage the print. As they are adhered to wood, I consider them an individual mixed media work, and don't find giving them an edition number necessary.
With screen monoprints, needless to say, they are a one off. If I have done a series using the same relief print, I will then consider them part of a "Varied Edition" and sign them with a V.E. number.
The term relief refers to a plate having raised and lowered areas as in a relief map. A plate is what is carved in order to create the print. The prints on display have been created using rubber flooring, vinyl flooring and a material called "Wonder Cut" purchased fromDick Blick Art Supplies in the U.S. Some of the smaller prints are a material called "Softolium". Each material has it's distinct advantages and disadvantages.
A carving tool is used to remove the areas of the image that will remain white. As the image prints in reverse to the carving, the artist must not only think backwards, but in a positive and negative manner!
A brayer, (roller) is rolled in ink and the raised portion of the relief plate will take the ink, wile the lowered area remain clean. Paper is placed onto the plate and either put into a press, or printed by hand. All my prints were printed using a wooden spoon and much elbow grease!
The paper I have used is all Japanese. I find the irregularities and textures add to the print. Due to how thin the paper is, printing is a delicate matter. I used a combination of acid free glue and acrylic medium to attach the paper to the wooded supports.
Several of my encapsulated prints, and the Wilson's Falls print in the kitchen are created using this technique. Fabric dyes are painted onto a silk screen. With a traditional squeegee and wall paper paste as to reconstitute the dried dyes, the print is transfered onto paper. Combining the fluid and transparent screen monoprints with the solid lines of relief prints, creates an interesting juxtaposition.
The Amaryllis print, and several encapsulated prints, are created using traditional photo-screen techniques. The screen is coated in a photo sensitive emulsion, and exposed to light, similar to developing a photograph. The create the stencil, oiled photos, copies onto acetate, or in the case of the Amaryllis, drawings on tracing paper with grease pencil or ink can be used. Some of my prints have been created using copies of scratch-board drawings, paintings, and drawings.
Some of my encapsulated prints, have combined screen prints with a monotype technique.
The screen print is printed onto acetate and taped down in reverse on the table. A piece of paper is hinged with tape onto the top of the acetate. Acrylic paint is painted onto a small portion of the acetate, the paper brought down on top of it and rubbed. This technique has very little control, and satisfies the desire for the prints to produce the element of surprise!
I hope this gives you some insight into the trials and challenges as well as the exciting results and rewards of Printmaking.
For future workshops please visit: www.lindakblix.com
Linda Kristin Blix: A.O.C.A.D.
Associate of the Ontario College of Art and Design Painting and Drawing Department, with Honours.
University of Manitoba, School of Fine Arts Painting and Printmaking Major.
*Arts for Children and Youth: facilitated the creating of over 60 murals in schools in the TDSB and TCSB, 2003 until present.
*AFCY, Outreach Program Artist instructor: printmaking, drawing, painting, sculpture, pottery, P.D. Workshops, Work with special needs and children with differences. 2003 to present.
*Adult screen monoprinting workshops: in Toronto, Alliston, Muskoka, Port Perry. McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Momiji Center, Don Valley Art Club, Joshua Heritage Arts Center, Japanese Paper Place, Station Gallery Whitby, SOYRA, Luc's Sculpture, Gallery 888, and many more.
*Haliburton School of the Arts Sir Sandford Fleming College: Children’s Printmaking 2005. Adult Screen Monoprinting Plus instructor. 2005, to 2012.
Project Sets, Props and costumes for three schools and three plays.
*Open Studio Printmakers Cooperative: Instruction in Screenprinting, Monoprinting, relief and Mixed Media. (8 week classes and workshops.) Custom Printing, Demonstrations, private tutorials and mentoring. 1998-2005
*Scarborough/Toronto Board of Education: Art Fax Grade 5 Studio Program. Pottery, Painting, Printmaking, Screen printing, Art Camp Drawing Instructor, P.D. Workshops. 1998-2001
*McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Art Venture Art Camp Curriculum development, Multiple Mediums, Winter Break & March Break Programs, Corp. Programs, Family day, artists demonstrations; guest artist.
*York Region Public and Separate School Boards: Art Camp printmaking, In-services. Consulting. Murals.
*Artists talks and Demo's: Don Valley Art Club, Markham Group of Artists, Huntsville Arts Society, SOYRA. Scarborough Group of Artists.
Ontario Arts Council, Artist in Education Grant, 1992, 1993 and 2000
KEY SOLO SHOWS:
Organics Of Life Chapel Gallery Bracebridge, Ontario. 2005
Scenes From My Dock, The Muskoka Opera House Gravenhurst. Ontario. 2001
Under My Bed, Open Studio, George Gilmore Gallery Toronto, Ontario. 2001
Bathing Beauties, Open Studio, George Gilmore Gallery Toronto. Ontario. 1999
Contemporary Art Show, Cedar Ridge Creative Center Toronto. Ontario. 1999
Two Person Show:
Levels 2/ Perspectives: With Liz Russ, Gallery 888, October 2008
Three Person Show:
Perspectives 3, Gallery 888, Toronto, December 2009
KEY GROUP SHOWS:
Zielbersmucks Jewelry and Gallery 2012
Muskoka Arts and Crafts Spring Show, 2012
Station Gallery Haliburton Faculty Show, 2011
Huntsville Summit Centre Faculty Show 2011
Proof Studio Gallery, Year of the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit and Dragon Shows, 2008-2012
Proof Studio Galley, Plate Show, 2010
Japanese Paper Place, Washi Sale, 2010
The Artists Project, Open Studio Collective, March 2010
Muskoka Arts and Crafts Spring Show, March 2010
Savannah Arts Festival, 2009
Spring Fling, 10th Anniversary Show, Gallery 888, June 2009
Washi Show 2, Propeller Art Gallery, May 2009
It's The Small Things: Cobalt Gallery, March 2009
Proof Gallery Nuit Blanche: Secrets Show at , Distillery District, Sept. 2008
Open Studio: Group show, Mechanics of Life Series February. 2006
Ontario College of Art and Design: Whodunit Fundraiser 2004 - 2007
The Haliburton School of Art Faculty Show: The Station Gallery Haliburton. 2005
The Red Show: Eastern Front Gallery Toronto. 2004
The Little Show: 2002, 2003, 2004
Who Art Thou: Muskoka Arts and Crafts Fundraising Show. 2004, 2007
The Water Show: The Latcham Gallery Stouffville. 2003
Moments: Latcham Gallery Stouffville, Ontario. 2002
Riverdale Art Walk Toronto, Ontario. 2002
Beach Studio Tour Toronto, Ontario. 1998 and 2001
Open Studio @ 360 360 Restaurant, C. N. Tower, Toronto. 2001
Moose in the City City of Toronto. 2000
Beach Studio Tour: Home Studio Toronto, Ontario. 1998 and 2001, 2011
Open Studio Printmaking Studio: 100 Prints, 1988-2010, Artist Proof Sale 1988- 2010
Created the Jack of Diamonds for Artists playing cards, 2005
I was born five hundred miles north of Winnipeg, in The Pas, Manitoba.Wild horses ran in the streets, of this isolated and rustic town. As new parents, their sense of adventure as pilots and my father’s precarious job as a bush pilot, were given up for a more responsible life in the civilization of the city. We moved to Winnipeg when I was an infant, and did not return.
My love of Art has been a lifelong affair. My parents recognized my devotion to art early in my childhood. Later, in a life altering move, I left my home in Winnipeg at fifteen years of age, to attend a school in Minnesota with a strong reputation in visual arts. Upon my return to Winnipeg I attended The University of Manitoba, School of Fine Arts as a painting and printmaking major, before moving to the Toronto area and graduating with honours from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1997.
I have worked for many years as a professional Artist, utilizing the creative tools of printmaking, painting, drawing, photography, pottery and three-dimensional construction. Combining mediums in an original and unique manner has been my artistic focus and made creating fun! Curiosity and excitement towards the development of new techniques, influenced my own work and made for unusual and creatively satisfying projects. I pass this desire for personal creative innovation onto my students.
My love of colour and strong expressive lines is evident in my work. I have described myself as an eclectic artist, and my work over the years changed and evolved as I did! Exploration of new and exciting techniques has given me an extensive bag of creative tools for my use. It amuses me when the viewer has cause to wonder at the process behind the artwork.
For years, I avoided painting flowers as many other artists have painted them so well. With maturity, I realized you paint what you love, and I love flowers. They represent beauty and growth and are a most precious gift of natural colour. Much of my work is also figurative as humans portray emotions and tell stories best. Humour is another element I try to include in much of my work. It is important to me, not to take myself too seriously and art should reflect the enjoyment of the creator upon the observer.
Printmaking has been my chosen technique ever since doing my first wood cut relief print as a sixteen year old. I am still fascinated by the endless possibilities of all printmaking techniques. I am excited by the ability to make multiples, while enjoying the unexpected, the uncontrolled happenings and the delight as new images are revealed at the last moment. This is what has kept me motivated as a printmaker.
Though I use multiple mediums and subject matter in my work, my passion is figure drawing. The simplicity of materials, the intense focus that eliminates life’s clutter, exploration of the line and the challenges of change are necessary to my artistic well-being. Weekly figure drawing is my 'aerobics for the artist', and important to my creative nurturing.
I am fortunate to have a home studio in both Toronto and Muskoka, and be involved in both creative communities. My long term association with Open Studio, Canada’s foremost printmaking Studio, has given me the opportunity to gain inspiration from exceptional printmakers, and gain a venue to teach and display my art.
Teaching as a creative cycle: your teaching inspires the students and they in return inspire you to teach the creativity you love.
I teach art because I love it, and wish to inspire others! It is an honour to share the technical skills I have acquired throughout my career. If a creative spark can be ignited in a young child, their life will forever be enriched. If an adult can be convinced to give themselves permission to create, to loosen up and have fun, their focus in life will also be altered in a most positive way.
Art is a language, unique to the individual. My goal as an instructor is to give my students the tools with which to express themselves, and encourage their confidence and artistic self expression. Children are born filled with creative intuition and talent, and require a safe and positive atmosphere in which to expand and develop their natural abilities. Adults must tap into their childlike nature, remember the freedom of youth, and allow themselves to create with beautiful spontaneity and joy!
My young students are instructed that it is not necessary to be able to draw objects that look “real” in order to make fantastic art! Should they wish to develop their drawing skills, it takes practice, just like learning to play a musical instrument or excel at a sport. Learning to draw is learning to (‘see’ what you are looking at) look closely at what you are observing.
Numerous interesting printmaking techniques enables the building of many fabulous workshops for both adults and children. Styrofoam relief prints, collographs, screen prints and monoprints are my favorites and I have witnessed all ages of students literally jump with joy and amazement at what they have created! The techniques are always fun, often using large nails and gadgets as the tools. The print is always a delightful surprise, not revealed until the last moment. This is very exciting for children and adults, like opening a present every time you pull a print. For adults, it removes the focus from the finished print, forces them to loosen up on their control and enjoy the experience of creating!
As a very young child, I was a day dreamer and doodler, not a perfect fit for the required patterns of the school system, I have a very strong opinion about Art in schools. My early art education proved to me, beyond a doubt, that if students are encouraged and nurtured to use their natural strengths, all aspects of their life will be enhanced. This includes benefits to self-confidence, an appreciation of the work and thoughts of others and a boost to their overall academics.
I am very blessed to have been an art facilitator for Arts for Children of Toronto, an organization that sends artists into underfunded schools around Toronto, for the past three years. My work with students of all ages and skill levels, including special needs children, could not possibly be more rewarding. To contribute to a job where you arrive with wonderful art supplies, to greet a class of welcoming students, eager with the anticipation of a day of creation... this is a truly fulfilling calling.