Thursday, July 17, 2014

Learning how to screen print!

As a teacher I want to learn as many processes in creating visual art as I can to better assist my students and understand what they may be doing with their work. In illustration, artists can use a variety of processes to create their final outcomes. Screen printing is one of those ways illustrators and designers produce work. I also wanted to learn so that I could apply this art form into my own practice. Its been a lot of fun learning something new and being the student again!

Here is my first screen print edition titled "Photosynthesis". Its an edition of 15 on 5"x7" American Masters paper using a 5-color process including two gradients. I was a bit ambitious with my first small edition but I wanted to challenge myself. As a class we decided on the theme "Light". Here is my artist statement for this project:

Light is a main component of photosynthesis.  Without light and water, plants wouldn’t exist. I first approached this project examining the cells of plants and microscopic images of leaves and grass. From these examinations I sketched many versions of tree leaves and manipulated photos of cells in Photoshop and Illustrator. The organic patterns within the specimens of images created interesting positive and negative compositions within themselves. Layering what I created on the computer, I began to find formal consistencies in shapes and lines. My final design consists of a microscopic cross section of a blade of grass I created in Illustrator and applied to the background and then layered with hand drawings of leaves from my sketchbook.

My color palette is influenced by vintage seed package design. I wanted a connection to plants without relying solely on the color green. Through my study of seed packaging I found a blue color that I felt symbolized the connection to water, another important attribute in Photosynthesis. My research also included an examination of screen prints from Japanese Avant-garde poster design. 

Microscopic cross section of grass.