Detail from "Seojung."
In the gallery through March 17th Osbourn High alumna Catherine Cole, who received her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2014, is opening her first solo.
Along with her energetic pastel drawings there are at least 12 combinations of printmaking techniques in the exhibit and not surprisingly given Catherine Cole’s bubbly nature, a good showing representing her happy relationship to cookies. Baking, eating and sharing cookies; they look inviting along with this display of printmaking pieces that are inherently technically challenging to create.
The woodcut “Seojung” is 4’ x 2’, and by its very size, an endeavor, not only to excise the selected non-printing areas of wood, but very physical to manually run through a printing press for each color represented in the artwork. In “Seojung”, and remember the image is created in reverse as the wood is placed face-down on a printing bed when run through the press: the whites are created by carving that will not be inked, thus showing white paper -- but the warm yellow, grey and black (black created by no carving) are inked onto the plate sequentially and must be guided by registration marks.
Interestingly there appears to be a moire pattern in “Seojung” which looks as though it is intentional superimposed patterns, it is actually the wood grain of the printing plate. Catherine explains the original wood surface is often not printed, shellacked by printmakers to preserve original drawing marks while they work. Here it commands as much attention as the subject and seems purposeful in juxtaposition of this oldest technique of fine art printmaking with the modern technology of a laptop.
Catherine also has a poster in the gallery to explain the different kinds of printmaking -- thank you, Catherine!