Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Italian Intensive III - The Expressive Drypoint

Now Open For Enrollment:

The Italian Intensive III - The Expressive Drypoint
August 18 through September 1, 2017.

We are happy to announce that registration is open for our Italian Intensive Workshop for 2017!  A limited number of spaces are available for the two week workshop led by Katherine Brimberry and Suzi Davidoff at La Romita, Umbria, Italy August 18 through September 1, 2017.

The Italian Intensive III will introduce a new non-toxic drypoint technique created with illustration board and non-toxic, water soluble inks. Artists at all levels, experienced or not with printmaking, will find this new technique easy to master.

The Italian Intensive III will give you the opportunity to expand your creative vocabulary plus visit Umbrian hill towns to experience the best of Italy!  Class fee includes room, all meals, transportation to and from Rome and numerous excursions throughout Umbria.

For more information and to reserve your place, go to the classes page of Flatbed Press's website or call 512.947.1073.  You may contact Katherine Brimberry at info@flatbedpress.com.  Reserve your place early because the space in the class is limited to 14.

Katherine Brimberry and Suzi Davidoff are artists and  printmakers who have have collaborated on monotypes and etchings for over twelve years.  Through their work together they have discovered that the collaborative monotyping is as Suzi puts it "an incredibly intense, creatively-charged, energetic and really fun experience." At La Romita, they want to share this experience with the students and teach them to explore monoprinting a drypoint plate.  This new type of drypoint matrix is a very portable, lightweight plate created with heavy illustration board that can be easily drawn into with a drypoint scribe. An image created in this way can be printed in many variations using monoprinting techniques including chine collé, relief roll, or selective inking. Students will also learn more about printmaking techniques, color theory, using a water-based non-toxic ink and a variety of drawing techniques. 

The objective of this workshop is as Katherine and Suzi write:  “We believe that with these experiences each student will expand their creative vocabulary and also learn to work more in a more direct and spontaneous fashion as well as learning to embrace the unexpected.”  Suzi and Katherine expect that the students will be able to successfully create a small body of finished monotypes at La Romita and also create plates that can be used for printing in the future.  Most importantly, the students will be able carry some the creative concepts and approaches into their own art practice.

As always, La Romita is to newcomers and returning students alike the bit of heaven that it is: a peaceful place to work and play, rich encounters with art and the town residents while daily exploring the hill country towns of Umbria, and of course, the food.  La Romita is a "foodie" paradise with home-style Italian cooking that is anything but ordinary. 

Five hundred dollars will reserve  your space in the workshop.  Payments can be made during the year, but a the final payment of a total of $4,000 is due 60 days before the beginning of the workshop (June 14).  Your deposit and other payments are 100% refundable until June 14.  Call Katherine at Flatbed Press to register and hold your place or go to the course description with PayPal button to make a deposit for your reservation.
Course Descriptions and PayPal.  Call us for more details (512.947.1073).  We'll be contacting you with the full application and details.

       Suzi Davidoff

Suzi Davidoff
Suzi Davidoff is an artist based in the Chihuahuan desert of west Texas, creating drawings, paintings, prints and collaborative installations that explore themes of structure and perception in the natural world.
Palo Verde Azul 7", Drawing
Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States.  BEAUTY.CHAOS, a collaborative book projectwas part of the 20th Anniversary Exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC in 2006. The Galveston Arts Center featured her work in a two-person exhibition, SECOND NATURE in 2007.  Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, NM presented solo exhibitions in August 2008 and April 2010. Flatbed Press, Austin, TX, featured a solo exhibition of new monotypes in April 2009. In summer of 2009 she was awarded a Fiskars Artist’s Residency in Finland.

  Katherine Brimberry 

Katherine Brimberry

"Adam's Malady", Polymer gravure(solarplate)
In 1989 Katherine Brimberry co-founded Flatbed Press, a publishing workshop for fine art prints in Austin, Texas. As an artist her primary medium has been intaglio printmaking, and she has exhibited her work widely.  Her prints have been collected by private collectors and museums internationally. As Master Printer and director of Flatbed Press she is directly responsible for the artistic and technical development of all Flatbed projects and has collaborated with artists for over three hundred Flatbed projects.  Flatbed is well known for their commitment to their artists in helping them created etchings, monotypes, lithographs and relief fine art prints.  Brimberry specializes in intaglio techniques.  Her own works uses both copper etching techniques and polymer gravure plates, sometimes known as Solarplates. In 2010, she led a group to La Romita to work with Solarplates and water-based, non-toxic inks. Her art practice includes working with large groups on collaborative work.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Aplacado  (El Veladero), 2016, woodcut, 51 1/2” x 38 1/2”
I first saw the work of Miguel A. Aragón far from Texas in an exhibition in San Francisco.  It stopped me in my tracks.  I admit that I'm can be a little "jaded" with printmaking. If there is bravado of technique with little content, I don't get very interested.  But this Aragón image which was created with laser burning then transferred to paper pulled me in and its transcendent awful beauty and significance had me returning to look and look again.  Aragón’s work is derived from a need to find meaning in these brutal events that reposition the corpse in one’s field of vision, reminding us that our physical existence is finite. By using metaphors and visual metonymies to tie together process and subject matter he explores the idea of perception, memory, and transformation. I learned that Aragón was from Juarez, Mexico and had studied at UT El Paso and finished his MFA at the University of Texas right here in Austin.  How had I missed him?

Aplacado  (Emboscado), 2016, woodcut, 51 1/2” x 38 1/2”
Through a mutual friend, we made contact and I invited him to come create work with Flatbed. Neither one of us was sure what the project was going to evolve into.  In the past couple of years Miguel had been "drilling" into large bit-mapped photos published by the media in print and digital format.  They depict forensic evidence of murders and deaths due to the cartel violence in Mexico.  

We talked about drilling into matrices that could be 
Aplacado  (Siete cascos percudidos), 2016, Aquatint, 51 1/2” x 38 1/2”
printed here at Flatbed.  We dreamed up ways that he could use the drilling here and the result was the creation of two drilled woodcuts and one drilled copper-plate aquatint. The methods we used might have been only slightly unconventional, but creating editions is probably the closest to "traditional" that Miguel does.  Some of the processes are documented in the photos below.  

Miguel titled the suite of three prints "Aplacado." The translation is “appeasement.” Miguel writes about the work:  “Beginning with the idea of erasure as language, I concentrate on the use of processes that are reductive in nature. Any form of erasure, however violently destructive, can be seen as constructive in some way; something comes through the destruction, the negation of an image is not actually nothing. It is my intention to transform the image, through erasure, from crude and unbearable into a more beguiling or subtle way of presenting these disturbing images. The void thus creates a space that nurtures the memory of what was before, engaging the viewer with a more intricate experience of the image. What I am looking for, as a result of these deletions is not to forget the horrific crimes these images convey; rather, I am searching for an understanding of what has happened by acquiring a sense of catharsis.”

The editions are small.  Siete cascos percudidos, an aquatint, is an edition of 12. Both ElVeladero and  Emboscado woodcuts are editions of 10.  All editions were printed on Rives BFK from 48” x 36” matrices. The prints are available at Flatbed for purchase or exhibition.  Call or email Flatbed Press (info@flatbedpress.com/512-477-9328) for more information or for jpegs.  Links to the prints on Flatbed's web site can be found here: Miguel A. Aragón

Left to right:  Miguel Aragón drilling the woodcut through printed image, Printer Cordelia Blanchard pulling proof of woodcut, Katherine Brimberry and Cordelia Blanchard preparing to ink the etched copper plate.