Sonoma Printmaking Artist Residency

Sonoma Community Center    |     Printmaking Pop Up Residency   |   Winter 2020

January 2020, I was invited to attend my first artist residency at the Sonoma Community Center. 

During this intense, one-week pop-up session in the Winter season, I gathered inspiration from the outdoor garden, and the wonderful ceramics and art programs the community center offers its members. My goal was to deliver a body of work to reflect the center and its mission as a model studio environment within Sonoma Valley’s proud arts and crafts culture.

The vessel series was influenced by the ceramics studio and my observations from the kiln. I would pop my head into the classrooms and gaze in wonder at the clay pots, then wander around the grounds while taking short breaks from the Griffen press. In the end, I suppose it was only natural I combine the two disciplines - printmaking (something I do) and ceramics (something I don't do.) 

I began the composition focusing on reclaimed materials around me as I often do with monotypes. I searched the print room drawers and found cut paper, scrap remnants, old fabric, and used plant clippings from the property outside the gates. I mixed my inks to reflect the serene environment in the post-holiday mood, and the chilly temperatures outside. As I quickly worked these elements into the prints, a group emerged allowing me to approach the idea with guided focus and explore the botanical variations within the vessel theme. 

Printmaking to me is characterized by repetition usually involving intense states of perfection and most often with myself, imperfection. My work tends to involve surprises and mistakes and then creatively working these abstract elements in. There is a state of flow and ambiguity in the dance that I naturally thrive on. I felt puzzled at times, and then overwhelmed by the weight of creating a body of work in a mere five days time frame, followed by an artist talk at the duration of my stay. The only way through was to trust my intuition and push forward on the press until my inks ran dry, and the time ran out. As I kept going, I felt the confidence to complete the series with the inspiration of Sonoma as a running dialogue throughout each print.



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