I like Mondays.
Most artists in the world hold down a side job (read: main employ) to support the studio side and I am a member of that union. By the end of my work week, which is Monday, I’m generally exhausted and grasping for straws in the mental/creative mason jar. Lately, I’ve been able to harness all the different compartments of energy and manipulate them to my choosing, instead of being at the whim of the world. This is an incredible feeling to spend ten hours at work doing meaningless work only to come into the studio and tear the world apart for four hours. A completely new definition of the fourteen-hour workday.
I had a goal in mind and it was simple: The color chart was 40% done and I wanted to double that number.
Screenprinting is a very weird art form in the sense that you are often not doing art while you’re making art. For instance, a painter has a blank canvas and begins to paint. He continues painting until the canvas is done and during the whole process of moving paint from palette to canvas he’s making decisions on where to place this color, and while he may have a composition formed in his mind, the painting is a living thing in the midst of its creation growing towards completion.
With printing, there is a lot of mandatory stopping and starting, and to break these rules ruins the intent (if you are working with one.) Wet-on-wet is not always a friendly technique, obsessive cleaning is integral to continuity, and at times there is no use of a pause button while the process is running. If a problem arises mid-print your choices are fix immediately or stop and go back six steps. There is a definite endorphin rush to competing against calamity. Whereas a painter may be working on one canvas that comprises the whole image they are creating, a printer can start with 100 canvases but only end up with 90 ‘good’ prints at the end. There is always this goal to finish with as many as you began but seemingly there are always casualties.
There is also the temperament of ink. Each color has its own personality out of the container and painters can respect this as well. Orange is an absolute joy to work with, he simply slides all over the screen wherever you shove or slap him, but blue-violet is a cunt that just demands more and more to battle off evaporation. The family as a whole makes a gorgeous portrait, I must say.
Yesterdays work process continually felt like Zen and the Art of Screenprinting. Every step of the way was clear and crafted even as the elevation rose and the atmosphere became more dense. An unbelievable sense of calm and excitement resided with me. And, importantly, the artwork came out beautiful. I will be very excited to wrap up this series of prints and move on to the next project carrying this ever growing sense of accomplishment and mission.