Category Archives: Albuquerque, NM

Albuquerque Wrap-up

Today was my last day in the studio and I feel good about what I have accomplished in the last month.  I met some very talented New Mexican printmakers who were very welcoming.  Here are just a few.

On the left is Regina, the director of New Grounds Print Workshop.  She has created a fabulous facility for making prints using non-toxic methods.  On the right is Ren who assists in the studios, galleries and office.  She is a wealth of information about processes and procedures at the studio which was very helpful for me.

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Below on the left is Elaine with whom I shared a studio a couple times a week.  We traded lots of Netflix recommendations!  On the right is Pam, a very excited expectant mother who also assists in the studio.

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Here are my latest prints for a grand total of 10 for the month.  I will tweak them after I get home and print some editions, maybe introduce some color so some.  We’ll see….

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3 more new prints

I have been working on several etchings and have completed three more in the series of Sticks and Stones.  All of these prints are “proofs,” not final prints.  I still need to do some minor work on the plates, which I will do after I return to my own studio, before I print final editions.  For instance, the first print below has some scratches and tone in the white areas that need to be removed.  Also in the second print, there are some vague light shapes in the dark background that I am not totally happy with.  I will be working in the studio three more days and hope to complete 3 or 4 more prints.

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In a few days I will have completed my four week stay in Albuquerque.  I have lead a simple existence here, spending all day, six days a week in the print studio and one day a week doing laundry, shopping for groceries, and going to a movie.  I have loved every minute of it!  It has been wonderful to have the opportunity to be so focused on making art!

This simple existence has meant that I have not been out and about exploring the city.  My travels have been limited to taking a bus along Route 66 from my apartment (red dot on map) to the studio, 14 blocks away (blue dot) to the movie theatre downtown (green dot.)  As limited as my excursions have been, I have encountered a great many murals.  This leads me to think that there are lots of murals elsewhere throughout the city.  From the location of the murals I have seen, I have concluded that most have been commissioned by private building owners. Nice!

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I noticed that many of the murals incorporate existing features of the building’s architecture into the mural images.  For instance, a door in the wall becomes a door in the image.  This mural is painted on the back wall of a restaurant.  It faces an alleyway, yet the mural incorporates two real doors while the windows, tiles, signage and potted trees are painted.

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And this one uses an existing fan in the wall as the propellor of the airplane and a door and mechanicals are incorporated into a painting of a building.  Clever!

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Here are more.

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New prints

I am very much enjoying working in the print studio here where I have access to great facilities and equipment in a creative and stimulating atmosphere.  Here are three prints that I finished yesterday, the first in a series of “Sticks and Stones.”  They measure 6 x 6 inches.  Obviously, I began with images of stones and am now working on some sticks. The images are a bit more realistic than I normally work, but they continue to be explorations of my interest in playing textures and patterns off one another.

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I am here in Albuquerque for a month where I am working in a non-toxic printmaking studio, New Grounds, owned and operated by Regina Held.  I am renting a casita near the university about 15 blocks away from the studio.  A public bus takes me down Route 66 very efficiently to the studio and back. The altitude here is 5300 feet above sea level, about 1000 feet less than San Miguel de Allende, MX.  The weather is similar. So far we have had bright blue, cloudless skies and bright sunlight while it is nippy in the morning, but by afternoon it gets to the mid 60’s to mid 70’s.  I’m told by the locals that it is 10 degrees warmer than usual because of El Nino.

The studio has quite a few members who work there – they come and go and I am meeting more each day.  The studio consists of two large, well equipped  workrooms, a classroom where workshops are given, two galleries, an office, a lunch room, and an etching lab.   There are six etching presses in all.

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Below is the larger of the workrooms.

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This is the smaller work area where I have settled in.

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This is the etching lab where I spend a lot of time. The arrow is pointing to the ferric chloride tanks where I etch my plates.

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Framed prints are hung on the walls everywhere – in workshops, in the corridors, in the restrooms, and in two galleries.  The prints are creative and technically advanced and serve as great inspiration to those of us working there.

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I began the week doing test plates.  I am working on copper and trying various resists (grounds) to create textures.  Below is a plate with an acrylic ground applies in various ways.  Below is the plate after it was etched, the ground was removed, and the plate was inked.  The ink is rubbed into all the nooks and crannies, then wiped off so the ink stays in the marks and pits etched below the surface.  Below that is the plate printed on damp paper under lots of pressure so the ink is pulled from the plate.  Notice that when printed, the image appears reversed.  I was happy with the variety of textures I was able to produce.

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I have started working on several plates, but have not finished any yet.  Stay tuned for updates in days ahead!