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  • katehenke

Once a Printmaker, Always a Printmaker!

In my High school our printmaking department was outstanding. We were taught the complex process of nearly every kind of printmaking known to the art world. We started with relief printing (linoleum and wood cuts), moved into silkscreen, (photo-silkscreen was the latest technology at that time) lithography, intaglio, etching. These were fun and interesting to me but few places offered the equipment for such complex processes so this art form has sat fallow for many years.

Gel prints are the current crafting rage which anyone can learn about on YouTube but like anything, you cannot really grasp the process until you try with your own hands. I have seen everything from cutesy crafty gel prints to very sophisticated fine art prints and everything in between. I began making holiday cards and was often stuck as to how to get a finished print I was happy with. I enlisted the help of a new found social media friend Carol Polhill who has taught in her North Carolina studio. Learning this new print media was more challenging than expected but managed to produce a few pieces which you can see in my shop.


When I learned that University of New Mexico had a print department and that taking a course for seniors was incredibly cheap I signed up! Monoprinting is a type of printmaking I had never tried. My first attempt was Landing Crow. Often the first attempt is the strongest. I went on to do several others, a series of tulips and again the SkyBird image that I can't ever seem to be done with!

After some serious failures I decided to try a series. I had taken a series of photos of red tulips in a vase, I liked their vibrancy and the way the light came through the pedals. I did a series of quick acrylic paintings as a way to become familiar with the form and color. From them I came up with outline sketches for the plate, then painted the plate, printing one color at a time.

Night Road was another attempt at mono print. I ended up doing 3 versions of it... this is the best of the three.

You may have seen it before... My SkyBird in its many forms. Now a mono print!


This is the first time I've made a solar plate print. It involves burning a metal plate with photo sensitive emulsion then printing much like an etching or engraving. I chose to make a drawing from a photo I had taken overlooking Berkeley CA, up on the fire trail in the midst of eucalyptus trees. I call it Eucalyptus Sunset.

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