Thursday, October 04, 2007

Channeling Mary Cassat?

Nearly Bedtime, 6"x4", drypoint engraving on paper

Mary Cassat was an American artist who lived in Paris in the late 19th century. She was a member of the Impressionists, a small group of now-famous artists who started a unique painting style in the late 1800's. Mary Cassat favored images of women in her art, often mothers with children. As I was engraving the drypoint plate for this print, my artist-friend BDP sneaked a peek and commented on the Cassat-like subject matter. Cassat was a huge influence on me when I first began painting with pastels. And Cassat was influenced by Japanese printmakers. Now I appreciate and understand that influence more than ever. It seems a natural progression from pastel painting to printmaking.

The people in the image are my sister-in-law and her first child, from a photograph I took only a couple of years ago.

This kind of drypoint was made from using a sharp pencil-shaped tool to scratch the image into a Lexan plate, then wiping the plate with ink and printing it onto damp paper. The damp paper loosens the paper's fibers and allows the paper to pick up the ink from the crevices in the plate as it goes through the etching press.


Nancy said...

I look good in drypoint!

Nel said...

This one is just gorgeous. Simple lines, nice patterns, lovely drawing, beautiful composition. Great work!