10, March 2013 § Leave a comment
Painter and printmaker Mayme Donsker recently came to the Aegean Center to give a presentation of her work and process. Mayme’s art bridges drawing, printmaking and photography to express a deeply personal unified vision. Born in Minnesota, Mayme’s presentation began with a description of how her father’s creative approach as a photographer influenced her art over the years. As an oil painting student in Rome, Mayme came to embrace her love of draughtsmanship setting a new direction in her pieces. Many of the drawings displayed during the talk were from her series “Love songs,” poetic, semi-biographical images with references to her Minnesota past, life experiences, inspirations, and “dream studios.” We sense that the “Love songs” say something specific for Mayme but we are free to draw from their meaning what we will, allowing the pieces to speak for themselves.
Mayme then described how collaging images together from old photographs became a new guide and inspiration to find the feeling and ideas she was searching for. Her collages are simple and seamless–it is striking how one image can convey a coherent sensibility assembled from many different sources. In Mayme’s work lies the notion of timelessness as opposed to nostalgia. In “Avalanche”, a clipping of an old photograph from a Beatles concert translates into something else, a statement of wild passion and ecstasy.
Looking at Mayme’s drawings as projected on the wall left one desiring to see the originals, pieces which are built up in such a way where the collage and drawing are intertwined and layered with various shades of matte gray and sparkling black. Mayme described how the collages informed her drawings and through searching for the essence of an image, she aims to find the ‘composition within the composition.’ Magically, when cropped and isolated, a photo clipping can be more open and universal in its meaning. The image “Elbow to Elbow” is not about a specific love story, but about love in general open to each and every interpretation.
The strength of Mayme’s work resides in how genuinely her art reflects her sensibility as a human being. When listening to Mayme one gets the sense of an artist sensitively tuned to her own distinct vision of humanity. Her artworks are windows into that vision regardless of the medium or subject. In describing her pieces, Mayme said, “We may want our children to grow up and become doctors or artists, but ultimately they become whoever they are meant to be and you love them all the same.” An unconditional love for her work shines through in Mayme’s art. It moves and inspires art students and artists alike to aspire to love what they create and in so doing to be true to themselves.
4, December 2010 § 1 Comment
The thing I love about Printmaking is that there are so many changes you can make to the plate. Even though the idea of the printing press was to create duplicates, each time it’s printed it comes out a little differently.
Here at the Aegean Center we have learned how to add an aquatint, how to scratch out, and how to use a soft ground. Every day the work of the class is constantly changing and evolving. With each layer our plates transform into beautiful works of art. We also learned how to wipe out mistakes and elements that are competing with the composition. In the beginning of the semester I thought of Printmaking as an art form that was restricting, but after learning all the changes that can be made to the plate it has opened new doors. I also have been working on a collagraph plate. This is a method used with found materials collaged and painted over. This kind of plate is not as easy to change as a zinc plate. Nevertheless I have managed to achieve very different prints just by varying the methods in which I ink the plate. For the first print, I used a little bit of liquin in the ink, an amazing trick I learned from Jane, the Queen of printmaking. This loosens the ink and makes it easer to spread it into the recessions. The next print was inked in relief. Just rolling the ink over the whole plate. It came out very dark, which gives the image a different emotion. Then I printed one with both methods combined. I inked the plate, then rolled on dark ink over just the birds, trying to achieve a stamped on effect. When that did not give me the effect I was looking for. I took a print out of the studio and painted the bird forms onto the print itself. All prints have a different feeling and style. I am still not sure what I like the best or what way is most effective. I am enjoying the Printmaking class and am excited about the changes that I will continue to discover. -Hannah Merrill