I have seen the future and it is wet media.
Those kindly and supportive folks following my last few projects may have noticed a painterly touch developing. Or rather than “a touch,” one could fairly call it ” a punch in the face” as there is nothing gentle about it. At least not yet. Like in all all arenas besides street fighting and lab report grading, I do aspire to always brandish a gentle touch. So with the long road ahead in mind, I have been experimenting with inks, washes, and watercolors–the large group of liquidy art materials generally known as wet media–and I aim to harness their drippy and vibrant properties to shift the balance of my screenprinting towards the organic.
One of the things I love about screenprinting is that it involves a unique tension between control and lack of control. Preparing, exposing, and layering stencils is an analytic process with little room for error. It is followed by a printing stage that is tactile, free, and subject to limitless possibility. Most screenprint stuff trends towards one of these poles. For example, on one extreme end I would think of production print work (t-shirts, signs, etc) while some of the more abstract work from the last century stakes out the most identifiable territory on the other. A big ongoing goal of mine is to develop a unique physical screenprinting process that negotiates a balance in between. And that is a long journey.
That’s also a long way of saying look at this practice piece. I recently acquired a variety of really nice papers and this is one of my first shots at applying art to it (possibly for the purposes of one final edition of Silian Rail posters for their imminent, final show ever). From my “Eight Ideas at Ocean Beach” stencils:
Cliff House | Screenprint and ink on paper | 18×24″ | 2013