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Works on Paper and Mylar - 2014

Artist Statement
Galerie Cerulean October
October 2014

These Mylar and paper pieces were made between May and October of 2014. In Maine, where I spend almost half of each year, that encompasses the best parts of three seasons. The seasons are not represented here, but I don’t discount the natural world as an influence on my work.

Aside from drawing and painting, I used a lot of printmaking techniques on both the paper and Mylar but I would not call the resulting work monotypes. I used rollers and sticks, hands and brushes and a lot of elbow grease.

The etching and litho inks I used are viscous and hard to move around. Usually, I rolled out the ink on glass and laid the Mylar or paper over it and worked on the back. (Credit to Marie Schoeff for teaching me how to make trace prints by drawing this way.) As anyone who’s made monotypes without a press knows, it’s nearly impossible to get exactly what you want, especially if your paper is heavy and primed, like mine was. I have to use this prepared paper as a base because I never know what I may do to it and I don’t really like oil seepage or haloes. Mylar, however, is incredibly resilient, and it is also responsive. It will pick up anything – if you sneeze, it will show up. Plus, you can see through the Mylar and watch what you’re doing. The oil dries fairly quickly. Mylar doesn’t disintegrate or tear or fall apart. You would have to try hard to bend it, if that’s what you wanted.

For me, the first layers and mark making were rarely enough. I suppose I am like most painters in that way. Sometimes, I kept working on the glass and pulling prints but almost always I ended up working directly on the paper or Mylar itself, after the initial stages. The printing and drawing and painting processes were fast and physically hard. But, because there were so many options for what I could do, I seemed able to avoid second guessing myself, and was always able to move forward. (Another advantage to Mylar is that you can wipe off things that don’t work – or you can remove everything - and start fresh.)

After loving this process enough that I now have thirty pieces of work I am proud of, I went back to painting on canvas. It’s nowhere near as much fun. But I’m a painter, and that’s just the way it goes. If you’re a painter too, I’m sure you will understand.

Claire Seidl