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Methods / Art Terms

A print is a paradox. There is usually more than one of the same image, but each is an original. A print is not a reproduction. A print is very time consuming to produce; and the process is complicated. The artist must draw the images, either directly onto the plates themselves or onto paper. The images are then transferred to the plates, either by hand or by photography. Then the images on the plates are transferred to paper through vaiious printing processes. Many artists make prints because they like [he complex process. The indirectness of printmaking is also a metaphor for the complexity of the artist's thought.  Another appeal for the artist is the democracy inherent in printmaking. The print retains originality, but, because it is a multiple, the various images can be viewed simultaneously in different parts of the world.

RELIEF PRINTING: Woodcuts, Wood Engravings, Iinocuts. Woodcuts are printed from blocks whose surfaces run parallel with the grain. The resistance of the grain to cutting makes detail difficult to achieve. With softer woods, the grain pattern itself is often visible and incorporated into the composition.

INTAGLIO: Engraving, Drypoint, Mezzotint, Etching, Photo-Etching, Aquatint, Collographs. Aquatint is an etching process that creates values ranging from light to dark. The plate is first dusted with varying densities of an acid-resisting powder called rosin, heated to glue consistency, and  then  put into the acid both which etches  around  each  particle.

SERIGRAPHY. Silkscreens are sophisticated  stencils used to make screen prints.

MONOTYPES: Piints that have an edition of one.

SIGNING AND NUMBERING:Contemporary printmakers usually sign their prints with pencil in the lower right margin. In the lower-left margin, the size of the edition and the number of the particular proof are indicated. The notation A/P stands [or "artist's proof." This indicates that the print is not part of the edition.

ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM: A style of nonrepresentational visual configuration that combines abstract  form with the artist's outward emotional expression. Recognized in New York in the I950s, the style become  an international development.

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