Marina Adams: Notes on Printmaking
The collaborative aspect of the printshop has its own energy
Printmaking is close to drawing, but it’s a slower process, so you get to think differently. And, you could also say, it allows you to work completely in a spirit of discovery, as you never know how it will turn out. At the same time, the process forces you to stay and look and experiment and see. In this respect, prints can front-run changes in the paintings—or, they can be something totally unto themselves.
As an artist who always works alone in the studio, the collaborative aspect of the printshop has its own energy. Working with master printers, who bring knowledge and insight and can offer possibilities, is a part of what this energy is. At ULAE, for instance, it was suggested that I work directly on handmade paper, with a matte medium-like substance that is receptive to digital printing ink. This allowed me to create something that hadn’t been done before. It was only through the study of my work on paper that the printers at the shop thought to have me develop this new kind of monoprint.
The different materials and techniques in printmaking—the stone, the plate, the inks, that richness that only an aquatint can give—these are all things that are absolutely particular to prints. The multiple also allows for one work to have a broader reach by being available to more than one collector. I believe living with art is really important. The affordability of prints, therefore, is just one more reason to make them. As an artist, I’ve bought prints by others whose paintings I could not afford. And this, in turn, has fed my own work.