Spiders, ghosts and botanicals. You might find any of those at our old, built in 1867, sixty-two room Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum anytime. I have found some, especially botanicals, and right now I want to tell you about the current art show, in the Billiards Room, in collaboration with the Contemporary Center for Printmaking, (CCP) an art center right here on campus. This exhibition explores the beauty and relevance of botanical art through the medium of printmaking, in connection with the newly refurbished Conservatory at the Mansion, historically decorated by Danna Dielsi of The Silk Touch floral shop in Norwalk, CT. The art show was curated by Trustee Gail Ingis, included are renowned printmakers and members of CCP, Margot Rocklen, Betty Ball, Jane Cooper, Deidre de Waal, Sheila Fane, Sally Frank, Cynthia MacCollum, Joan Potkay, Eve Stockton and Ruth Kalla Ungerer. The works included cover a variety of techniques including: etching, monotype, intaglio, woodblock, and solarplate, to name a few.
This image by Deidra de Waal is a Monotype. Monotyping is a type of printmaking made by drawing or painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface. The surface, or matrix, was historically a copper etching plate, but in contemporary work it can vary from zinc or glass to acrylic glass. The image is then transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the two together, usually using a printing press. Monotypes can also be created by inking an entire surface and then, using brushes or rags, removing ink to create a subtractive image, e.g. creating lights from a field of opaque color. The inks used may be oil based or water based. With oil-based inks, the paper may be dry, in which case the image has more contrast, or the paper may be damp, in which case the image has a ten percent greater range of tones.
Woodcut, is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood—typically with gouges—leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. Areas that the artist cuts away carry no ink, while characters or images at surface level carry the ink to produce the print. The block is cut along the grain of the wood (unlike wood engraving where the block is cut in the end-grain). The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller (brayer), leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas.
Come visit to see this most unusual art show representing the twenty-first century interpretations of nineteenth-century art of botanicals. I did run into a spider, the yellow sac kind, but I thought it was Mr. Lockwood, much to my chagrin, when I looked up he was gone.
Come and visit this most amazing venue. The show will run through May 3, 2015, at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT. 203-838-9799. General Admission April 9 through May 3, 12-4 p.m.: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6, 8-18.
Hurry, don’t miss it!
Have you been to this old house (mansion) where the TV show “Dark shadows” was made? Remember Joan Collins? Think you’ll find any ghosts? You might . . .