After I semi-retired from my mapmaking business a few years ago, I was visiting my sister Suzanne in California and she asked if I wanted to cut a rubber stamp. I did a small jade tree and it was really fun, and that reignited a passion for printmaking.
Growing up in an artistic family, I have been immersed in art my entire life. My mother was an accomplished painter and watercolorist, my father was an architect, and my sister is a prolific and talented artist and sculptor. I was always encouraged to express myself with art and photography, and I was an art room junkie in high school.
My 40+-year career as a cartographer has served me well in my current interest in printmaking. Since I practiced mapmaking in both the pre-computer and computer periods, I have a working knowledge of those techniques. It’s enlightening how useful the old (abandoned) and computer (to-be-abandoned-at-any-moment) methods can be, and how they can be adapted into making art. I’ve even used an 1800’s cyanotype photo technology for transferring images to linocut plates to guide hand cutting.
Computer imaging adds a whole different methodology and feel to the images. I like mixing the new with the old. Combining artistic methods can be interesting and useful too: I’ve been using silkscreens and linocuts together, or linocuts and stencils, and sometimes adding watercolor or gouache by hand over the top of any medium.
I often make my own tools, like a multiplate color registration system, a silkscreen exposure unit, a silkscreen washout sink, barens for large linocut images, and a DYI linocut press.
I take inspiration from both the natural world and the activities of humans.