Saturday, October 10, 2009

Vicki Bolen’s best show yet!

If you enjoy art with lots of textures, layers, rich colors and the occasional crane, you will love Vicki Bolen’s work.

We had a great turn-out for Vicki’s First Friday Artscrawl reception. The crowd spilled into the various studios of the workshop and almost everybody stayed to watch Vicki’s Collagraph demonstration.

Director Regina Held had the pleasure to introduce Vicki just before her demo. This is Vicki’s third solo show, and she makes her living selling artwork during artfairs around the country. She is a complete pro, just see how calm and collected she is. And look at all those beautiful Collagraph plates in front of her.

Whatever Vicki just said, it totally cracked up gallery assistant Tanya! Tanya will give Vicki a hand with printing.

A Collagraph is an intaglio technique in which objects (cardboard, fibers, fabrics, organic materials etc) are added to the surface of the plate, usually heavy cardboard, until a low relief is achieved. Front, back and sides of the plate are then sealed with several coats of acrylic mat medium. Once the plate is dry it can be inked, wiped and printed in the same manner as a etched metal plate. Collagraphs can also be printed as relief images which Vicki will demonstrate as well.

Vicki begins by covering the entire plate with ink using a brayer.

She then uses a heavily starched cheesecloth, or tarlatan, to wipe away the excess ink until only the lower areas of the plate retain ink.

Here is the inked plate.

It is placed upside down on top of the paper which already has some color from a previously applied monotype.

The plate and paper are now run through the printing press with the help of some very young helpers – we always say that even a kid can make prints!

The result! Vicki usually applies a lot more layers to her pieces – this would just be an intermediate state of the image for her.

Vicki now shows us a different plate which she will ink up relief style, not shown here. Unlike the previous plate, she simply brayers ink over the raised surface and leaves it just the way it is inked.

The resulting image looks very different from the intaglio wiped plate. The image will be bolder and have more contrast, while the first image displayed a lot more intermediate values.

Just before closing, James and Craig, long-time friends of Vicki and clients of New Grounds came to visit. It is so good to see you again!

Thank you Anise for keeping our visitors happy!

Bruce Childs took these awesome pictures – here he is in front of his work. He is getting ready for a solo show in 2010!

Thank you everybody for coming. This is a great show, don’t miss it. It runs until October 30.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Four of New Grounds artists are participating in the Urban Forest Project

The Urban Forest Project is a collaboration of artists who have designed tree-like images to be displayed as banners downtown. Dan Noyes, Tanya, Denise Weaver-Ross, and Bruce Childs have been accepted into this project. The banners will be on display for three months downtown. Once the banners come down they will be recycled and made into tote bags. The profits will go to Tree New Mexico. For more information and to view the banners online visit:

View Phase One UFP ABQ in a larger map