Heart-to-Art: Expanding Space

IMG_3361This semester I explored a new part of art: printmaking. Printmaking is the process of making art by printing (according to Google). Of course, there is more to it than that, but that’s basically what it is— printing on a piece of paper. This spring I learned two types of printing methods: block printing and screen printing. Using these two methods, my printmaking teacher gave us “space” as a broad theme for our prints. We then created an accordion book with our own branched-off concept from that theme.

 

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My theme was “expanding space”. First I thought, what happens what you get older? Your “space” expands; you realize that your world gets bigger and bigger and you learn new things everyday. I represented this concept with a series of landscape prints, some of San Francisco.

I also wanted to illustrate the growth of knowledge by incorporating more colors into each print as the book went along — in my first print, I used only black. For the rest, I added several different colors and layers to brighten up the book.

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For my first print, I started with a print of my house. I used a linoleum block and black ink to create a print that would feel nostalgic as well as a little dated. This process is known as block printing.Block printing is basically like using a stamp. You carve into a piece of linoleum (or wood)  creating your design. The design is then covered with ink and pressed onto a piece of paper and voilà — a print!

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For the rest of the series, I used a process called screen printing. While block printing is like using a stamp, screen printing is like using a stencil. You push ink through holes in a mesh silk screen and it transfers onto your piece of paper (or fabric).  It is also simpler than block printing, because it doesn’t require extensive effort to produce an image.

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Although I was supposed to have a total of eight prints in the book, I’m still proud that I managed to have six in my completed project. This entire printmaking experience has opened my eyes to an amazing art medium that I enjoy.  Hopefully,  I’ll continue to expand my space in the future by learning more and more about art.

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Words and images by Lily Young

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