Silkscreen pulp prints
Rarely do I visit the outdoor environment without bringing home some kind of natural relic for study and reflection. So much so, that part of my process includes organizing and storing these treasures. Later, in the studio, as I unwrap each specimen, it is like a reunion with old friends. No matter how many times I’ve examined the fragile sea urchins, tiny seahorse, various mollusks, etc. I am humbled by their exquisite design and mystified by the energy still expressed through the weather-worn forms.
But collecting is not enough. The discipline of drawing provides heightened awareness and forces me to be more intimate with the objects as I analyze their construction and get a sense of their “being.” My goal was less about morphological accuracy and more about capturing the idea or spirit of the objects. Only recently did I begin to understand that this is my way of reading nature.
These silkscreen pulp prints were part of my MFA thesis work, Drawing from the Book of Nature. The imagery was produced with a reductive drawing technique—excavating line and form from a field of black sumi ink on transparent mylar. The finished drawings were then transferred onto silkscreens, which in turn, were used for “printing” the imagery by spraying finely-beaten pigmented cotton fiber through the screens onto freshly made (wet) Asian-style kozo paper.
The repetition of line and form emerging out of the ink and later, the silkscreen emulsion, speaks to my fascination with the presence and absence of life.