Holy Printmaking

Today I had my first class in printmaking and I had what I can only describe to you as an epiphany: I was born to make prints. It is the perfect combination of everything I love about every art form I love. We draw, we carve into wood, we paint the wood with big rubber rolling pins, then we run it through the giant metal printing press onto beautiful paper. Then, we do it again. We can use the wood carving over and over and over (pretty much forever), and with any color imaginable. We can mix and layer colors to make our own rich combinations. We can fuck everything up and use too much paint and still create something amazing.
I love the attention to detail in the original wood carvings mixed with the trial by error method of adding color. I love the smell of the thick gooey paint we use, and the smell of the chemicals we use to clean it. I love the wood, the paper, the metal. I want to live in the print lab. Really, it makes me happy just to be in there. The room is huge and well lit. Two of the walls are just windows with a fantastic view of the city. There are three big printing machines, and a beautiful japanese paper making machine. There are big wooden tables everywhere covered in acrylic. Everything is big and heavy and indestructible. While the work being created is so delicate, subtle, and precise.
My teacher is John P. Overton, the same guy I have for my Experimental Storytelling class. He is just great. He loves what he does and he loves art. We looked at a bunch of slides of Japanese prints from the 1800’s. They were so beautiful. I saw way too much today. It is becoming a blur- albeit a fantastic one- in my mind. I am sure I will have to do everything a bunch of times just to be mediocre -and I can’t wait. There is another girl in my class that is almost as excited as I am. Her name is Taylor. We stayed after class today hounding John with questions. We quickly learned that the best way to form a question to him is: What happens if…? He wont just answer you, he will always show you. My teacher encourages us to experiment and fuck up. Honestly, how much better can it get?

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