Today's postings

  1. [Baren 34980] Re: Why Printmaking? ("Mark Mason")
  2. [Baren 34981] Re: why printmaking? (David Harrison)
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Message 1
From: "Mark Mason"
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2008 10:27:55 -0000
Subject: [Baren 34980] Re: Why Printmaking?
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Printmaking attracts me for 2 reasons. Firstly it democratises art. It allows people who can't access the fine art world of expensive galleries to see and own affordable, original artworks. Invaluable in this mass produced world of ours. This will only become a more important aspect as we plough headlong into the digital age where tangible, tactile things don't exist. Many people are put off art by the elitist attitudes of supporters of "the fine arts", but prints and printmaking have always cut across class, income and pomposity.

Secondly, with reference to Baren Forum and the website: this is a vital resource, allowing people to discover printmaking, and allow their creativity to blossom. It has created a community of global neighbours who help each other to grow as printmakers. If it wasn't for all of you out there, I wouldn't have learnt as much as I have. I live in the middle of the countryside in the UK and have very little access to printmaking classes or facilities, but Baren forum and it's members are my online print school, a kind of correspondence course. Baren deserves all the funding available, it provides a real global service to aspiring and established printmakers that one print school in one town could never achieve.
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Message 2
From: David Harrison
Date: Mon, 04 Feb 2008 11:14:22 +0000
Subject: [Baren 34981] Re: why printmaking?
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I agree with Mark (and many others) -- printmaking is a democratic art in so
many ways.

I heard an inspiring story about Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto using floor lino
and candle soot ink to make protest prints against the Nazis. I can't find a
source but if it's true, then what courage!

Some of the earliest woodcut examples in Greece are images of Orthodox saints,
cut icon-style and secretly printed by priests and monks, and distributed to
ordinary folk in the face of dire Ottoman penalties for promoting
Christianity. Again, pretty brave.

The medium itself doesn't care if it's used for reporting, protest,
advertising, polemic... but it's been central to all these activities at one
time or another.

Almost anyone can try it, and take it as far as they please.

Best of all is the sense of community. Not just at the Baren, though that's
vital. Stop into a printmaker's studio (when they're not in the middle of
things!) and there's always the chance to learn something new.

It's an incredibly portable art. You won't often browse an old book and find
an original oil painting or watercolour inside. But it's easy to discover
woodcut prints -- sometimes a real gem by an anonymous, long-dead illustrator.

And give or take you can tell how it was done. Little ruminating over
mysterious brush techniques or underglazes. The skill that went into it shows
plainly. Which makes it a deeply honest art, too.

That's my tuppence-worth.


David H