Nancy Friese, a landscape artist based out of Rhode Island, spent a very productive week at Oehme Graphics painting, printing, and collaborating with Master Printer, Sue Oehme in June of 2014. Nancy has been on the faculty at Rhode Island School of Design for thirty years and has held the post of head of printmaking. Nancy has a strong connection to Colorado’s mountain region, having first come to Steamboat to collaborate with Sue at Riverhouse Editions in 2004, and returning multiple times to teach at Snowmass’s Anderson Ranch Arts Center (where Sue will be teaching this August!).
Sue ran into Nancy last summer when she was teaching a class on painting and drawing landscapes at Steamboat’s Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and they confirmed long-anticipated plans for Nancy to come to Oehme Graphics for a print project. Nancy spent the week exploring Steamboat’s natural summer vibrancy with beautiful and detailed watercolor monotypes, soft-ground and Solarplate etchings, and linoleum block relief prints. With her emotive and detailed landscapes, Nancy brings the viewer deeply into the image and synthesizes the seen and felt experience of a place. Nancy’s work is informed by the natural world, and uses light, texture, space, color, and form to study a chosen view.
The entire week was busy and whether drawing or painting from life in Steamboat’s varied river and mountain landscapes or working in the studio printing, Nancy had an infectious spirit and tireless work ethic. Nancy arrived on Monday afternoon and immediately got to work planning with Sue for the week’s project goals. First thing Tuesday, Sue and Nancy drove to find a place suitable to begin the series of watercolor monotypes. They explored Spring Creek, Fairview, the river behind the library, and others. The best place for her to paint ironically ended up being at Riverside Park, just behind Sue Oehme’s house!
Wednesday and Thursday were spent with a series of linoleum blocks and soft ground etchings that Nancy came prepared with. The six linoleum blocks were a great chance for Nancy and Sue to experiment, and ended up becoming two editions. The 6 blocks (printed side by side in 2 layers) became a gorgeous triptych, measuring nearly 60 inches wide with the white paper border. They also decided to print the 3 tree blocks on a single sheet, creating a smaller but dense and atmospheric print echoing the spirit of the mountains. Also on Thursday, they decided on a monotype to translate into a Solarplate etching and experimented with color and density to get exactly the right print.
The week ended with two final pieces- one last watercolor monotype and a drawing of a dynamic landscape on vellum from her perch in the Botanical Garden, which will become a Solarplate etching edition print for the Stairway to Heaven series. Nancy worked almost constantly, starting each day at about 6 am and painting into the night. In addition to the multiple printing collaborations done with Sue, Nancy produced a watercolor monotype a day, focusing on composition and light in the field, and filling in details and tones in the evening at the studio.
Saturday afternoon ended with an open house at Oehme Graphics, with about 20 people joining us for a perfect ending to a dynamite week!
The crazy season of prints fairs is behind us, the mountain snow has melted, and interns are arriving. It's project season at Oehme Graphics. Last Month, Homare and Mamiko Ikeda set the pace for long summer days in the studio. Master printer, Susan Hover Oehme first saw Homare's work about 10 years ago in Denver, and more recently at William Havu Gallery. She has long admired his complex and intimate abstractions, both on canvas and paper, and also adored his wife Mamiko's enthusiasm and variety of talent, so she invited the couple to Steamboat Springs for a week-long dual collaborative project.
In eight days Homare completed 21 watercolor monoprints sized between 11 1/2 x 11 inches and 28 x 23 inches (pricing info on our website). Homare found his own, unique approach to painting on vellum. By referencing the strong sense of space in his paintings, Homare cut stencils of new and old vellums. He then intertwined the stencils with his emotive marks in order to compose each print thoughtfully and experimentally. Finally, Sue and Homare broke down the colors and marks from one of his sketches to make six solar plates for his Stairway to Heaven print, entitled Six Rocks.
Mamiko literally made big leaps at OG. She began the project with a series of
20 1/3 x 16 inch watercolor monoprints. She then turned her attention to a simple 12 x 12 inch black and white relief print, entitled "Baby Stone-age TV" which inspired larger, more complicated and crazier "Stone-age TV" relief prints. Mamiko, Sue, and Hollis carved the 3 x 4 foot block in a single morning, and after resting cramped hands, they got to work inking. The massive block represented endless possibilities, so Sue and Mamiko printed both intaglio and relief in a variety of colors, combinations and assortments of media. This creative series consists of ten
31 x 42 inch bleed prints.
Mamiko Ikeda, Master Printer Susan Hover Oehme, and assistant Hollis Moore proofing Mamiko's relief prints.
Mamiko made eleven large relief prints on beautiful, full sheets of Somerset paper.
Homare's inventiveness, open-mindedness, and imagination make him a joy to collaborative with. He says in his bio, "Working with painting is mystical. I often don't know what I am doing yet painting seems to know how and what to do. I spend many hours looking at painting as if painting is able to say something. When things are right it does speak. I add one more stroke and wait for her voice to come out. It is a fascinating space. " Master Printer Sue Oehme looks forward to making more solar plate etchings with him in the future.
Mamiko's presence was just as warm and inspiring. By sharing her interest in calligraphy, felting, animation, and guitar with the staff, she discovered a way to integrate her extensive list of passions into her block prints. We were honored to share in the couple's company, and indulge in their Japanese cooking (YUMMY!!). How fortunate we are that Denver is only a three hour drive from our home base! Visit Homare's website and Mamiko's website.
Proofing the six solar plates for Homare's Stairway to Heaven print.