|Oehme Graphics Blog||
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!