Sunday, August 16, 2009

Printsy Interview - Vanessa Kale


Brief Bio
I was born in the Pacific Northwest but lived in several different places as a child, finally ending up in California. I went on to get a degree in Art Studio from UC Davis. I live in Altadena, California with my husband, Simon, and our son, Nigel.

How did you get started in printmaking?
I must have been about 9 or 10 years old when I created my first print during a summer art class. It was a linoleum carving of cherries inspired by the neighbor’s cherry tree.

Describe where you work.
I work out of my home. I have one closet in the house that is just filled with all of my art and printmaking supplies. I often print on the dining room table or the floor and typically dry my prints where ever they will fit(the floor, the clothesline if it’s sunny).

What's your favourite printmaking process?
My favorite process is carving linoleum or wood for a relief print. There is something sculptural about the process of carving. I like to see how my original drawing translates into the carving and then onto the print. I love that the final print is not the same as the drawing. And the carved wood or linoleum is so beautiful too.

What's your creative process for any given print? (eg. sketch first? Pre-planned or free-form?)
Often I take photos, then make drawings from the photos. Lately after the first test print, I sometimes scan the print in and play with color possibilities in photoshop before making my next prints (this saves on clean up time).

What do you enjoy most about printmaking?
I enjoy the way that I am never in complete control of the final product. And I don’t really know what it will look like until the end.

What's your least favorite part of the process?
Clean up after printing is a drag…especially if I have used lots of different colors.

What are your inspirations (other artists, people, places, events, etc.)?
I find the artwork of Gustave Baumann to be inspirational. There are so many colors in some of his prints, they are beautiful. I love the artwork of many contemporaries as well. I save all the McClains catalogs just for the prints they include in them. I am inspired by nature mostly, plants and flowers in my garden and in the surrounding mountains.

How has your work changed and evolved since you started?
I have more toys now then I did when I was younger. I started with one Speedball carving tool, now I have all kinds of tools. I also do different kinds of prints now. I have been experimenting with printing on fabric.

How do you get past creative slumps?
I go outside, take a walk and take my camera.

How do you promote your work?
I don’t promote it as much as I should. At the moment I mostly promote amongst friends. Every year I send out holiday cards that I have printed. I have a link to my Etsy site on facebook.

Any other comments or advice for others who want to try making hand-pulled prints?
The absolute best place to order supplies for hand printing is McClain's. I just cannot say enough good things about these people. They are helpful on the phone if you don’t know what to buy or are totally new to printing. And they have useful links and images of artist's work on their site.


Marcy said...

these are all gorgeous-- i can't even chose a favorite! i love block prints with a really contemporary color palette and context, your work pulls it off splendidly!

ldeandyment said...

Thanks for the link to McClains. I had never heard of them.
Very nice and crisp relief prints. Off to see your Etsy.