Sunday, February 20, 2011

Interview with Kelly Tankersley of 88 Editions

Check out Kelly's Etsy Shop and Blog

I received my BFA in printmaking and photography from the University of Texas at Austin. Like many artists with degrees I went on to work in the art world instead of actively making art. I have been a Corporate Art Consultant,  gallery manager and grant writer for a museum. It wasn’t until years later and after a work friend taught me how to make handmade paper that it all came together for me. As a gardener and nature lover, I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to take raw plant materials and cook them, beat them, mold them, press them—then whalla—beautiful artist’s-made paper.

Just about a year and half ago, a group I’m in Women Print Makers of Austin, obtained a studio with two etching presses! Finally an easy way to marry my three loves of paper, photography and etching.

Why printing? 

Printing appeals to me because of the “Happy Accidents” that can happen. I like a process between me and the finished piece. I’m much more excited about results that surprise me a little instead of forces what’s in my head to materialize. Not sure how to explain it any better, but I’m not too interested in a straight sketch or photo—I like machines or processes to get into the mix and shake things up a bit.

What is your favorite print medium and why?

Etching—inking the plate, the indention the plate makes on paper, all of it.

How long have you been printing and how has your work evolved?

I have only been printing since December 2009 when I gained access to the WPA studio.

What or Who influences your work? 

Andy Goldsworthy’s earth art, Joseph Stella’s mystical paintings, Duane Michals’ narrative photo stories, and Pat Steir’s gorgeous paintings, to name a few of course!

How do your promote your work?

I just started promoting my work last November.  I wanted to make sure I had enough depth and breath and just enough work! So far it’s been in a few local exhibits, tons of time spent making Etsy treasuries (I can’t stop!), and I just started my blog. Said I never would, but it is 2011.

Any good printing tips or funny printing stories (or both??)

Play! The series of birds you see was a labor of love and planned out from designing the papers and getting the plate quality just right, etc…  After I finished that huge project I spent an entire week while I was on vacation just playing with odd papers, processes, mixing plates up. For example, the pieces Night Voyage under the Moon and Moonrise: Charmed Meadow, were not planned—they were total experiments. I told my husband I was just going to go into the studio and “free fall” which to me meant allow myself to play around with no direction or goals in mind. I highly recommend it.


atelier28 & KunstCentrum Tholen said...

I love that you make your own paper too! I saw that one of your etchings was on gampi which I was delighted to see because I tried that too last year. Very satisfying to prepare the paper and etching from scratch. Wishing you all the best with your art :-)

paula said...

love this article..i met kelly a few months ago on etsy and we have been buds every since. wonderful to read more about you here kelly, i'm off to post this on YOUR fan page and our team blog page :)

lisa stubbs said...

absolutely beautiful work!

Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

So nice to see Kelly's work here...she's wonderful! Cheers! Patti/MissouriBendStudio

Frogfruit Studio said...

I'm a big fan of Kelly's work! I love etching too (as a viewer), many of my favorite pieces from art's history have been etchings. I like how Kelly's prints are timeless and so nature inspired.

Cynthia said...

Great to see this interview with Kelly! Her work is exceptional!