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To me, the best part of creating with anything new is the unknown journey and it’s mysterious destination.

Print is ready to pull off the plate

Garden, Kathleen Thoma, monotype 12 x 24

My recent work has been a return to the intersection of dreaming, nature, spirit and the creative impulse. My background is varied. I was in publishing for many years, mostly as an illustrator. From 2004 to 2013, I was a founding member of West Cove Gallery and Studio in CT. This was a working printmaking co-operative, which meant that people would come by and watch us work. This was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed interactions with other artists and the public.

The details of all that are in my bio above, but people always ask how I started in monotypes to begin with. In university, I had printmaking studies, stone lithography, silk screen and relief. Mostly I painted and tried out a bunch of stuff, which is what you are supposed to do in school.

I first discovered monotype printmaking much later. I had found a weekend intensive workshop at Mass Art in Boston and got in. I fell in love with the spontaneous process of working with monotypes. I enjoy the process, the “not knowing” of what is going to happen next, yet trying to control the end result as much as I can. This medium is not for everyone, it will drive a “control-freak” personality insane. For me it is a medium which reflects our attempts to control our own lives. We can’t, so why not enjoy it, if we can?

 

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Printmaking and the Imaginal Realm

In this post I am sharing recent printmaking work inspired by personal explorations into what Carl Jung called the “imaginal realm”. 

A very short story

In 2009, before I moved away from the east coast, I viewed a show at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. The show featured “The Red Book” by Carl Jung, which had never been available for exhibition before. I had read much of Jung’s work over the years and jumped on the train for a chance to see it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Book_(Jung)

I spent all the time that I could to study the pages of art which Jung had created from his own explorations of his personal imaginal realm. Without going into this topic too much, it is a way of restraining the conscious mind so that images from the “collective unconscious” may by explored.

The Treasure

For an artist, this imaginal realm is a treasure of endless images to work with! Many techniques can be used to make this exploration; among them are forms of meditation, shamanism and dream work. An abundance of information on this topic is online already, so no need to elaborate on that.  

I am sharing a recent work from my personal explorations into this realm, the most recent one shown here is called “The Queen of the Nagas”. This archetype appears on and off in my dream world. And I felt the need to give her image a boost into this ordinary world by means of a technique called a “collagraph”. This is a way of creating textured images and, by using inks of various viscosity, it is possible to build-up multiple colors onto one plate.

Queen of the Nagas, Kathleen Thoma, collagraph, linocut, chine College 14.75x11 in

Queen of the Nagas, Kathleen Thoma, collagraph, linocut, chine colle, 14.75×11 in

What is a Naga?

They are mythic Buddhist serpent people who have great powers, guard inner treasures, and you definitely want to stay on their good side according to the myths. As protecting nature spirits, they don’t like people polluting their rivers, streams or oceans. They bring rain, wealth, and fertility when honored. I imagine they are not very happy with humans these days. The link shows more information about Nagas and their myths world wide. https://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/naga

In terms of artistic explorations with printmaking this image took me some time to work out. But I enjoyed it very much. I have been creating a number of images symbolically related to climate change recently, so this is one more. I used several printmaking techniques, as indicated in the caption. 

Photos from “ImMigration Project”

Photos from “ImMigration project 3” a collaborative traveling group exhibition showing at Self-Help Graphics and Art.   Showing : Saturday, January 11th to February 22nd, 2020  Opening Reception, January 11th, 7PM – 9PM I am showing a few shots from the opening night of “ImMigration Project” just to give some idea of how the show looks, […]

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Kali as a symbol of Climate Change

Art, Earth Day & Climate Change While creating an entry for the upcoming show; Sweet Earth/Bitter Earth at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock, CA; the myth and stories of the Hindu Goddess Kali, jumped into my mind.  The theme this year is our relationship to the environment. And for me, that is the heartbreaking […]

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Dreaming, Spirit and the Creative Impulse

I thought that I would post some of my recent images, which continue my explorations into the intersection between dreaming, spirit and the creative impulse. “Evocation of Spring” begins with a memory and a dream. The dream involves the image of huge open book, which has forms within it that I am still learning how […]

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New series of Monotypes

  Meditations on Samsara is a series of monotypes based upon my practice of focus on one symbol in order to quiet the mind. This practice is the basis for this new series of works showing the slowly developing changes in the object of focus. This series of monotypes documents the many other images, which […]

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What have I been up to? Preparing for fall events…

The past few months I have been very busy working on new relief prints for some fall events. I will participate in the annual The Los Angeles Printmaking Society’s show “Give and Take”, which opens November 9, 2017 at the Angel City Brewery. This is part of an effort to raise funds for student scholarships […]

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New work, shows, invitations from the 7 planets

This month has been busy with work, a series of out-of-this-world invitations, a few shows and lots of printmaking. With the addition of collage to my monotype work, my images have been expanding in many new directions. You can view a number of new monotypes with collage worked into their compositions in my galleries. See […]

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My work now available through Saatchi Art

  It’s been very busy year for my work. I have worked with new techniques, entered new groups and relationships and made my work available through Saatchi Art.com, in addition to my own web store. My work was in a number of shows and I look forward to the next one, which will be called […]

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Studio News-new work-LA Printers Fair

I’ve been very busy in my studio these past months, creating a series of new works for my portfolio-nature on my website. I have also been busy exhibiting in a few shows, and preparing for the 2016 LA Printers Fair, which is a blast. Last year I had so much fun seeing everyone else’s work […]

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The Many Levels of Creative Exploration & Expressive Arts

If anyone had asked me back in art school if creating art was a healing thing to do, I would have said “well, yeah, duh”, because making art was only thing keeping me sane for most of my life. Since childhood, art was my escape from family issues, and since I hated school, it was […]

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