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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 while living outside of Boston, MA. 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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What is an Exquisite Corpse?

A tradition from the Surrealists continues in a recent exhibition with the Los Angeles Printmaking Society

The Surrealists adapted a parlor game into a poetic way to create relationships using either images or texts, that might reveal the metaphysical and upend the rational. Key to the game was using creativity and chance to create something collaboratively and something new! 

Known as “Exquisite Corpse” since the 1920’s, when passing a folded piece of paper created the sentence; “the exquisite corpse drinks the new wine”. Exquisite Corpse is now a regular practice of visual artists to work together creatively.  There are many examples online. Each artist creates a body in three parts, then they are mixed up with the sections made by other artists. No one knows how the sections will be mixed together until the end. 

Certainly artists are happy to be able work together and to have in-person events once again. Since 2020 was surely a cursed year for most of the planet, we are very happy that things are somewhat better in 2021.

Without going into all the issues in the world, I am sharing some photos of a recent exhibit from a group collaboration with the Los Angeles Printmaking Society which took place at the International Printmaking Museum in Carson, CA. 

Image of section of an Exquisite Corpse, "Why is she holding a fish?" Kathleen Thoma

Head section of “Why is she holding a fish?”, Kathleen Thoma, monotype

I am also showing my own process in creating my own contribution to this show. I start with showing my drawing in pencil. Then my drawing on a plate using Caran D’Ache neocolor wax crayons for the press.

Image of process in creating my part of an Exquisite Corpse, with the Los Angeles Printmaking Society

Image of process in creating “Why is she holding a fish?”, Exquisite Corpse with Los Angeles Printmaking Society

I created three monotypes for the color base image. Then the plate with the crayon image was placed on top of the monotypes, and run though the press using slighly damp paper. This step is a bit tricky, because if the paper is too damp, then the paper can tear under the pressure of the press. I’ve done this technique before, and I believe that it works better in a more humid climate (such as in New England) than in a near dessert climate where I now live, in here in Southern California. But I did manage to make it work.  

Why is she holding a fish?, Kathleen Thoma Art, monotype, 45x15 in

Why is she holding a fish?, Kathleen Thoma, monotype, 45×15 in, Exquisite Corpse collaborative

Our collaborative Exquisite Corpse was shown in two parts this summer and fall, There were two installments of this exhibition from LA Printmaking artist members:

View of Exquisite Corpse Collaborative Exhibit at International Printing Museum

View of Exquisite Corpse collaborative exhibition at International Printing Museum in Carson, CA

First installation: August 5th to September 1st.
Second Installation: September 3rd to September 30th. 

Artists in the first installation (August 5th to September 30th):
Mary Sherwood Brock, John Edwards, Christina Yasmin Fesmire, Karen Fiorito, Jani Hoberg, Poli Marichal, Gail D Panske, Marianne Sadowski, Katherine Sheehan, Barbara Belle Sloan, Annie Silverman, Kathleen Thoma, Cathy Weiss.
With special guests from the Lynck Collective;
Christina Yasmin Fesmire, Bill Jaros and Nguyen Ly.
Artists in the Second Installation (Sept 3rd to 30th):
Mary Sherwood Brock, Marianne Sadowski, Katherine Sheehan, Amaryllis Siniossoglou and Silvia Simmons. 

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” […]

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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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