Category Archives: printmaking

Ode to Winter,inspiration

Or how I discovered the Snow Queen.

Ode to Winter: I have recently created two fine art monotypes, “Ice Wave”, and “Winters Grace”. They are both a homage to my struggles in learning how to live in a much colder climate than I ever wanted to live in. They are both visual abstract images of the ice borne from the north wind that I was forced to accept as part of my life for at least half of each year while living in Canada, twenty-five years ago.

Kathleen Thoma, Winter's Grace, monotype, 12x24 inches

Kathleen Thoma
Winter’s Grace
monotype
12×24 inches

When I was a child, I felt that winter was something I wanted to sleep through, like a hibernating bear, in order to not really have to experience it at all. Except for Christmas, I just hated it.

Until I found myself in very long winters, unable to escape even in my dreams. I finally learned to find some beauty in it, although I would say that I still hated it. This happened when I lived in Montreal, Canada for five years. The first year, I thought I would die; the second year, I knew I wouldn’t die, I would just barely survive it. (Drama Queen)

By the third year, I knew that if I was stuck there, I would HAVE to find at least ONE thing that I liked about winter because I was feeling as though I could lose my mind like the writer in Stephen King’s novel, “The Shinning”. (I was half-way there already according to my husband.

So I set off on searching for that one thing for myself. And it ended up being the simplest of things. Just walking. Yes, just walking about, bundled-up in layers of sweaters, coat, hat, scarf, ugly snow boots. The ice forest near our apartment, being next to the St. Lawrence river, was often coated in lacework patterns of ice on the branches in the trees. It was often so cold that it would be crystal clear with the sunshine making the snow and ice sparkle like diamonds. It would take my breath away sometimes. I began to see how the myth of the snow queen was a natural idea in a winter ice forest. The thick icicles dripping off the tree branches seemed like her hair and dress, while the tree itself seemed like her body. The shapes were sinuous, and flowing, transparent while melting in the sun.

Kathleen Thoma, Ice Wave, monotype, 11x14 inches

Kathleen Thoma,
Ice Wave,
monotype
11×14 inches

The next two years were spent with my walks in this ice forest, observing and absorbing the nature around me, and allowing myself to see its beauty, even though I never did go as far as to completely love it.

So, as far as being a creative person is concerned, you never know what might inspire an image. It can even be something that you hate; and yet end up becoming something beautiful. So here is my homage to the cold, icy north wind. I can now sort of enjoy the Snow Queen, because I am far, far away in Southern California. Maybe I should try living in Iceland next?

See gallery link below for more:

http://www.kathleenthomaart.com/kathleen-thoma-art-abstract-monotypes/nature-monotypes/

photo-Fallbrook Art Center

Transferring Ink 3 accepts my work

photo of Kathleen Thoma at Transferring Ink 3 show opening

Kathleen Thoma & “Seaflight” at Transferring Ink 3 printmaking show opening

I’m happy to report the acceptance of one of my fine art prints into an exhibit, “Transferring Ink 3”  a printmaking show at the Fallbrook Arts Center in Fallbrook, CA. The show runs from June 29 – August 10, 2014.

The Juror for “Transferring Ink 3” is Ron Pokrasso, who has a section of the show with his wonderful prints. The works in the show have a high level of skill and variety of printmaking techniques which makes it interesting and informative.

The opening was well attended, and we all enjoyed ourselves.

 

 

photo-Fallbrook Art Center

Fallbrook Art Center

 

The Fallbrook Art Center has a beautiful gallery which provides numerous exhibitions and opportunities for artists and collectors each year.

 

Show Invite to Transferring Ink 3 at Fallbrook Art Center

Show Invite to Transferring Ink 3, at Fallbrook Art Center

It’s worth a look at their web site to see all they have to offer: www.fallbrookartcenter.org

 

 

 

Studio News-relocation to CA

After more than a year of trials and tribulations, I have relocated my studio, Kathleen Thoma Art, to Orange County, CA. I am very excited about the Irvine Fine Arts Center. They have a printmaking open studio available for artists to use. Last Wednesday, I decided to try it out and I was able to create a few images that I thought were worth my time.

 

New Journeys, monotype, Kathleen Thoma Art

One of my new works, “New Journeys”, 11 x 14, monotype

 

 

After a number of intense play/work hours, I ended up with a few things to show.

Kathleen Thoma at Laguna Beach

What a background! I am gathering inspiration at the beach, really.

I enjoyed meeting the wonderful people at the center and will certainly come again.

 

 

 

Come again to see my work inspired by the amazing beauty and color of southern California!

Succulent Suavage, Kathleen Thoma, monotype, 8 x 10

Pushing the Limits of Color

It is fascinating to play with color while exploring new possibilities. There  seems to be no end to the different combinations that are available to us. I particularly enjoy using complementary colors next to each other, which creates drama and excitement by bringing out what is the most vivid in each color. I am always looking for the “edge” between chaos and harmony with my colors. I am pushing the limits of color combinations; yet still creating what to me, at least, seems beautiful or wonderful.

Succulent Savage, Kathleen Thoma, 11 x 14 monotype

Succulent Savage
Kathleen Thoma
monotype 11 x 14

I see these color combinations everywhere in life. One recent example is some flowers I saw a few weeks ago. I noticed the outrageous fuchsia and lime green next to each other, making their brilliance seem even more flamboyant. Right away, I took a photo to remind me of the colors to use on my next print. What works in nature doesn’t always work the plate, but the challenge is motivating. (more…)

Print is ready to pull off the plate

Demontration/monotypes with hand-cut stencils

This is a series of photos demonstrating

the process of creating a monotype using hand-cut stencils.

Kathleen Thoma creating a monotype in her studio

First I start with my palette of colors. Choosing color depends on my mood or the idea I have in my head. Then I cut out my stencils using flexible, soft sheets of plastic, like cut-up plastic file folders.

Hand cut stencils

I use a piece of plexiglass or glass for my plate.  I apply thin layers of ink or paint onto the plate, playing with layers of stencils until I have what seems to be a good starting layer to put through the press. This decision is often a guess based on experience. What is fun about monotype printing is that you never have complete control over the final outcome. This can also be frustrating of course. Sometimes you don’t like the print, so you have to wipe it off and start over. (more…)