Inside the Artist’s Studio with Elizabeth Durand

I have taught printmaking at RIT and at numerous workshops around the country. Presently I am teaching at St. John Fisher College and during the summer at the Artist’s Association on Nantucket.

Printmaker Elizabeth Durand

Printmaker Elizabeth Durand

In my home studio my concentration is on traditional etchings and unique collagraph monoprints.  The subject matter is the landscape, both regionally and from my travels abroad.

As a printmaker I use both traditional and innovative techniques in my etchings, collagraphs and monoprints.  Each of these original graphic arts methods is used to achieve a particular effect.  Etched lines are bitten into a zinc or copper plate with acid wherever the artist has drawn through an acid proof resist.  Ink is pressed into these lines and then wiped from the topmost surface of the plate.  Dampened paper is placed over the plate and it is turned through an etching press.  Each time another impression is pulled, the plate must be re-inked and wiped.  Fine line work, detail and a variety of tone and texture are best achieved through the etching techniques of direct bite, soft ground transfer and aquatint.  The etching technique of embossing creates a raised impression on the print.

Inking the plate

Inking the plate

Wiping the plate

Wiping the plate

Dampened paper is placed over the plate

Dampened paper is placed over the plate

The plate is sent through the printing press

The plate is turned through the etching press

The paper is lifted to reveal a fine impression

The paper is lifted to reveal a fine impression

Broader textures, large color fields and greater scale characterize my collagraph prints.  This is an additive process wherein a plate is developed by building up textures on the surface of a plastic or masonite plate.  The plates can be easily shaped or cut and inked both on the intaglio and relief surfaces.  An image can be composed of several segments inked separately and reassembled on the press for printing.  In the large unique pieces the image is composed sequentially by overprinting various plates on one paper and then adding elements by direct stenciling.  The result is a one of a kind monoprint collagraph. Monoprints, sometimes called the painterly print, are impressions taken from a surface that has been inked and printed only once.  Techniques of brushwork, drawing and stencil can all be incorporated into a monoprint.  Successive layers of ink add subtlety and variety to these unique original works.

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

The collagraph monoprint process

Stop by Main Street Arts to see Elizabeth Durand’s printmaking in our current exhibition, “Celtic Impressions by Three: Seen and Unseen Ireland“.

Take a look at our previous Inside the Artist’s Studio blog post by printmaker Ellie Honl.