Photo above: Artist's book of etchings (U/U Folk Customs Series)

Relief Prints:  (White Line, Reduction, Linocuts)
Intaglio: Etchings, Dry Point, MezzotintsCarborundum Mezzotints (Lunaria and Haikus) 
Freewheelin' (collages  of print-based photos)

Note: since all of the prints shown here are printed by hand or one at a time with the press, there will be variations. The colors of one print may not be as vibrant as another; the background colors my vary, etc. That is the identifying characteristic and innate charm of handmade, one-of-a-kind artwork.

Artist Statement:  Printmaking allows me to explore possibilities and to express the many sides of my creativity.  On one hand, I love the expressive line of drypoint and the deep, rich textures of etching. I create these prints using a zinc or copper plate and print them on my studio press. Once a plate is created, multiple prints can be produced. And on the other hand, I enjoy the freedom of monotypes and monoprints and the abstractions that often result.  I may produce these on acrylic plates or create linocuts or woodblock prints. Often I use a hand baren to produce these. In addition, I may apply watercolor or gouache or combine my prints with other materials to create mixed media works that have a character all their own. These depend largely on elements of design and composition and the layering of materials and concepts. I also search antique shops for metal batik tjaps (stamps) and wooden fabric chops that I repurpose to connect the past with the present.

As an art historian, I am continually fascinated and impressed with the role of printmaking in the art world from the softly monochromatic mezzotints of the earlier Renaissance to the bold carved lines of the German Expressionist. (I collect 17th & 18th century Japanese woodblock prints and European and American etchings by contemporary printmakers.) I enjoy exploring and modifying techniques from history, such as the white-line, multi-colored woodcuts of the Providence printmakers of the mid-last century.

From multiples to monotypes to mixed media, printmaking is a multi-step hands-on process that provides me with endless creative avenues to explore. There is an appeal to prints that defies definition. 


The Art and Writing of Barbara Rizza Mellin