Archive mensuelle de avril 2014

Monotype Workshop with Akua Inks.

class

 

In March I gave a one-day monotype workshop using Akua inks, with Ateliers de création Je MONOTYPE.  This unique and diverse program, dedicated solely to the art of monotype printing, is founded and directed by Jacinthe Tétrault, artist, educator and printer. It is always a pleasure collaborating with Jacinthe, who shares my passion for monotype and teaching.

 

Atelier Galerie Alain Piroir.

Atelier Galerie Alain Piroir.

 

Seven artists participated in my workshop, at  Atelier Galerie Alain Piroir, where Je Monotype classes are held. Everyone had previously taken a monotype class with either Jacinthe or myself and was eager to discover the unique qualities of Akua non-toxic water-based inks.

 

palette

 

Akua is my ink of choice for  monotype.  I love the palette of highly pigmented colors and often use them straight from the container, without mixing.  The inks and modifiers let me play with subtleties of transparency and opacity.  Easy clean up leaves more time and energy to concentrate on image making.  I can work fast, cleaning my plate with a swift wipe of a damp cloth between passes, or I can take my time, thanks to Akua’s unique slow-drying formula.  I was anxious to transmit these qualities to my students.

 

Manon Boisvert.

Manon Boisvert.

 

I introduced Akua Liquid Pigment and Akua Intaglio and showed how to use Blending Medium for blending and wash effects.

 

Alejandra Bertorini.

Alejandra Bertorini.

 

In the morning we explored brushwork.  I wanted artists to feel the fluidity of the ink and to tap into a painterly mode.

 

Manon Boisvert.

Manon Boisvert.

 

Lise Julien.

Lise Julien.

 

The fluid consistency of Akua Liquid Pigment and the buttery consistency of Akua Intaglio are perfect for capturing flowing and expressive brushstrokes.  Used with Blending Medium they are capable of producing watercolor-like effects.

I showed how to make ghost prints using Release Agent.  Ghost prints are second, lighter pulls from an inked plate, often resulting in surprisingly evocative images.

 

Marie Claude Favreau.

Marie Claude Favreau.

 

Lise Julien.

Lise Julien.

 

In the afternoon, we worked with brayers.  We explored the multi-pass monotype using stencils and masks.  I encouraged a spontaneous approach.

 

demo

 

Using a  stencil, I demonstrated how to use Akua Intaglio with Intaglio Transparent Base as well as the needle applicator.

 

Alejandra Bertorini.

Alejandra Bertorini.

 

Towards the end of the day, I left everyone free to experiment on their own, mixing all the techniques they learned, innovating some along the way.

 

Jacinthe Tétrault.

Jacinthe Tétrault.

 

The prints coming off of the press became precious teaching tools and students proudly shared their processes with each other.

It was a joy to teach this workshop in this inspiring studio with the Je Monotype program and to introduce an exciting, safer approach to printmaking with Akua Inks.

 

Talleen Hacikyan

Merci aux artistes qui ont participé à cet atelier et à ce blog avec leurs images.

Photos #1, 3 (detail), 10 and 12 by Jacinthe Tétrault.

 

Chicago Skyscrapers and Chocolate.

Talleen and Robin Chicago style.

Talleen and Robin Chicago style.

 

Last week my friend, Robin and I visited Chicago.  We used to attend high school together at the International School of Geneva.  We’d  have a blast as moped-riding, fun-loving foreigners in Switzerland.  Whether we reunite in Montreal, California or New York, we always have fun.  Chicago was no different.

 

Nathan G. Moore House, 1895 / 1906, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Nathan G. Moore House, 1895 / 1906, Frank Lloyd Wright.

 

On our first day we went to Oak Park, to the Frank Lloyd Trust. Oak Park, 10 miles from Chicago, has the largest collection of Wright-designed residential properties in the world.  On an audio self-guided tour, we located the 19 homes and the Unity Temple.  It was a treat to listen to the outstanding commentary while viewing the buildings.  We also went on a guided tour of Wright’s home and studio. In 1991 Wright was recognized as “the greatest American architect of all time.” His designs definitely bear testimony to that claim.

 

Robin meets the Property Brothers.

Robin meets the Property Brothers.

 

Next we came across a remarkable sight.  We bumped into the Property Brothers at the entrance of the Chicago Theater.  That evening when we watched the twins sell and renovate real estate on TV, our hysterical laughs resonated on all 25 floors of the Omni Hotel!

 

Crystal Gardens, Navy Pier.

Crystal Gardens, Navy Pier.

 

After Robin chummed with Jonathan and Drew, we went to Navy Pier.  Originally designed for shipping, Navy Pier is Chicago’s lakefront leisure and entertainment area.  We had a  a peek at the Crystal Gardens.

 

Louis Comfort Tiffany, Smith Museum of Stained Glass.

Louis Comfort Tiffany, Smith Museum of Stained Glass.

 

We also visited the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows. The collection has lovely pieces, from 1870 to present, including several Louis Comfort Tiffany windows.   Of the 150 religious and secular pieces, most were originally installed in Chicago homes, churches and buildings.

 

Oak Street Beach.

Oak Street Beach.

 

My Canadian-wintered body was thrilled to find itself at Oak Street Beach, where I shed my coat and Northern chill.  Steps away from the shops on Michigan Avenue, this oasis is one of many beaches that line the Chicago shores of Lake Michigan.  Barefoot college kids played volleyball, a woman practiced yoga, while a tractor maintained the sand.  A local woman who used to come to the beach as a teen told me, “Everyone tuned their transistor radio to the same station and it was one big party.”

 

View from 360 Chicago.

View from 360 Chicago.

 

At 360 Chicago, the observatory tower, an elevator soared us up 1000 feet above the city.  The view revealed that there was still a lot of ground to cover if we wanted to conquer Chicago, so we called it a day, dragged our screaming legs to pick up some Chinese take out and you already know who entertained us on TV.

 

Wendella boat at dock.

Wendella boat at dock.

 

The next morning we took an architecture boat tour. We departed from the Wendella dock at Trump Tower and went on a 75 minute tour that took us through the three branches of the Chicago River.

 

Marina City complex, designed by Bertrand Goldberg, 1959.

Marina City complex, designed by Bertrand Goldberg, 1959.

333 West Wacker Drive, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, 1979-1983

333 West Wacker Drive, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, 1979-1983

 

Our guide pointed out buildings and architectural styles designed by notable architects Mies van der Rohe, Bertrand Goldberg, and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.  From the business hub to the newer residential projects, it was interesting to observe the city from the vantage point of the river.

 

Hello Chicago!

Hello Chicago!

 

As our capitan navigated towards Lake Michigan the full skyline came into view.

 

Voges shop window.

Voges shop window.

 

Our last adventure of the day was a walking chocolate tour to six establishments.  My favorite was Vosges, Chicago’s designer chocolatier that features truffles spiced with an array of exotic flavors ranging from allspice to ginger to hemp seed to wasabi.

The chocolate pralines, the Omni Hotel, the art, the architecture and The Property Brothers made this trip with Robin unforgettable!  As we’d say when we were 15, what a BLAST!

Talleen Hacikyan

Thanks, Rabs!

 

 

 

Chicago Chicago

chicago sign

 

Last year, after visiting New York, Boston and Philadelphia, I told myself that Chicago should be next on my list of U.S. cities to visit.  When my friend Robin, from California, invited me to join her in Chicago for a few days while she would attend a conference and then explore the city, I knew that this was my chance and that I had to grab it.

 

Omni Hotel.

Omni Hotel.

 

I flew to Chicago and met Robin at the Omni hotel, conveniently located in the heart of downtown on North Michigan avenue, A.K.A. The Magnificent Mile. Chanel, Gucci,  Armani, Vuitton and the American Girl Place, where you can get your hundred-dollar doll’s hair styled, ears pierced and face scrubbed at their spa, are all there for your wallet’s pleasure.

 

city

 

I explored the city on my own for the first two days, while Robin attended her conference.  Chicago is easy to navigate, has a relaxed pace and people are friendly.  I love the fact that you can walk from the forest of skyscrapers to the beaches that hug Lake Michigan.  The Windy City also features world-class art.

 

Chicago Chicago renoir

Art Institute of Chicago.

 

Day 1, I walked to the Art Institute of Chicago.  I enjoyed their impressionist collection as well as the Christopher Wool exhibit.  Also noteworthy is Renoir’s True Colors: Science Solves a Mystery.

 

Cloud Gate, Anish Kapoor.

Cloud Gate, Anish Kapoor.

 

Inside dome of Cloud Gate.

Inside dome of Cloud Gate.

 

At Millenium Park, I saw Cloud Gate, by British artist Anish Kapoor.  This is the most intriguing public art sculpture I have ever seen.  I love the way it interacts with its environment, the way people react to it and the infinite visuals it offers as one walks around and though it.

 

Pilsen.

Pilsen.

 

The next day I rode the “L” (elevated) train to Pilsen, in the Lower West Side of Chicago.  In the late 19th century, Pilsen was inhabited by Czech inhabitants, gradually joined by other ethnic groups of Eastern European descent.  In the 1970s, Latinos became the majority population of Pilsen and today it has a distinctively Mexican flavor.

 

woman

Pilsen mural.

Pilsen mural.

Pilsen mural.

 

I went mainly to see the murals that color the streets. I was rewarded with a feast for the eyes. Storefronts, doors, cement walls under the tracks on 16th street, all competed for attention from my camera’s busy lens.

 

esther

Ester Hernández, Sun Raid, Screen print, 2007.

 

In Pilsen, I also enjoyed my visit to The National Museum of Mexican Art. The exhibition Galería Sin Fronteras, features Chicano based artwork from the collection of professor Gilberto Cárdenas, the founder of Galería Sin Fronteras, in Austin, Texas.  The works in this show reflect the reality of Latin American immigration to the States and convey messages of social consciousness.

 

marisol

Marisol, Self-portrait, wood, 1961-62.

 

Back downtown, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, I delighted in the Warhol and Marisol exhibit as well as the one on Alexander Calder.

Next stop, River North, featuring the greatest concentration of galleries in Chicago.  I visited Printworks Gallery, where I discovered the etchings and photogravures of Teresa James.  I also popped into half a dozen other galleries.  My favorite show was by award-winning Chicago-based artist, Jordan Scott at Judy A Saslow Gallery.

 

Chicago Printmaking Collaborative.

Chicago Printmakers Collaborative.

 

My fourth train ride of the day took me to the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative (CPC) to my rendez-vous with Deborah Lader. Besides being the founder and director of CPC, Deborah is an artist, a master printer and a musician with the Folk group, Sons of the Never Wrong, for which she is a multi-instrumentalist, a vocalist and a song writer.  It was inspiring to talk with Deborah.

 

Chicago Printmakers Collaborative.

Chicago Printmakers Collaborative.

 

The studio has a warm feeling to it and the space is well organized, with an etching press, a lithography press and a combination press.  I was lucky to catch their exhibit, New York Society of Etchers.  CPC is celebrating their 25th year and their future looks bright and promising.

Back at the Omni, at the end of day 2, after a tasty meal at Su Casa with Robin, and my nightly swim, my head was dancing with all the images and sights I had seen in Chicago. I couldn’t wait to share the next two days with my travel companion.

Talleen Hacikyan

Stay tuned to my next blog on Chicago architecture and chocolate!

 

 

 

 




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