Saturday, December 26, 2015

Poets Respond

The Santa Barbara Printmakers’ 22nd Annual Juried Exhibition provides a unique opportunity to the Santa Barbara community to view and learn about fine art printmaking today. Artists throughout California were invited to submit up to three works for the exhibition.
As part of the programming around the Printmakers' exhibition, the Poets Respond to Prints event will take place during 1st Thursday Jan. 7, 2016, from 5-8 p.m, with the reading beginning promptly at 6 p.m. in the Planning Commission Hearing Room adjacent to Channing Peake Gallery in the Santa Barbara County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu Street.
The event is moderated by co-curators Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Sojourner Kincaid Rolle and Linda Saccoccio.
Other participating poets include Santa Barbara Poets Laureate Emeriti Perie Longo, David Starkey and Chryss Yost; Rhode Island Poet Laureate Rick Benjamin; Ron Alexander; Susan Chiavelli; Carol DeCanio; Richard Jarrette; Enid Osborn; Emma Trelles and George Yatchisin.
Starry Abyss by Bay Hallowell
The poets were inspired by prints created by artists using a variety of techniques, such as woodblock printing, photopolymer etching, viscosity monoprints and chine-collé.
Poets responded to artworks by Tony Askew, Cody Cambell, Rosemarie Gebhart, Colleen Kelly, David Graves, Bay Hallowell, Patricia Post, Karen Schroeder, Garrett Speirs, Nina Ward, Sara Woodburn and Don Zimmerman.
“Santa Barbara poets have an honored tradition of creating ekphrastic poetry inspired by the work of visual artists," Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Rolle said. "We are honored to be invited by the group to interact with their work. This symbiosis of words and images offers an expanded interpretation of the individual works for both the printmaker and the poet.” 
For more information on the Santa Barbara Printmakers, please contact Bay Hallowell at
For information on Channing Peake exhibitions and 1st Thursday events in the gallery, please contact the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission at 805.568.3990 or online at
— Elizabeth Hallowell represents the Santa Barbara Arts Commission.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

VC Reporter- Inkspots Article

Fine print

The Inkspots explore the fine art of the printing press

Air of a Stranger
Monoprint and Chine Collé,
12 x 12 by Virginia Furmanski
“There’s something magic when you pull back that paper — you never know what you’ll get,” says Virginia “Ginny” Furmanski, describing the appeal of the printing press. A machine associated with bookmaking and the Gutenberg Bible and credited with bringing modernity to medieval times may not, at first glance, seem like a tool for visual artistic expression. But the fine-art printmakers that form the artists’ collective known as the Inkspots have harnessed its unique properties to create textured, multilayered and, sometimes, multimedia compositions.

Printmaking covers a lot of territory. There’s relief, whereby a plate or other medium is carved so that the flat surfaces are inked. Woodcuts, the oldest printmaking technique, are created by carving an image into wood. Linocuts are the same as woodcuts, but made with linoleum (valued for its softness and more fluid lines). There’s also etching, engraving, drypoint; the list goes on. “There’s some confusion about the technical aspect of it,” Inkspots member Bay Hallowell admits. “People confuse a print with something mass produced,” Furmanski adds.

The works coming out of the Inkspots’ studio are anything but. Daring compositions, intricate carvings, mixing photography, drawing, painting, watercolor and text to create a single printed image — magical indeed — and interdisciplinary: different techniques and mediums are tools of the trade. Furmanski and Hallowell both appreciate the way the art form merges technical troubleshooting with creative inspiration. “It’s very intellectual,” Furmanski attests. “You have to think in reverse, a lot.” Hallowell adds that “there are a lot of things to adjust and figure out — which is why it’s so fun!”

And, in the world of fine art, affordable. A limited-edition print or even a single monotype will generally cost much less than a painting — think hundreds rather than thousands of dollars — making it more accessible. “It’s on paper, and more affordable, which I think makes art more democratic,” Hallowell explains.

The collective got its start in 2006, a few years after Furmanski moved to Ventura from Manhattan Beach. A retired art therapist, she was itching to create art for its own sake. “On a whim I bought a printing press and put it in the garage,” she recalls. She took classes and got to know other artists in the area, including Betsy Quinn, Judy Gibbs and Karen Brown, who were part of a group called the Odyssey Art League. The four artists banded together to find a studio for fine-art printmaking. The Inkspots officially opened their doors at the Sea Breeze Gallery in 2007 then moved to their current location on Ventura Avenue in 2011. (They share the space with Furmanski’s son, Matthew, an artist in his own right who teaches at California State University Channel Islands.) The collective, which this year boasts 13 members, was spotlighted by Focus on the Masters earlier this month.

Inkspots membership is somewhat fluid. “People come and go,” Furmanski explains. “And they come back. We ask them to commit to a year.” Artists pay a fee for use of the space, equipment and materials (They supply their own paper) and share the various duties, such as chairing quarterly meetings or organizing projects. Members are quite active individually, but come together once a year to do a show. This year’s exhibition, Inklings, runs through Dec. 19.

“I enjoy the synergy of the group,” Hallowell says of her artistic community. “We’re all very different; we have different messages and moods in our art. It’s very stimulating.” Furmanski appreciates having a community in which to create her art. “I just think everyone is very supportive,” she says. “There’s not a lot of jealousy. We’re not competitive — we’re collaborative. We teach each other, and inspire each other.”

When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1400s, he imagined it as a tool for disseminating information, not creative expression. The printmakers that make up the Inkspots have managed to do both. With their annual exhibition up on the walls, now is a great time to explore this age-old, ever-changing technique.

Inklings through Dec. 19 at 643 A Project Space, 643 Ventura Ave., Ventura. For more information, go to or email

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Monday, November 9, 2015

Focus on the Masters Discussion

Organized by Mary Galbraith of Focus On The Masters
The Spotlight interview featured the inkspots, our collective made up of area printmakers. 
Member Virginia Furmanski was joined by Bay Hallowell and Inés Monguió in a panel discussion led by Dr. Judy Larson. 
It was a lively and interesting night that explained the many nuances of printmaking to the crowd in attendance.
The Focus on the Masters afterglow followed at Project 643

Opening night of Inkling 2015

Click on any image for a larger view

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

How do you make a linocut?

Deep Sea Diver - see how Nick Morley develops this Linocut Print~ ~

Monday, November 2, 2015

What is etching and how do you use a printing press?

Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints that have an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. 
Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable of producing multiples of a same piece, which is called a print. Each print produced is not considered a "copy" but rather is considered an "original".
This is because typically each print varies to an extent due to variables intrinsic to the printmaking process, and also because the imagery of a print is typically not simply a reproduction of another work but rather is often a unique image designed from the start to be expressed in a particular printmaking technique. A print may be known as an impression
Printmaking (other than monotyping) is not chosen only for its ability to produce multiple impressions, but rather for the unique qualities that each of the printmaking processes lends itself to.
Prints are created by transferring ink from a matrix or through a prepared screen to a sheet of paper or other material. Common types of matrices include: metal plates, usually copper or zinc, or polymer plates forengraving or etching; stone, aluminum, or polymer for lithography; blocks of wood for woodcuts and wood engravings; and linoleum for linocuts. 
Screens made of silk or synthetic fabrics are used for the screen printing process. 
Multiple impressions printed from the same matrix form an edition. Since the late 19th century, artists have generally signed individual impressions from an edition and often number the impressions to form a limited edition; the matrix is then destroyed so that no more prints can be produced. 
Prints may also be printed in book form, such as illustrated books or artist's books.

Basic etching method
In pure etching, a metal (usually copper, zinc or steel) plate is covered with a waxy ground which is resistant to acid. The artist then scratches off the ground with a pointed etching needle where he or she wants a line to appear in the finished piece, so exposing the bare metal. The échoppe, a tool with a slanted oval section, is also used for "swelling" lines. The plate is then dipped in a bath of acid, technically called the mordant (French for "biting") oretchant, or has acid washed over it. The acid "bites" into the metal (it dissolves part of the metal) where it is exposed, leaving behind lines sunk into the plate. The remaining ground is then cleaned off the plate. The plate is inked all over, and then the ink wiped off the surface, leaving only the ink in the etched lines.
The plate is then put through a high-pressure printing press together with a sheet of paper (often moistened to soften it). The paper picks up the ink from the etched lines, making a print. The process can be repeated many times; typically several hundred impressions (copies) could be printed before the plate shows much sign of wear. The work on the plate can also be added to by repeating the whole process; this creates an etching which exists in more than one state.
Etching has often been combined with other intaglio techniques see Solarplate etching below

Solarplate Etching:
Printmaking with Solarplate is a simple approach and safer alternative to traditional etching and relief printing. Solarplate is a prepared, light-sensitive polymer surface on a steel backing for artists to produce fine prints. All one needs is inspiration, a graphic image created on a transparent film (acetate or glass), sun or UV light, and ordinary tap water, and the process is ready to begin. Both positives and negatives can be utilized; intaglio and relief printing techniques can be applied. 
The simple, spontaneous approach also makes it faster and more economical for use in professional printmaking workshops and collaborations with artists. Educators are replacing traditional acid techniques with Solarplate due to safety regulations. Being photographic in nature, Solarplate incorporates a broader range of techniques than any other printing medium. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Nine Types of Printmaking

Our work incorporates a lot of these techniques.
Come to our exhibition, 
opening on the 6th of November and find out which ones we use the most!

The oldest printmaking technique, woodcut involves carving an 
image into a wooden surface, which is then inked and printed
leaving the carved-out image in negative, 
as well as occasional traces of the wood’s grain.

A more modern analog to woodcut, 
linocuts are made using linoleum; 
the softness of the material allows for cleaner, freer, and more fluid lines.

To create an etching, artists incise (“draw”) 
a composition onto a wax-coated metal plate, 
then soak the entire plate in acid. 
The acid corrodes the exposed lines and leaves the wax intact, 
so that when the plate is inked and pressed, 
the paper absorbs the image in reverse. 
Rembrandt is one of the original masters of this technique.

A less forgiving version of etching (mastered by Dürer), 
in this process artists incise their image directly
 onto a metal plate, which is then inked and printed.

Unlike most other printmaking techniques, 
this process produces unique editions. 
Artists draw, paint, or otherwise manipulate ink or paint 
to create a composition on a smooth surface, 
which is then produced in reverse when applied to a ground support.

a printmaking process in which materials are applied to a rigid substrate (such as paperboard or wood). The word is derived from the Greek word koll or kolla
meaning glue, and graph, meaning the activity of drawing.
The plate can be intaglio-inked, inked with a roller or paintbrush, or some combination.
Ink or pigment is applied to the resulting collage, and the board is used to print onto 
paper or another material using either a printing press or various hand tools. 
The resulting print is termed a collagraph. Substances such as carborundum, 
acrylic texture mediums, sandpapers, textiles, bubble wrap, string or other fibers
cut card, leaves and grass can all be used in creating the collagraph plate. 
In some instances, leaves can be used as a source of pigment by rubbing them onto the 
surface of the plate.
Different tonal effects and vibrant colors can be achieved with the technique due to the 
depth of relief and differential inking that results from the collagraph plate's 
highly textured surface. 
Collagraphy is a very open printmaking method. Ink may be applied to the upper 
surfaces of the plate with a brayer for a relief print, or ink may be applied to the 
entire board and then removed from the upper surfaces but remain in the spaces 
between objects, resulting in an intaglio print. 
A combination of both intaglio and relief methods may also be employed. 
printing press may or may not be used.

Screen Print
One of the most ubiquitous printmaking techniques today,
 screen printing starts with an ink-blocking stencil applied to a screen. 
When ink is wiped across the screen, it selectively passes through, 
transferring the image to the ground. 
Look no further than Andy Warhol for iconic examples of the medium.

Transfer is a catch-all term for processes of transmitting images 
from one surface to another, 
whether by rubbing, tracing, pressing, or any other manual technique. 
Outside of the “fine art” context, 
examples of the technique include gravestone rubbings and carbon copies.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Save The Date- November 6th 2015


Friday November 6th
inkspots Opening Reception
During First Friday Art Walk
5 - 8 pm

We the members of the inkspots are hereby cordially inviting you to the
Opening Reception for our annual exhibit of new work.

For the first time in our 9 years, we will be holding  a
FREE DRAWING for one of you to win a limited edition of our folio, all 13 originals!

Join us at the reception and arrive early to enter the drawing for a chance to win
a complete set of 13 ORIGINAL limited edition hand pulled prints. 

A wonderfully diverse set of original art from 13 of the talented printmakers of
the inkspots.

All those who enter, but do not win, will also have an option to purchase one of the two additional folios available for sale.

Hope to see you and your friends at the opening

643 A Project Space
643 North Ventura Avenue
Ventura, CA 93001

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Focus On The Masters Event with The Inkspots!

Focus on the Masters kicks off its 2015-16

 Artist Spotlight season on Nov. 7

1 fish, 2 fish, 3 fish by Judy Gibbs

Focus on the Masters kicks off its 2015-16 Artist Spotlight season on Nov. 7 in the Screening Room of Brooks Institute in Ventura.  The Spotlight interview will feature the inkspots.  Founder Virginia Furmanski will be joined by Bay Hallowell and Inés Monguió in a panel discussion led by Dr. Judy Larson.   The inkspots were formed in 2007 by Virginia who explains that the group is greater than the sum of its parts.  “We take classes together.  We learn new techniques.”
Four Ventura artists interested in printmaking formed the original inkspots group in 2007 by pooling their resources and creating a printmaking studio at the Sea Breeze Gallery in Ventura.  The inkspots of San Buenaventura are a group of artists dedicated to creating original prints using a variety of techniques including etching, collagraph, linocut, monoprint, monotype, woodblock, and digital manipulation.
Spotlight interviews are free to FOTM Members, $10 for general public, $5 students and seniors.
Immediately following the interview guests will gather at 643 A Project Space for the AfterGLOW Fundraising Event.  Paid reservations are required for the AfterGLOW: $25 for FOTM members and $35 for non-members.   An exhibit of works by inkspots artists will run from November 6 through December 19 at 643 A Project Space.
Tickets for both the panel discussion and the AfterGLOW are available online at: or by calling 653.2501.
Also during the First Friday ArtWalk  on Nov.6  the inkspots will have an opening reception from  5:00—8:00 p.m. 643 A Project Space, 643 N. Ventura Ave.
A free drawing for the inkspots 2015 Folio will take place at the 
Opening Reception at 7:00 p.m.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Member News- Karen L Brown

Karen L Brown is included in 
an Invitational curated by Janet Black

Opening reception: October 30th 5:30-7pm
Atrium Gallery, 4th floor
Ventura County Government Center

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Member News- Solo exhibition Christina Altfeld

Inkspot member Christina Altfeld has her solo exhibition opening on 
October 3rd from 4-7pm
Ventura Harbor Village Gallery

Monday, September 28, 2015

Opening October 1st 2015-Channing Peake Gallery

Several Inspot members were juried into this exhibition 
curated by John Grecco

Beverly Decker
Ginny Furmanski
Rosemarie C Gebhart
Bay Hallowell
Colleen Kelly
Monica Wiesblott

Monday, August 17, 2015

Member News- Exhibition at Fox Fine Jewelry

Sixteen artists make up the InkSpots printmakers, a local, collaborative group of printmakers. 
Fox Fine Jewelry is proud to present two of them, forward thinkers with intriguing art.
The Pressed Image
Sep 17th, 2015 – Nov 1st, 2015

10:30 AM to 6:00 PM

Artist Reception

Sep 19th, 2015 – Sep 19th, 2015
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
More info at:

Friday, August 7, 2015

Faulkner Gallery Santa Barbara Library

Several Members of the Inkspots are included in this exhibition
through the month of August at the Faulkner Gallery
at the Santa Barbara Library in Downtown Santa Barbara

Saturday, July 11, 2015

ArtWalk 2015

You can see a video of the work and installation

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Announcement: Member News

Inkspot Members
 Rosemarie Gebhart 
Monica Wiesblott
have been juried into the 
California Society of Printmakers

Monday, June 22, 2015

Member News- Solo Show Inés Monguió

Inés Monguió, "If I Were Too" 
Inés Monguió is having a solo show titled "Symbols in Ventura, at Buenaventura Gallery ( 
The show runs from June 30 to July 25, 
with opening reception on July 3, from 5 to 8.  
She will also be a featured artist in the upcoming Ventura Art Walk.   

She will also have work displayed in the open/juried multi-venue show 
"Insert Water"
organized by the Artist Union of Ventura.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Colleen Kelly in Print

Colleen M Kelly: "Dressed"
Like paper dolls from the latter days of Mad Men, altered by a presence of physical graffiti, the monotypes with chine collé in Colleen M. Kelly's disarming series Naked Under Her Clothes are subversive and subtle, sexy but not sexual, traditional and unconventional, subliminal and right there on the surface. What appear to be expressive nudes rendered in a language of gestural, eccentric line drawing, draped in transparent or translucent retro fashions, is in fact nearly the opposite. The nudes did come first -- but in these prints, they exist on top of the clothes, hovering over the garments even as they occupy them. This paradoxical and slightly hallucinatory format is both the literal result of the chine collé print studio process that produced them, and the conceptual consequence of the political circumstances that inspired them -- plus a healthy dose of serendipity and resourcefulness in creative problem-solving.

In the case of Naked Under Her Clothes, the context of creation and the particulars of process are even more salient than usual to the meaning of the work -- integral in fact. She had been working for some time on these charming, slightly eerie nude studies, in the vein of Picasso's expressive single-line Vollard Suite etchings or even the whimsical near-abstraction of John Lennon's own drawings. At a certain point, Kelly was unexpectedly confronted with the need to comply with a nudity ban at the county art gallery in Santa Barbara where she was planning to exhibit them. Naked Under Her Clothes thus came to represent a response to this outrage, tapping into her deep and enduring feminist roots along with her sense of irony and humor. And all of this is contained not only in the visual language of her images, but in the serendipitous method by which she was able to construct them.

Vintage dress-making patterns were, oddly enough, quite plentiful in the print shop where she works. They were commonly salvaged for the tissue paper, while the envelopes printed with quirky and colorful sketches of the clothes were discarded. The plate sizes of Kelly's nudes is generally small, under six inches, and it turned out that the models on those envelopes were about the same size as her figures. The idea took hold rather quickly, and Kelly began "dressing" her figures accordingly. But what began as a political workaround soon took on unique formal imperatives and an inner life of its own. Although the "dressed" figures constitute a self-contained series, Kelly often chooses to show them in pairs or otherwise matched up with the original nudes in their birthday suits. This generates among other insights, the realization that the same anatomical armature is capable of telling wildly different stories depending on what they are wearing; and furthermore, one can see the same nude wearing different outfits and yet barely recognize her even when it's pointed out -- just like in real-life fashion.

On most of Kelly's prints, the chine colle᷇ "escapes the matrix" -- a term with a wonderful semiotic expansiveness simply indicating that the applied image sits beyond the frame created by the edges of the etched plate. Cheeky gingham frocks, crisp trouser pleats, sweeping chiffon ballgowns, flowing scarves, stockinged legs and elegantly shod feet unfurl over the threshold. Sometimes arms and legs are all that appear from the pattern, leaving the nude undressed save for boots or a charming hat like in that old Randy Newman song. The visual effect is assertive and eccentric, providing the image with a sense of movement and narrative emotionality. In a sense it's really another kind of matrix altogether that they are escaping -- the frame of civic dominion, conservatism, and body shaming that had threatened to trap them in a quagmire of misunderstanding.

Naked Under Her Clothes opens Saturday, June 27, 6-9pm, at 
Gallery 825in West Hollywood, and continues through July 24.

See the whole article and additional images here:

Friday, June 12, 2015

Member News-Colleen Kelly

Inkspot Member Colleen Kelly
Opening reception at Gallery 825
Los Angeles, CA

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Member New-Beverly Decker

Inkspot Member Beverly Decker's
Book art , Paris,  With the thought of Peace, 
accepted for
VITAL, the annual tri-county juried exhibition 
at the Westmont-Ridley Tree Museum of Art
May 21-June 20, 2015
Opening Reception & Awards on Thursday, May 21, 4-6 p.m.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Member News-Colleen Kelly in Waterworks II in Ojai

Featuring artists
Richard Amend, Susan Amorde, Nurit Avesar, Vince Baworouski, Bobbi Bennett, MB Boissonnault, Bill Leigh Brewer, Gary Brewer, Patricia Chidlaw, Diane Cockerill, Duane Dammeyer, Bibi Davidson, Lynne Deutch, Bill Dewey, L. Aviva Diamond, Elizabeth Garat, Jack Halbert, Sharon Hardy, Mark Indig, Cynthia James, Amy Kaczur, Colleen M Kelly, J. J. L'heureux, Terri Laine, Campbell Laird, Feng Ling, Daniel Leighton, Daniel Jack Lyons, Aline Mare, Bruce Mcallister, Jim Mcaninch, Mary Mcgill, Wendy Osher, Ann Phong, Osceola Refetoff, Kate Register, Gay Summer Rick, Shawn K. Riley, Lisa Rosel, Karrie Ross, Catherine Ruane, Seda Saar, Jill Shanbrom, Yin Sheng, Joan Scheibel, Wendy Smith, Shyun Song, Caryl St. Ama, Jill Sykes, Mark Tovar, Katie Van Horne, Christine Weir, Tracey Weiss, Gina Yu
Inkspot Member Colleen Kelly has a 
Cast Bronze piece called "The Persistence of Growth, ll" 
included in this exhibition

May 9 - June 8, 2015

Spread between the exhibition spaces at Porch Gallery Ojai and The Ojai Art Center the show will feature 70 pieces of work by 54 artists. In addition to the gallery venues, three commissioned sculptures will be installed in and around Ojai by artistsKuBo (Besant Hill School), Sonja Schenk (Farmer and the Cook) and Alberto Bevacqua (Porch Gallery Ojai).