Beeline is an original intaglio print on mulberry paper in six colors made with three etched steel plates and one engraved wood block and a little drawing on top.
An intaglio print is made from textured and/or incised plates that have been wiped with ink (like I’m doing in the image to the left), which means the printer pushed ink into the crevices of the plate and wiped its surface clean.
When printing the plate, the printer uses softened paper (from soaking it in water) and a series of wool blankets to push the paper into the crevices of the plate as it goes through the press.
The result is a physically textured print that is a mirror image of the plate.
Below are the plates I used to make Beeline in order of printing, from left to right.
For more information on intaglio prints and how they are made, please visit my intaglio page.
This is print 1/25 e.v. (édition variée, or varied edition), meaning that there are 25 other prints printed from the same plates (that’s the edition) with some variances in the amount of ink on the plates and color shifts (that’s the variation). You can see the range of variation in these Beeline prints:
More information on editions
Beeline is about beginnings–making a beeline toward the unknown in order to challenge myself, to grow, and to revel in exploring something new.
I created Beeline for the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative’s Beyond Boundaries project. 35 Collaborative members and associates made 12” x 12” artworks that incorporated a line or visual element running through the center of each piece. When viewed side by side, these visual links connected one image to the next, one artist to the next, shifting the emphasis of the installation from the individual to the collective whole in a celebration of the interconnectivity and diversity of the Chicago art community.
Beeline needs to be near its sister artworks to bring out its central line. The sketchy purple line meanders all over the piece. It’s how I feel when I start something new—like I’m trying to navigate my way through a maze. It’s scary and exhilarating at the same time. At the time of the project, I was still new to the Chicago area, having moved from Rochester, New York. Beeline is a blend of both places: I borrowed both the purple line and the cascade of circles in the background from the cracks in the tiles around my fireplace in New York, and the seedpods came from the prairie behind my home in Illinois.