Ink Travels

 My graduate professor, mentor and friend Sydney Cross retired after 33 years at Clemson University. Two recent graduate students, Adrienne and Laken, organized a print exchange in her honor.  They coordinated with Clemson's gallery director Denise to contact past printmaking grads to participate.  The portfolio, titled 'Ink Travels,' is comprised of 34 prints based upon something Syd taught us.  She was surprised during her retirement party by an exhibition of the portfolio at the Center for Visual Arts in Greenville, SC.  The show is up through June 26th.

I knew my cat Clementine would be a major part of the print.  It was my first semester as a graduate printmaking student in Clemson and Syd had found this tiny kitten alone on the side of the road.  Her cat Missy wasn't having any part of this little ball of fur, so she gave her to me.  I'd come home from long days in the studio to find her curled up inside one of my shoes-the stress of a thesis never affected her.  Clementine is now ten years old and living the life of leisure.  As I continued to plan my print image, I thought of all the ways that Syd taught, inspired and encouraged me by advice and example.  She taught me so much both artistically and personally.  For her, I am forever grateful.  There are symbols of the places I've been and lived within the print; snow for Ohio, cactus for Texas, the weathervane represents my international travels during grad school.  My Nolan tabletop press fits the MDF perfectly, as it is almost type high.  The MDF block was locked into place with letterpress furniture and 1 x 2" scraps.  I printed six colors in five runs using stencils.  From Me To You is an edition of 34 bleed prints on Stonehenge paper-below are images of the process.

Thrifted filing racks are my makeshift drying racks, and are easily stacked and stored when not in use.  The colors are a subtle nod to my alma mater, Clemson University (purple and orange). I print reductively, using one block for all the colors.  After each color was printed on all thirty-four sheets, I carved away the areas that I wanted to remain that color.  Anything left in relief received the next layer and became more defined.  The palette was 25% color, 25% white & 50% transparent base.  Gamblin inks are my favorite to use-the colors are vibrant and now that Jerry's Art-A-Rama is open, I can buy them locally.  I was concerned that mixing etching and relief inks might cause some problems, but printing went smoothly.  You can see that each print has holes at the top-these are for registration, to line up the paper with the block the same way each time.  When the editioning was finished, I cut the top inch off each print, which was signed and numbered on the back.
    From Me to You, ed. 34, 11 x 14"


  1. The Print Portfolio, "Ink Travels" for Syd Cross was such a great idea in honoring Syd in her retirement!
    "From Me to You" is a wonderful tribute to your mentor and friend, Professor Syd Cross! Clementine in print is perfect! Congratulations Professor Syd!! Amore,madre


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