March 8, 2015

St. Mary's Art Center Visit & New Work Update

A painting from Carole-Ann's current series of work

Today my friend Leslie and I went to St. Mary's Art Center at Virginia City for their first gathering of the year as well as the opening of the Panorama exhibition. We got to talk to Carole-Ann Ricketts, a printmaker based in Reno and currently one of the three artists in residence at St. Mary's.

Carole-Ann is working on a new series of work that she's going to include in her solo exhibition in late April this year. For this series, she uses mainly gelatin plate  (a type of monotype printmaking technique) to create a series of prints that have multiple layers of colors, patterns, and textures. She also made some paintings using the same visual elements to complement those prints.

It was really inspiring to see her work. And the best part was that both Leslie and I got to play a little bit with the gelatin plate using Carole-Ann's stencils and colors (to make our own "masterpieces").

A part of Carole-Ann's piles of stencils

Leslie was excited when she pulled out her print 

Leslie was working diligently while Carole-Ann's talking to another guest 

A sneak peak from one of Leslie's "masterpieces"

After Leslie was happy with what she had made, she insisted that I should try to make something too. So here I am trying to make a print with gelatin plate:

 I was picking stencils (of course my favorite was still circle-like shapes) to put on my plate

Me randomly picking a color for the next layer
 Whoa la!

It had been quite a long time since I let go of all of my "artistic vision" and just went with my instinct, choosing colors, picking patterns, mixing stuffs randomly, with no regards to anything I previously had done. And honestly, I didn't think it was such a bad thing. Of course whatever I made today had nothing to do with my current work, but I believe it's a good practice when you just want to make something quick, have a little fun and the result can be either super exciting, really amazing,... or not! (And you don't really lose anything). I may try to do this sometime in my own time so that I can be more flexible with my work (rather than being like a half-perfectionist and control-freak like I am now).

After talking with Carole-Ann, we continued browsing through St. Mary's art galleries and we saw quite some good works from the Panorama exhibit. I was surprised to see works from my professors, Tamara Scronce and Robert Morrison, were included in the exhibit. I feel really proud knowing that my teachers are great artists and I get to see their works outside of the university setting. It's like seeing them as artists, rather than my teachers. 

We said goodbye to St. Mary's and headed back to my studio. I decided to spend time working on my new body of works and after 5 hours printing, I got out some prints that I was happy with. Currently, my work is taking a different direction that (although I'm still unsure about where it's going, but) I feel that finally it has reach a significant turning point. I have some ideas for major projects that I'm working on to prepare for my mid-way show and sometimes it feels like I'm just having too much going on and nothing really stands out. However, I feel that tonight I've made something that I can turn it into a new body of work. So here is a little sneak peak on what I'm working on:

Hopefully I will be able to create something good out of these in-progress piles of "circles madness" soon. Please check back for another update about this new work of mine in the future.


  1. Glad you got to go and make some connections. I was sorry I missed it.

    1. Thank you, Inge! Hope you can come next time!

  2. Ah! I love those circle prints! They turned out beautifully. I want to see your block.

    1. Thank you, Amy! I actually rearrange the circles around my block so it's different every time I print. But next time I'll take a picture of the block when I print!