Blues and the Abstract Truth was recently purchased by the law offices of Ackerman Senterfitt in Dallas; each panel is70 x 42 inches
Lise Drost -- Career Summary
Artist statement March 2016
Drawing and painting were my first interests for art-making until I was introduced to printmaking: I was intrigued by all of the image making possibilities that the different processes could provide; I had already decided that working on paper was more attractive to me than working on canvas, and print processes became another means for getting images onto paper. I work with both mixed media one of a kind pieces and editions of multiple prints. Making multiples gives me the opportunity to have a certain amount of trial and error with an image, especially since I utilize a lot of different printed layers: it is freeing to know I have a stack of a work in progress and can try out a few different things before committing to a final result. I most always make some of my plates and screens and print the whole edition stack one color at a time rather than make all the plates and screens, proof and reproof them, and then pull the edition. Part of this is because I do a lot of reduction printing with screens and plates, making it impossible to go back and start over; the other reason is that I find working this way to be stimulating and direct. My exception to this practice would be when working on a multiple plate intaglio and/or relief print: but I don’t do much of either anymore. Working with printmaking processes also allows me to combine printed layers from completely different projects to start new one of a kind pieces that need drawing, painting and collage to complete.
My work combines various means of depicting different places through the use of color, textures, drawings, maps, and photographs; the goal is to create pieces that are visually intriguing, thought provoking, and leave room for the viewer’s own interpretations. My imagery draws from the South Florida environment as well as everyday objects from my home and studio. While they might be seen as a puzzle to figure out, there is no correct interpretation. I choose the elements and set the stage to offer a visual aesthetic experience.
In graduate school I began combining lithography with relief printed collographs, as well as utilizing stencils, spray paint, hand coloring and collage. I was looking at graffiti, fragmented text, and torn papers: perhaps influenced by the Midwest, my palette was much more subdued than its been since returning to South Florida. There were references to doors, windows and landscape elements in the work. The torn paper shapes gradually morphed into map forms, later into the use of actual maps. Over the next few years, I incorporated more direct references to recognizable imagery. It was not until I moved back to Miami in 1987 that I learned silkscreen: I was looking for a new process to try while I saved the money to buy my own press. The process of silkscreen was certainly not difficult to grasp but figuring out how to use it to build my images required a change in my thinking, coming from a litho and etching background. Some of my initial screenprints were mostly grounds for drawings, paintings and collages. Once I had my press and shop set up (in 1990), silkscreen gave me something my work in graduate school was missing, and that was the ability to add in light, opaque layers in the printing process when needed. I wanted to build up fields of dark drawings and textures and then edit that by overprinting pale colors.
The works leading up to my 1996 Pathway edition (initially shown at Lowe Art Museum in 1996) were visually complicated pieces, with the intent of fusing layers of imagery together; at the time I was working to reproduce the jumble of images in my head. As I moved forward with the next body of work, my intent was to make the layers much more distinct from each other and to simplify both the layering and the compositions.
My personal practice with silkscreen had started with screen filler stencils: I did not mind the meticulous nature of this process as it produced reliable results. I never thought much about photo silkscreen until I was learning Photoshop (initially to correct digital reproductions of my images) and realized the possibilities of utilizing the layers palette to build an image and then generate positives to make the different screens: the ability to preview the color combinations before ever making the screens was quite valuable. I also began printing digital collage pieces of the maps and photographic elements for my unique pieces, utilizing UV sprays and over printing with screen inks to assist in making them more color-fast. I have made some prints that are completely digital but I find that these work best on a small scale since they don’t have any real surface to them; on my larger prints I have always found it necessary to use a relief printed, embossed or collaged element to activate the surface. I am currently working on a series of editioned prints that combines silkscreen with digital printing, starting the works with one digitally printed layer, which is taking the place of some of my earlier use of litho or relief printed elements.