My introduction to printmaking began in the fall of 1982, coinciding with my first painting exhibition. Bill Goldston invited me to work with ULAE. I admired the studio and welcomed the chance to try something new. I had never actually made a print myself. Bill’s idea was to start with lithography. That made some sense, since my drawing materials at the time included litho crayon. The crayon had a density and thickness beyond graphite, charcoal, and chalk.
But drawing on paper is not like drawing on stone. I had a lot to learn. With the experience of Bill’s team, I took a deep dive into the mechanics of the medium. That involvement had implications for all of my work.
This happened principally in two ways. First, I could see each stone or plate as a drawing in itself—a component part of a potential printed whole. Plus, there was a kind of trompe l’oeil effect. The resulting lithograph could look like a drawing. An image of physical richness, despite the minuscule amount of material on the paper surface. That distance between image and material would become a preoccupation.
Second, lithographs could be layered, much like a painting. Each pass through the press was deliberate and intentional. Sequential, as a series of separations, a construction of drawings. But with the added possibility to shuffle and shift the elements. Or, completely change direction. That was a built-in flexibility, unavailable within the forward movement of painting itself.
Lithography provided an exploded view of my working process. A diagram, an interval. A space connecting my thinking about drawing and painting.