Guest blog post by Jennifer Anderson
I met Master Printers Alyssa Ebinger and Richie Peña while attending the 2022 PrintEXPO of Print Austin this past February. Alyssa and Richie visited my booth, and conversation easily flowed – we talked about all things printmaking, and Alyssa and I discovered our mutual affinity for Bavarian limestones. This love of stone lithography is what sparked the idea for a collaboration with the fine folks at Flatbed Press.
A few conversations later, including a little about how collaborations with Flatbed work, resulted in Alyssa bringing Katherine and Mike Brimberry to meet me. Shortly after my return home to California, Alyssa emailed to see if my interest in a collaboration still held. OF COURSE, I emailed back. Details were ironed out, and plane tickets were purchased. Flatbed, here I come!
The plan was to create a stone litho edition that Flatbed would publish. Well, just as many printmaking projects take sharp turns and morph, sure enough, that’s what happened with this planned project at Flatbed.
My imagery (shown below) all stems from the natural world, primarily bird life. I paint, sketch, and make drypoints and woodcuts regularly, with the avian world at the forefront of my work. My connection to the natural world is deep-rooted, having grown up in the woods of Massachusetts with a birdwatcher for a mother. The Great Horned Owl is a familiar subject matter for me, and working this imagery on a stone made sense. So, I drew a large Great Horned Owl on a beast of a stone (said stone has been affectionately named Big Betty).
The large Great Horned Owl took shape, the stone was processed, and proofs pulled, but we ran into a few glitches — namely, Big Betty decided to be finicky and filled in (if you know, you know). So, after a bunch of troubleshooting, Alyssa and I decided the best way forward was to grain ‘er down and start over! Seems ominous, but it was definitely the best decision. In addition, it was decided that I would create another image on an additional stone, just in case Big Betty continued her persnickety ways.
Well, I’m happy to report that Alyssa calmed Big Betty down and pulled some beautiful proofs. I was also able to process Lucky Stone #10, which holds an American Kestrel drawing of mine. Both editions will be published by Flatbed Press and available through them.
My week at the studio with Alyssa was exciting and inspiring. I am honored that I was invited by Flatbed to collaborate. Alyssa was simply wonderful to work with and managed all the litho challenges with a smile and positive energy. I am also thankful for the Printmaking Community that is being nurtured by organizations like PrintAustin. Bravo, Brava! And Viva La Printmaking!