Kathleen Zimmerman is working with Modern Multiples, a professional printmaking studio in Los Angeles, California, to create the serigraphs from her drawings. Serigraphy, also known as silk screening, screen printing or serigraph printing, is a stencil-based printing process in which ink is forced through a fine screen onto the paper beneath. Screens were originally made of silk, but they are now made of finely woven polyester or nylon. The concept of fine art printing has been popular since the 18th century, enabling artists to share their work with a broader range of admirers at a more accessible price. Silkscreen printing, also known as serigraph printing, is a medium that is increasingly valued for its versatility. It challenges the lithographic process in terms of the textural rendering of an image.
Kathleen has worked in various printing techiniques from etching to lithography both in art school as well as independently. The last couple years, she has been experimenting with a relatively new printmaking process called photopolymer intaglio printing both at Dog's Eye Print Studio in Framingham, Massachusetts and at Zimmerman Fine Art Studio in Willington, Connecticut. She found she appreciated its ability to capture the tonality of her graphite drawings, while adding a rich, deep contrast that black ink offers. She tried using various colored inks but found that black ink with the addition of white charcoal exaggerated this contrast while adding a softness and texture to her prints that suited her work. She decided to leave these prints as pure black and white statements. She did want to see if she could use color in a way that it would not become a distraction but would add meaning to her work using other methods of printmaking. So she began experimenting with color in her digital archival prints. Well, after much experimentation, she found simplicity and intentionality were the key to making color work with her images. 'Less was more' in her case. Although happy with these small prints, she wondered if there was another printmaking medium that would capture the freshness of the digital prints but on a larger scale with the slight variations of hand-pulled prints. Luckily, Zea Mays Printmaking in Florence, Massachusetts, was offering a workshop on fine art screen-printing throughout the month of February. So Kathleen attended and promptly fell in love with serigraphy or commonly known as fine art screen-printing. She liked the fresh contemporary look this medium offered and thought it would be perfect medium in which to add vibrant color and layering. This led her to begin working with the master printers at Modern Multiples to refine some of her drawings so they could be used as the basis for the stencils used in making serigraphic prints. The first two serigraphs are shown in the images above and below titled "Block Head Series - Otters & Monkey". Both of these works were printed as limited editions of 24 with 2 artists proofs and 3 prints placed in the collections of the printmakers at Modern Multiples. They can be seen in exhibition along with several of her intaglio prints in Kathleen's solo exhibition at Artists Live in Storrs, Connecticut from the first Friday until the final Friday this November. *This exhibition is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, Connecticut's Office of the Arts and WindhamArts.