What’s Happening at the Studio?

After an extended break from creating three-dimensional work, Kathleen Zimmerman just recently embarked on a public commission proposal titled Bear Hug, shown in a post on our Facebook page under Zimmerman Fine Art Studio. This venture back into sculpting drew her in and before she knew it she was creating new work in a couple series’ titled Mountain and Dynamics. The image below is of the clay original of Mountain Series - Dreamer.

Nature - Mountain Dreamer clay 2.jpg

As some of you know, Kathleen started her art career working at the bronze-casting foundry, Art Castings of Colorado. There, she learned all aspects of the ‘lost wax method of casting’ such as mold making, wax pouring, welding, chasing, etc. After this hands-on education, Kathleen began creating her own cast bronze sculptures, including a life-sized piece titled Melody, which was purchased by the Loveland High Plains Arts Council. It can be seen in the image in this post and in the renowned Benson Park Sculpture Garden as part of their permanent collection.

Melody (life) br.jpg

But life takes twists and turns, and just as Kathleen got started on a career as a sculptor, her family moved across the country from Colorado to Connecticut. This made casting bronze sculpture too costly and difficult for a young artist with a young family. So Kathleen pursued her other passion, which was drawing. Never one to do anything halfway, she applied to the Hartford Art School and was awarded full tuition on artistic merit scholarships and academic grants. At the University of Hartford’s Art School, she proceeded to earn her BFA, concentrating in both sculpture and printmaking. This gave her the time to continue to develop the visual language she had begun in her three-dimensional work and expand it into two-dimensional work. A image of a drawing from this period titled WoMan Series - Wo is below.

After she graduated, she wanted the time to continue to develop her work without the pressures of the market. So she applied to the highly competitive intensive summer program called Alternative Route to Certification, which was run by the State of Connecticut’s Department of Education. She was accepted and completed this program in 1998. The Irving Robbins Middle School in Farmington, Connecticut promptly hired her as an art teacher. She thought this was what she would do for awhile but fate stepped in. Images of apair of drawings titled Global Series - Bear Hugs that were created during this time are shown below.

After a couple of years teaching, she was offered the opportunity to travel around the country making molds of monumental sculpture for other artists by Lands End Sculpture Center. This would allow her to both see what was being done by professional sculptors, and give her time in between jobs to work on her art. So she took advantage of this opportunity traveling and working for five years. While she mainly concentrated on her drawing during this period, she did create an occassional sculpture such as the plaster model titled Cosmic Cow imaged below.

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Then again, fate jumped in and the opportunity to do an informal residency in China came about. Kathleen realized this kind of opportunity does not come around very often so she took a leap of faith and moved to Beijing. There she explored this very different culture, studied the language, met an international group of artists and created a body of graphite drawings. There is where she began creating digital prints from these drawings and to develop ideas for larger prints. It was an invaluable experience for her as an artist, but after five years, it was time to move back home to the states. A digital print from this period titled Cosmic Series - Light Dark is shown below.

Cosmic - LightDark dp 2.jpg

So in 2012, she returned to Connecticut and began creating hand pulled prints from these graphite drawings. A professor from Hartford Art School suggested she try intaglio printmaking at Dog’s Eye Print Studio in Massachusetts. Always eager to learn new methods of printmaking, she took his advice but soon found she was not satisfied with the look she was getting. They were fine but they just did not fit with her vision. So she began researching other printmaking methods hoping to find one that produced the contemporary look and feel that she wanted. After doing this research, she came upon serigraphy. 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. Since then, printmaking has evolved into another medium artists use to create artwork not just as a way to work in multiples. 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. I perfect example of this can be seen in Kathleen’s Inner Landscape serigraph shown below.

Landscape - Inner sp.jpg

As luck would have it ZeaMays Printmaking, also in Massachusetts, was offering a month long workshop in this method. She signed up and was immediately taken by this method’s ability to retain areas of pure white paper, capture the tonality of her drawings and make it possible to place blocks of vibrant colors that ran right up and kissed the rendered image. Below is an example of this in one of her first serigraphs titled Blockhead Series - Otters.

Blockhead - Otters sp.jpg

Serigraphy was indeed the perfect match for her sensibility. It captured the essence of the drawings but also took them to another level. Now producing high quality works of art, she was ready to pursue a career as a professional artist. To ensure that her collectors would only receive the best possible prints, Kathleen began working with the master printers at Modern Multiples print studio in Los Angeles, California. A couple recent serigraphs titled Star Series - Evening and Morning are shown drying below.

(Image was taken by Modern Multiples in LA)

(Image was taken by Modern Multiples in LA)

Happy with the direction her two-dimensional work was going, she found she missed the feel of clay underneath her fingernails and plaster in her hair, ha-ha. Seriously, it was more than that... she had some ideas that she felt could best be expressed three-dimensionally. Thus, she decided to work on these ideas, first in a proposal called Bear Hug and then by creating new work in a series’ titled, Mountains and beginning a new series titled Dynamics. Mountains fuse together the figure and mountain forms, in order to communicate that humans are not separate from nature but a part of nature. A work in progress titled Mountain Worshipper is shown below at Zimmerman Fine Art Studio.

Mountain SW @ ZFAS.jpg

The new series, Dynamics, uses repeated images to communicate ideas about how groups of animals interrelate. The clay original of the cow element in a work in progress titled Full Circle is shown below at Zimmerman Fine Art Studio.

This return to the three-dimensional world of sculpture does not mean she will cease to create new drawings and serigraphs. She will continue with two-dimensional work with just as much dedication if not more. You see each media helps her see life in a different way and fuels the creative process. They feed off of each other connecting these very different medias both visually and emotionally. So all this really means is that Kathleen two passions, sculpture and drawing, have come together as she enters into her professional stage as an artist.    

Zimmerman Fine Art Studio

NEW WORK - Horse Barn Hill

HOT OFF THE SCREEN! Kathleen Zimmerman’s latest serigraph Farm Series - Horse Barn Hill is shown below. It uses four colors to create this symbolic and surrealistic vision. Like all of Kathleen’s serigraphs, it is hand printed on Coventry Rag 290 gram paper using archival serigraphic inks in limited editions of 24 with 2 artist proofs and 3 printers proofs signed by the artist. The printing process was a little more complex than her previous silkscreens due to the use of four colored inks so precise alinement of the multiple screens was critical. Each color has meaning is relation to the subject matter as before and placed so they do not take away from the beauty of the drawn forms.

Farm Series - Horse Barn Hill , serigraphic print, copyrighted by Kathleen Zimmerman

Farm Series - Horse Barn Hill, serigraphic print, copyrighted by Kathleen Zimmerman

Child-like yet sophisticated - While at first the imagery may seem almost child-like, it is quite complicated in many ways. Kathleen drew an oversized foreshortened horse balanced upon the barn steeple while it is holding the undersized chicken barn like a grain bucket in her mouth. Then she drew Chagall-like yinyang cows, a formal abstract round hill and the simplified profiles of yinyang chickens, a fence and her dog to complete her surreal take on this place. This composition creates both a sense of space yet is flattened creating a balance between the real and the abstract worlds. Vibrant sunny yellow, barn red and spring green enhance this playful vision.

Horse Barn Hill - The original graphite drawing of Farm Series - Horse Barn Hill was inspired by an actual place. It is one of Kathleen’s favorite places to walk her dog because of the farm animals and the views overlooking the beautiful campus of the University of Connecticut from this grassy rolling hill. In fact it is part of the campus in Storrs, Connecticut used by the animal science department. Horse, cattle and chicken barns surround a raised open field that is used by the University for grazing cows and growing hay. The locals and the students use it for walking their dogs, jogging or just enjoying being in this ideal farm setting. Kathleen does not usually create a work of art about a particular place but the local term for the place, Horse Barn Hill, was a surrealist dream come true.

Spirit Guide - The only other time she used an actual place in this manner is for her Xtrasensory Series - Spirit Guide which is shown below. In this work her dog Izzy again makes her appearence. Make of that what you will, maybe Izzy helps Kathleen see the magic that exists in the real world as well as in her imagination. More information on Spirit Guide can be found in one of our previous posts on this page titled Landscape.

Xtrasensory - Spirit Guide.jpg

Art Live - galleries

Six Summit Gallery @ Leo House in NYC (until June)

Earth & Fire Art Studio/Gallery @ 2 Main St. Essex CT (throughout the summer)


Artisans at Middle River @ 60 Main St. Stafford Springs, CT (rotating collection of digital prints)

Silver Circle Gallery @ Block 134 Main St, Putnam, CT (rotating collection of serigraphic prints)

SMALL WORKS winter 2019

NAWA Gallery, 315 West 39th Street, Suite 508, NYC 10018

February 6 -27. 2019

Reception: February 7, 2019, 5-7 pm

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Small work show - For the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA), the Small Works exhibitions held in the summer and winter have become a treasured tradition among members and non-members alike. From February 6-27, 2019, the works on display at the NAWA Gallery will prove that the size of an artwork does not have to determine its excellence or worth. With a close study, viewers will find remarkable detail and precision at play in several mediums. They will also find a surprising seriousness and boldness of intent often reserved for larger works.

National Association of Women Artists - NAWA is celebrating its 130th Anniversary in 2019, in honor of the five women who gathered together at the Washington Square home of Grace Fitz-Randolph on a cold night in January to create the first women's art club. Today their talented counterparts continue the mission of supporting public awareness of the visual art created by women throughout the United States. Over 800 professional women artists comprise the national membership. Each year an array of juried exhibitions and awards, numerous workshops, and fundraising events increase NAWA's visibility nationwide.

Reception - This winter, NAWA invites friends and newcomers alike to come in from the cold to experience the Small Works Winter Show. The reception on Thursday, February 7, 2019, from 5-7 pm, at the NAWA Gallery, 315 West 39th Street, Suite 508, New York, NY. It will be a rare opportunity to meet the artists and warm up with their bright and innovative works.

Artists - Participating artists include: Mary Ahern, Mildred Alpern, Debra Arter, Francesca Azzara, Diane Dauz Bassin, Lorrie Berry, Pamela J. Black, Sandra Blostein, Sara Slee Brown, Amalia Brujis, Mary Jo Carew, Zemka Carra, Sofia Chitikov, Pam Cooper, Paulette De Lucia, Carol Nipomnich Dixon, Heather Leigh Douglas, Antoaneta Georgieva, Marian Sims Harris, Jill Hellman, Holland Houdek, Shelley M. Hull, Marilyn Lowney Johnson, Loretta Ana Kaufman, Carole Richard Kaufmann, Binna Kim, Karen Kirshner, Jeannine Kitzhaber, Lorraine Klagsbrun, Maria Kompare, Brandy Kraft, Yumie Kusuda, Marie Massey, Nicole Maye Luga, Carolyn McLeod, Isabelle Manuella Milkoff, Grace Modla, Laura Mosquera, Marissa Mule, Patricia Obrien, Julie OConnor, Jane Park, Pokey Park, Anabel Peicher, Diane Price, Wendelin Heloise Ray, Jennifer Reddy, Carolyn Rogers, Catherine Rush, Nadine Joy Saitlin, Anne Sanger, Zelene Schlosberg, Patricia Search, Anita Seltzer, Meryl Shapiro, Linda Sicher, BarbaraSimonson, Gail Skudera, Rosemary W. Sloggatt, Barbara Stein, Amy BrightUnfried, Pamela Waldroup, Brittany Williams Mays, Kathleen Zimmerman and Despina Zografos.

Universe Series - Night Mare - Kathleen Zimmerman’s Universe Series - Night Mare (pictured at the top of this post) was juried into this national NYC exhibition. This serigraphic print is one in a series of 5 related prints (pictured directly above). In these playful explorations, Kathleen looks at the Universe and our reaction to it. Who hasn't dreamed of scary aliens invading from afar, imagined what makes up the rings of Saturn, wondered what it would be like living in the caves of Mars, thought about when we might be drawn into the black hole that keeps our galaxy together or seen heaven when we look up at the stars? These silkscreens use a variety of animals to represent life as they ponder these questions and more. Come and let your mind take a journey with these not so scary life forms. Small in size, whose image size is 7 x 7 printed on a 9 x 9 inch sheet of paper, but large in subject matter, which encompasses the nature of the universe. Both the digital as well as the serigraphic prints can be seen and purchased through this website but be sure to see Night Mare live in exhibition at the NAWA gallery if you happen to be in NYC.

Symbolic & Surreal

Kathleen Zimmerman used her graphite drawings as the basis for the creation of both digital and serigraphic prints.

Digital prints - Intimate in scale, the digital prints use rich black ink set against the pure white paper to make pure and dramatic visual statements that draw the viewer in close. These prints capture the beauty of the drawings, while adding a level of refinement and contrast that the printing process and ink are so good at. Kathleen ’s collection of digital archival prints were refined into digital images and printed in limited editions solely by her. All these lovely little jewels are printed on 8 x 10 sheets of bright white smooth 100% cotton fiber, acid-free, lignin-free paper using archival inks. The image sizes range from 3 to 6.75 inches placed thoughtly on the paper. Each print was signed by the artist and has its edition written on the back.

Star Series - Evening , digital print, copyrighted by Kathleen Zimmerman

Star Series - Evening, digital print, copyrighted by Kathleen Zimmerman

Serigraphic prints - While larger in scale, the serigraphic prints use thoughtfully placed touches of color to make theses visual statements into fresh and vibrant works of art that allow the viewer to stand back. These prints take it one step further by adding the texture of the screen and the pure flat color blocks that complement Kathleen’s way of drawing and her inspired compositions. Kathleen Zimmerman’s collection of serigraphic prints were hand printed on Coventry Rag 290 gram paper with archival serigraphic inks in limited editions of 24 with 2 artist proofs and 3 printers proofs signed by the artist. The image sizes range from 7 to 17 inches and designs for future editions can be seen on the two-dimensional page of this website. Each print was signed by the artist and has its edition written on the back.

Star Series - Evening , design for serigraphic print, copyrighted by Kathleen Zimmerman

Star Series - Evening, design for serigraphic print, copyrighted by Kathleen Zimmerman

Take a look at the Digital and Serigraphic Print pages on this website and you may find the perfect print or prints to add a meaningful presence to your space.