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Alan Witschonke
October 2009
(Un)Limited
posted:
Here are two prints from a fun project that I’ve been working on this year. My good friend and illustrator/fine artist Julia Talcott converted an outbuilding on her property in Newton, MA into a printmaking studio with an apartment above it. She organized a group of local artists that she knew for the purpose of producing a suite or edition of prints based on a theme that we, as a group, would decide upon. Fellow Drawgerite Leo Espinosa was involved initially, and it was his fervent desire to not be limited by a theme. So he came up with the title for the edition: “(Un)Limited.” The group then decided that we still needed something to tie all the prints together so, inspired by a print on Julia’s studio wall, we agreed to all work at consistent dimensions and to use the same two colors, red and blue. Six artists contributed to the edition, each producing anywhere from 1 to 3 different images. The edition is 15, so everyone had to print 15 copies of each of their images. We are looking into exhibition opportunities.


For (Un)Limited, I relished the opportunity to do work that was not client-directed but would allow me to follow my aesthetic impulses wherever they wanted to go. After sketching out various concepts, I had the idea to do a series of images combining yoga positions and snakes. The intent was to create visual metaphors that would juxtapose the beauty and suppleness of the human body with the equally supple and graceful reptilian form. While most of the participants did woodcuts, I chose to do my prints in the intaglio process so that I could achieve a certain level of detail. Julia does not have etching facilities at her studio, so I worked with drypoint on a plexiglass plate, rather than the traditional acid-etched zinc plate. It was a time-consuming process, much more difficult and less spontaneous than simply drawing on a piece of paper, but the discipline of working this way was interesting to me. I plan to continue doing prints for this series, but not necessarily  editioning them all. Another Drawgerite, the great Rob Dunlavey created three beautiful images for the edition. He also posted some pictures of the artists at work on Flickr. Here’s the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/robdunlavey/sets/72157615005253831/
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Witschonke is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!