I consider myself fortunate to have a lot of great artists who I can call ‘friend.’ Ben Gardner is at the top of this list. His work is steeped in research and he is a prolific image generator in the studio. I admire both of these qualities about his practice and wished to have him share his insights with my students.
On March 19th and 20th, Ben visited the Department of Visual Arts at UDayton and delivered two artist talks (totaling 4 hours) and worked with print students to create a variable print edition and several works on paper. Students printed Ben’s project, while Ben supervised and mixed inks. The result of two 2-hour print sessions is this set of 7, nearly identical screenprints on foam and a series of screenprint monoprints on paper.
Some technical information… Ben hand drew the separate layers for the screens on mylar with litho crayon and black tempra paint. The image size was a wee bit too large for UDayton’s screens, so the initial run had to be accomplished with two screens.
The images on foam were executed as follows:
Run 1: Two screens, dark blue (large tree shapes)
Run 2: Two screens, medium grey (large tree shapes)
Run 3: Two screen, tan (large tree shapes)
Run 4: One screen, brown (‘spider’ shape)
Run 5: One screen, red (‘carrot’ shapes)
Ben was an excellent artist to print for–he was relaxed, open to the processes, funny and had a high tolerance for the boo-boos that most printmakers dislike. Given the non-traditional materials Ben wished to use, we allowed the process and printing to be loose. This was more than just for convenience… it relates closely to Ben’s aesthetic and regular painting practice. It was interesting to see Ben adapt printmaking tools and the ability to print multiples for his own uses.
The take away from this project was huge for myself and my students. Ben was kind enough to leave works for the shop and for each student who helped print. In return Ben got to leave Ohio with some new ink on his arm thanks to Andy Blair @ Flying Tiger Tattoo.
Please take a look at the gallery below for some shots from the project. See more of Ben’s work at http://benjaminagardner.com.