In art school, I took printmaking classes and especially liked lithography. I can’t remember all the details of how the process works, but this printing technique involves drawing with a greasy crayon or painting an oily black liquid on lime stone. Then the stone surface is treated somehow so that when ink is rolled on, it just sticks to the drawing. Then wet paper is placed on the stone, which is put through a press.
During this period, in 1977, I was experimenting with my drawing style and intentionally trying to move away from realism, toward a more spontaneous and playful way of working. I wanted to make images that were as fresh and uninhibited as a child’s drawing. This print of a birthday party was drawn with my left hand so that I wouldn’t easily slip into “trained artist” mode. The lithograph was printed in black and then I hand painted each one. Unable to stop the urge to collage, I added dot stickers to the table-cloth.
I made a series of play themed prints in black and white, enjoying the ability to make shades of gray on the lime stone. I didn’t continue with more advanced classes, where I would have learned about color printing and registration.
I tried a new image transfer technique using xerox copies and incorporated some pictures of musical instruments. Looking at these prints, I can remember the feel of the cool, smooth lime stone and the satisfaction of peeling back the damp rag paper, revealing a mirror image of my work.