Deeper Than Blue
Hand-pulled woodblock prints by Janet Cathey
Cyanotypes by Linda Bryan
April 29–June 21 2019
Please join us for a Reception / Artist Talk on Thursday, May 2 from 4–6pm
Linda Bryan and Janet Cathey are printmakers who use very different processes to create unique and original series of prints. What they share is their great technical skill and boundless creativity.
About Linda Bryan
Art became a part of Linda Bryan’s life when she witnessed the magic of a black and white printrevealing itself in a tray during a college photography class. She was hooked. Photography became her method of expression and her way of observing the world – the people she loves, the places she has been, the woods she wanders through with her dogs, the beauty in her gardens.
As importantly, photography became her way of documenting her infinite creative ideas.
Linda’s work, seen here, reflects her connection with nature and her love for the photographic cyanotype process. She uses a vintage light sensitive liquid to hand coat paper and then places an object – a fern perhaps – on the paper and exposes it to UV light. She then develops it in water. When light touches the coated paper it turns turns blue. Where something solid blocks the light the paper remains white. A semi-transparent object placed on the paper allows different shades of blue to develop depending on how much light penetrates. The image created on the paper is a negative – like the flowers and leaves you see in this exhibit.
Linda manipulates this apparently easy process in unconventional ways – with tea and dye and different textured papers. She combines and layers different printmaking techniques with cyanotype as an extension of her photographic practice. Printmaking, like ‘vintage’ photographic techniques, is a slow and meditative process and reflects not just this artist’s creative thinking but an intricate knowledge of how things work…and what is possible. This all afford her a truly original body of work.
About Janet Cathey
Janet Cathey grew up in Lake Forest, Illinois. Lake Michigan was a short bike ride from her home and she spent much time exploring the lakeshore and woods. She continues to do so, now in Vermont. Janet’s inspiration for her printmaking come from patterns and shapes seen in the natural world – from tree shadows to reflections on a lake’s water surface. ”I simplify and sometimes abstract images in nature in order to emphasize beautiful patterns and gorgeous color. I studied geology and aquatic biology in college. Patterns on both the macro- and microscopic scale appeal to me – the patterns and textures within diatoms, pollen grains, and other tiny creatures are exquisite. I hope to record and showcase at least a fraction of their beauty.” She sometimes embellish prints with patterns sewn in thread, adding texture and the unexpected.
The woodblock prints seen here also capture beautifully the play of light on water – of the Connecticut River, Green River Reservoir, and the shores of Lake Champlain – a skill she further perfected last summer when she worked with Merlyn Chesterman, in Devon, England – a very accomplished woodblock printmaker who shares Janet’s interest in depicting light on water. There are beautiful prints here from Janet’s time in Devon. Janet finds carving patterns into a block of cherry plywood is a true meditative process and a pleasure.
There is much about printmaking that is technical. There is at least as much that is unexpected and serendipitous. Janet Cathey and Linda Bryan are technically very accomplished. What’s more, they both beautifully capture the unexpected...on all kinds of paper...with various tools and with dyes and inks and paints and threads...and whatever else is available in the studio...in the moment. What is not unexpected is their great skill and joy in doing so.
THE GALLERY at Central Vermont Medical Center is located in the lobby of the hospital and is open every day. For more information about THE GALLERY at CVMC please email Maureen O’Connor Burgess, Curator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.