Artist Statement for Ellen Lazarus
I am a printmaker and collage artist with an interest in exploring color, shape, line, and space. My prints are monotypes, which are one-of-a-kind. There is nothing more thrilling for me than seeing my print as I lift the paper from the press. I love the element of the unexpected which is inherent in creating monotypes.
One of my goals is to convey my joy in the creative process. I start with a blank printing plate, and I do not have a preconceived plan for each piece. I am not trying to send any “messages” or social commentary to the viewer. Rather, I simply want to impart the magic and joy of printmaking. I hope my viewer will get drawn into my colors and their combinations in my pieces. I love to explore linear and circular shapes in a variety of size, thickness, transparency, and direction.
When I go into my studio, I look at the large array of colors of inks- will today be a combination of intense bright colors to reflect a beautiful day outside, or will I be drawn to the muted colors of the fog over the lake? I create colors by mixing several inks together , and then I usually choose a roller to create my first mark on my plate. That color and shape of the mark determine what I will add next. It is a process of discovery as I add different elements to complete my plate before running it through the press. I also weigh which kind of paper to use: smooth, textured, pure white, cream, etc. All these decisions give shape to my work.
In addition to using rollers and different kinds of brushes, I have a variety of materials in my toolbox to enhance the images I create. I love experimenting with different kinds of mark-making tools, such as wire, mesh, stencils, hand-carved rubber stamps, and other found objects. An everyday kitchen tool like a spatula can create such wonderful design.
In additional to my monotypes, I also create collages and three-dimensional pieces such as Artist’s Books. I take pleasure in using cut and torn pieces of my less successful monotypes in my collages. As with monotypes, my collages begin with a single image or paper and then I search for each additional piece as I complete my creative journey.
I hope that my artwork reflects my upbeat outlook on life and the future, and that the viewer benefits from this positive perspective.