The art of experiment

By PHILIP CASE State Journal Columnist Published:

By the very nature of their craft, artists are forever experimenting, whether it be with light, texture, paint color, surfaces ... on and on. So to hear an artist say she's participating in something which, for her, is "experimental," virtually equates with a radical departure from what's her norm.

Ellen Glasgow, owner of Capital Gallery on Lewis Street, recently returned from such an experimental workshop, one which was experimental for her. It was a week-long intensive session at Discover Graphics, Inc., a studio in Alexandria, Va., where she worked creating beautiful monoprints.

An exhibition of the works which are, of course, for sale, continues at the gallery, 314 Lewis St. in downtown Frankfort, through Feb. 22. It's entitled "Ellen Glasgow/New Monoprints."

"Typically working with oils is a long process," said Glasgow. who's operated the gallery for 22 years. "You lay down a layer of color and let it dry; then you lay down another and let it dry ... on and on until it's complete.

"A monoprint is different in that all the painting is done at one time. Then the finished work which is on a zinc metal plate is run through an etching press and you get one print, hence a 'monoprint.'"

The "experimental" aspect of the process comes as the artist works with different colors and amounts of those colors. When the pressure is applied on the press, one can never fully expect what might "squeeze" out.

"For instance," said Glasgow, sitting behind the desk in her studio one cold afternoon last week, "if you put on too much paint and then apply too much pressure, you'll have a mess and not a print."

For more on this story, see today's State Journal.

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