In the printmaking tradition, an artist typically moves through various proofs to the final state of an image and then duplicates that image in a sizeable edition. Many contemporary artists, including myself, favor printmaking techniques because the aesthetic suits their expression and provides the opportunity to use part of an earlier work in another piece as an idea progresses–not necessarily to make duplicates. Only a single print may result from months of labor. In my work there are many such prints; they are identified as editions of one (1/1).
Each print begins with a drawing of the natural world, hence the predominance of organic form. As the concept of the piece develops from the drawing, color and shape establish the aesthetic. I think of a print, especially a series of prints, as riffs on a theme, like jazz, the image constantly moving to add another viewpoint, another feeling, another rhythm, each version standing alone, yet related to the whole.
The predominant technique in my work is relief printing. I use softwood blocks cut with hand tools. The printing is done with oil-based inks using only hand pressure. No press or mechanical equipment is used. I find a peaceful, intimate relationship to ideas and materials in this simple application. If a piece incorporates other media, it is so noted.
Carole Nelson is a fine arts graduate of the Cooper Union in New York City and the University of California Berkeley, and she holds a Master of Fine Arts degree with an Award for Excellence in the Graphic Arts from the University of Chicago, where she studied traditional Japanese printmaking. She has received awards for painting and printmaking , including the George Waite Jury Prize and First in Show for painting at the prestigious Chicago and Area Show. Her woodblock prints have been commissioned for publications, including the Chicago Review and Chicago Magazine and Mahfil, the magazine of the University of Chicago Department of South Asian Languages. She has provided costume and set designs for the theatre, including productions of Sophocles’ Electra and Bertolt Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle.