Now through Nov. 4 The Center for Contemporary Printmaking, 299 West Ave., in Mathews Park, Norwalk, is hosting the exhibition, "Will McCarthy: Paintings and Monotypes" On view are a selection of paintings and color monotypes, by this accomplished Connecticut artist, well known for his atmospheric landscapes.
McCarthy started his career as an artist, painting from nature and from photographs, and realized that his best works were based on landscapes from memories and imagination. He is never without a pocket sketchbook, making quick drawings or jotting down ideas about landscapes that he can refer to, back in the studio. His artwork exhibits subtle variations of light and atmosphere. Imagine a luminous and formal yet accidental grouping of trees against a field or river; a landscape, a seascape that emanates a quiet inner light, an ethereal whisper of a place we see every day.
"My landscapes ... draw from the natural world while letting the colors and tones (that I use) go off on tangents of their own," McCarthy said.
He uses techniques such as glazing to obtain the characteristic atmospheric quality he likes in his work.
Although McCarthy has been printing monotypes for many years, he also took courses in various printmaking disciplines, learning lithography, etching, drypoint, Japanese woodblock and linoleum block printing.
The artist was searching for a printmaking method that had the nuances he enjoyed in his painting, and found that monotypes enabled him to capture the atmospheric qualities, gradation and tonal harmonies that best suit his work.
"It was a beautiful day when I was finally able to bridge my love of painting the landscape with the process of printmaking," McCarthy said. "Monotypes represent all of the things I try to capture with my paintings--the sense of mystery, the awe of our surroundings, and the place where our spirits can sing."
McCarthy attended Columbus College of Art and Design, in Ohio, and took printmaking courses at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. He has received the Individual Artist Grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts in 1994, and was an artist-in-residence at the Weir Farm National Historical Site, for two consecutive years, in 2001 and 2002. He was a guest artist at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, in 2003 and in 2004. He teaches monotype printmaking workshops, at the Center and other venues.
Save the date for MONOTHON
McCarthy first arrived at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking (CCP) to print in the MONOTHON, the annual fund-raising event that takes place in the fall at the Center. Anthony Kirk, master printer and artistic director, at CCP, was impressed by the monotypes that McCarthy created during MONOTHON printing sessions, and invited the artist to print as a guest artist at the Center. McCarthy has since donated a number of monotypes to the MONOTHON live auction and party.
A monotype is made by drawing or printing on a surface, called a "matrix," and transferring the image to a sheet of paper. Only one print can be made, since there are no permanent lines or marks on the matrix. Sometimes there is enough ink on the matrix to pull a second print; however the resulting image is pale in comparison to the first print, and is called a "ghost".
The MONOTHON is a marathon of monotype printing, in which artists create monotypes, during printing sessions, in October, and donate one of the monotypes they create to the Center for sale in an auction and gala in November.
The live auction party offer opportunity to network with artists, bid on silent auction prints and bid on an additional selection of original prints by prestigious artists at competitive prices. All proceeds from the MONOTHON (printing sessions and auctions) support CCP programs and activities.
This fall, MONOTHON2012 printing sessions will take place Sunday, Oct. 21-27, with a YOUTH MONOTHON printing session on Sunday, Oct. 28. The MONOTHON 2012 live auction and party will be on Saturday, Nov. 17. To sign up, call 203-899-7999.
CCP Galleries are open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m.