Bonnie de Arteaga
medium: graphic art
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Long ago human beings were attuned to phenomena in the sky. Unusual sightings in the heavens turned the course of history: changing battle plans, sending seekers after a star, or making worshippers drop to their knees in fear.
When the language of science became the favored tongue, mathematical formulas and measurements pulled the stars from above and held them captive in books. Today, when lights of commerce obscure the stars and ancient stories are no longer told, I blend images from science, myth and nature to speak of the mysterious histories of the sky.
Many of my prints are inspired by star maps. I try to capture some of the human drama from Greek mythology that is imbedded in the naming and configuration of the constellations.
Putting words and pictures together in meaningful ways has been the work of most of my life--throughout my education in fine art at UW-Madison, employment in graphic design, commercial print management and public relations.
I had the good fortune to learn intaglio printing in the 1960s at UW-Madison, and in 1997, I returned to full-time fine printmaking at UW-Green Bay to explore intaglio, woodcuts and digital imagery. I work out of my print studio at Main Street Art Works, Hilbert, Wis.
My recent editions employ mixed media printing in which I layer giclèe, solarplate etching, copperplate etching, chine collè, collagraph, relief printing and drawing in various combinations.
My woodcuts begin as ink drawings or digital photos. I digitize and transfer them to birch plywood. The drawing is then cut with traditional woodcut as well as electric tools. The blocks are printed on my Conrad etching press.