Silver Spring
 
Maryland

Artist's statement

Full Artist's statement

My artwork reflects my interest in color, texture, and design. Nature is the inspiration for much of my recent work. My work includes original prints as well as "grass paintings." Among the types of prints that I create are monotypes, intaglios, etchings, photogravures, screenprints, and lithographs. A monotype is a one-of-a-kind print. It is produced by creating a painting on a flat, smooth surface (a plate) and then printing the design on a piece of paper using a hand-operated etching press to transfer the design from the plate to the paper. Frequently I create the design by using ornamental grasses or other natural objects as a stencil or mask. Generally I use a piece of Plexiglas as my plate and use etching ink to produce the image on archival-quality paper. An intaglio is a print made from a plate that has grooves in the surface of the plate. The plate is inked and then wiped so that the ink is restricted to the indented areas of the plate. Then the image is printed on archival-quality paper using a hand-operated printing press. An etching is a type of intaglio that uses a plate into which the design has been etched using an acid. Photogravure is another intaglio process involving many steps to create a wide range of tonal values in the print. Screenprints are produced by creating an image (a stencil) on a piece of fabric stretched on a frame, and then by forcing ink through the stencil onto a piece of archival-quality paper. Layers of different images may be printed one on top of the other to create the final screenprint. Lithography utilizes the fact that oil and water resist each other. In this case designs are printed on special plastic plates that are then inked and printed. Frequently a number of plates are used, each one inked with a different color of lithographic ink. The inked plates are printed one on top of the other on a sheet of archival paper to produce the lithograph. Traditional printing processes involve the use of toxic chemicals in the production of the plates for intaglios and in producing the screens for screenprints. In place of such processes, most of my intaglios are made using light-sensitive photopolymer film on copper plates. Screenprints are made using liquid photo emulsion to create the design on the fabric screen. My grass paintings are made with embroidery yarn that has been dipped in acrylic paint. The paintings start with either stretched canvas that has been painted with a roller or with unstretched raw canvas, either cotton or linen. Each line (or blade of grass) on the canvas is made by dragging the paint-covered yarn down the surface of the canvas. The grass paintings are invented designs resembling nature rather than representational paintings.

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All work by Mary

Mary Ott
image 8" x 8", Etching ink on Lokta natural
$325.00
Mary Ott
image 8" x 8", Etching ink on Lokta natural
$325.00
Mary Ott
8 1/8" x 10 1/8", Lithograph
$425.00