What Would Ouija Do? Intaglio aquatint etching 18.5’ x 26” Framed.
Mystery and the supernatural go together in the American phenomena of the Victorian era Ouija board that experienced unprecedented popularity in the early 19th century to the present. I wanted to recreate that mysterious energy in What would Ouija Do? I made use of aquatint helps to build a range of tonal values in this etching.
Craig Fisher - Toledo Artist
My current employment history involves taking abstract concepts and business models and simplifying the dynamics around the process using metaphorical illustrations. The process was called “concepting” among other names. The value of the art lay primarily in its power to codify a process or an idea in simple terms to the end viewer. It was important that on some level that it was engaging, informative and somewhat entertaining. The methodology involves multiple iterations and reviews. In the process, many versions were discarded or highly edited, like a garment that is tacked together from scraps. As an artist, this art experience taught me not to fall in love with the image as it involved a brutal redrafting of sketch after sketch. I found this process invigorating on some levels as decisions of light, form, proportion and anatomy had to be resolved quickly.
A similar process happens in the evolution of my intaglio works. I still see drawings as mental road maps that allow you to foresee the potential of a future print. I draw them and then I discard them. They may be transferred to the asphaltum covered copper plate and even then they are constantly mutating. I don’t give the initial drawing the respect it deserves, because for me the process is fluid and changing.
My subject matter can be varied. I’m fascinated by the tension between the mechanical and the organic. The intaglio process is a synthesis of this duality. Soft pulpy cotton rag squeezed between 600 pound steel rollers on a planetary bed propelled by a star wheel and adjoining gearbox. I like the Old Testament stories, not because I am particularly religious, but because for our society, they offer a common thread or platform from which to build a source of graphic dialogue with the viewer. I enjoy the broad sweep of the epic, the monumental, and the object weighted by time and decay. My compositions are carefully constructed and built up of fine-meshed patterns of hatching, cross-hatching, stippling and dotted lines made with a roulette. Wonderful chiaroscuro effects are achieved by the judicious use of aquatint.
I have created some purely digital works borrowed from my own digital camera and scanner. The results are predictable and in some ways, that is why I have been using the Inkjet printer as a printer of background color. I’m not wasting copper for multiple color images when I am able to use the Ultrachrome inks of the inkjet printer to do that. The digital file is restricted to color for the print. In that way, I use it as the tool, which it is.
As consumers of images, we have become somewhat numb to the computer image. We are seeing the movie industry alone transform with its high polished 3D characters and objects of great fidelity and detail. With each new release, the audience anticipates more fidelity and more realism. This ratcheting up of intensely polished visual imagery leaves little room for personal interpretation. It is interesting to see someone reach for the hand drawn or etched image because it will always speak to us of the potential of our imaginations, which the digital tool and its pre-programmed effects can only emulate. We may not know why we like the hand rendered print other than that it is the one medium which reconnects us with artist/printmaker who to care to pull each print by hand still one at a time.
Education 1976 Bachelors of Arts Degree, Fine Arts University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio Emphasis on Printmaking, Painting and Graphic Design
1972-72 Study in the Netherlands Pascal College, Zaandam, North Holland Gerrit Reitvelt Academie, Amsterdam
Shows 2006 Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, MO, Group 4 Award True Fiction 2007 Space 237 Gallery 2007 Parkwood Gallery 2008 Arts Center Gallery, Illinois Central College (Jan 18- Feb 8th) 2010 Graphic Universe of Craig Fisher, Sinclair College, Dayton, OH
Recent Competitions 2005 Boston Printmakers North American Print Biennial 2005 Pacific Rim International Print Exhibition 2005 Foundry Art Centre, "True Fiction" Exhibition 18th Annual Los Angeles Printmaking Society National Exhibit (2005) 2005 Visions IX International Juried Exhibition -Judge’s Award 88th Annual Toledo Area Artists' Exhibition (2006)- Purchase Award Celebrating Contemporary Printmaking, 2006 National Juried Exhibition, Hudson Gallery 2007 Boston Printmakers North American Print Biennial
Legion Paper Materials Award 2007 MUSE Gallery, Annual National Juried Exhibition, "Works on Paper" 31st Bradley International Print & Drawing Exhibition (2007) Honorable Mention 3rd Annual Palm Beach National Drawing, Painting & Printmaking Exhibition (2007) Prints Tokyo 2007, International Print Exhibition Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum 50th Annual Juried Art Exhibition, Rocky Mount Arts Center (2007) Current Work 2007 National Competition at Rosenthal Gallery, Fayetteville State University 2007 Mid American Print Council Member exhibition, Elgin, Illinois Halpert Biennial '07: A National Juried Visual Art Competition and Exhibition 2007 Auburn Dempsey Arts Center, Los Muertos Exhibition art 2007 Eastern New Mexico University, FOOTLONG Exhibition 2007 Body of Christ Exhibit, The Henry Luce III, Center for the Arts & Religion 20th University of Dallas Print Invitational 60 square In.,16th Biennial Small Print Exh., Purdue University- Purchase Award 2008 CSU, Chico Janet Turner National Print Exhibition 2008 XXV Lagrange National Biennial 2008 2008 MFA "Art on Paper" Exhibition 2008 Butler Institute of American Art, 72nd National Midyear Exhibition 2008 Magnitude 7, Manifest Gallery, 4th-Annual International Exhibit of Small Works 2008 "The Printed Image 2" Washburn Mulvane Art Museum, Topeka, KS 2008 21st Northern National, Nicolet College, Rhinelander, WI 2009 Manifest Gallery, Contemporary Printmaking 2009 Pacific Lutheran National Print Exhibition Cash Award 2009 Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, “Running on Empty” 2009 32nd Bradley International Print & Drawing Exhibition 2009 Halpert Biennial: A National Juried Visual Art Competition First Prize & Purchase Award 2009 Red Delicious Press- Compact Print exhibition 2010 Mid American Print Conference Members Juried 2010 4th annual "Art at the X" art competition at Xavier University.
Memberships Boston Printmakers at Emmanuel College Mid American Print Council American Print Alliance
Collections BGSU digital Library Purdue University Galleries University of Dallas Collection Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Contemporary Print Collection Crosby Gardens Festival of the Arts Collection. Toledo Area Arts Council Collection Ohio Department of Parks and Recreation USAF Art Collection, Washington, DC Arts Commission Of Greater Toledo/ Art in Public Spaces Collection
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