'Brenda's Bodacious Bird' (left) and 'D's Dominating Dorking' (right), Mezzotints
Linda Whitney is professor emeritus of art at Valley City State University who specialises in mezzotints. She works from home in North Dakota, United States.
What was your first experience of printmaking?
My sixth grade teacher was an artist and he taught the class relief printmaking. Out of 24 students in the class six of us are professional artists!
What inspires you as an artist?
Almost everything inspires me as an artist but it is texture that inspires me as a mezzotint printmaker.
What are you working on at present?
I am working on a series of large (24" x 18") copper plate mezzotints for a solo exhibition that opens in 2014. Thematically the work juxtaposes Native American powwow dancers with stereotypical images born in Hollywood. I am also doing a book titled "The Song of the Dyslexic's Chicken Alphabet." The images are small mezzotints of chickens.
'Howdy and the Jingle Dancer', 'Howdy and J with Chicken Chicken' Mezzotints
What is special about printmaking?
Intaglio printmaking, especially mezzotints, have a wonderful surface quality that cannot be achieved by any other technique. I also love the intimate relationship a printmaker has with the plate and its development and the ink and the paper in the printing process.
What is your favourite printmaking process, and why?
The intaglio process is my favorite. I really love the whole process of mezzotinting. I hand rock my plates which gives me a lot of time for meditation. The burnishing process gives me that personal connection to both the image and the plate.
What prompted you to take part in the International Print Exchange?
Print exchanges in general give me opportunities to try out ideas. IPE offers a extra challenge due to the small size of the plate. I love to see all of the images in an international exchange when they are posted. Seeing what other printmakers are doing is a joy!
'Masquerade Powwow…Thanks FS!', Mezzotint
What is your favourite colour?
What is your favourite paper and ink?
BFK Rives 280 is my favorite paper and Intense Black (Graphic Chemical) is my favorite ink. I have tried other papers and ink but always return to BFK and Graphic Chemical for my mezzotints.
What kind of music do you listen to whilst printmaking?
I always listen to either BBC talk radio or have some BBC tv show streaming on my computer. I live in the middle of North Dakota but prefer international media.
Who is your favourite printmaker?
I have so many favorite printmakers but the young kids coming up are so exciting! They do things I would have never dreamed of when I was their age. Aaron Coleman and Jessica Christy are two young, exciting printmakers who create thrilling work! And, they are both not far out of graduate school. So watch out for them!