Mary Teichman

Etchings, Paintings & Calligraphy

Statement

portrait 2 (2)I have been making etchings since my sophomore year at The Cooper Union in 1974.

My color etchings are triggered by things I observe: a color or texture, a slant of light–especially those that evoke memories. I am fascinated by the quality of light at night, and by the shapes emerging as my eyes adjust to the darkness. My layered technique, with its possibilities for rich color and dense blacks, lends itself easily to night scenes. If an idea stays with me over time, I start to work on the drawing, doing as much as possible from life and using photos as necessary. I work out the values and the structure of the piece in the black and white drawing, and I work out the color as I make working proofs.

The four color plates are printed sequentially, “wet on wet,” producing secondary colors as well as browns and grays. The ink is pressed under great pressure into the fibers of the dampened paper, resulting in rich, dense colors with a look that is unique to this medium. As mentioned, I work on the color as I see the proofs, re-etching and scraping and burnishing until I’ve achieved the colors I desire. Each plate has a full range of values, from light to dark, and when overlapped the diversity of color is virtually limitless.

Through the years, my images have evolved from still lifes and interiors, to city scenes (I lived in NYC for many years) and, after my move to western Mass., to factory buildings like the one that houses my studio. I am interested in history, change, light and mystery. The crumbling factories represent a bygone era, a reminder of both its majesty and despair.

Completing each new etching always feels like a major achievement, as the process is lengthy and arduous. My commitment to each subject needs to be unfaltering. Art is my way of engaging with myself and with the world. When I’m working, I am totally engaged. Nothing can compare with the feeling of satisfaction that comes from completing a new print, or the excitement of lifting the paper from the etching plate, and seeing what I‘ve got.

My work has been included in over 100 national and international invitational and juried exhibitions, including The Brooklyn Museum’s 22nd National Print Exhibition, Associated American Artist’s New Talent in Printmaking, The Taiwan International Invitational Exhibit, and The 163rd Exhibition at the National Academy of Design.

My etchings are in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, The Boston Athenaeum, The New York Public Library, and The Museum of the City of New York, among others.

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