When I list my occupations,I'm able to list printmaker, along with registered nurse. I have been a nurse for 24 years, it's the job that pays the bills, the one I seem inherintley good at, but one that vexes me, at the riduculous need to do more paperwork, and still do all that is required of me as a nurse.
I came into printmaking over 5 years ago, I took a course at a local art museum. It was an introduction to Non toxic printmaking. I learned etching using ferric chloride, and we etched copperplate, it was as if I was relearning an art that I once did, but had forgotten about. I was in love with it all, from the smell of the inks to the rustle of the paper. our instructor, was a peaceful laid back kind of teacher, who did great when the class had the same level of experience, but could get easily kidnapped if there was a student, that believed the class was for them only, and didn't really like to share. i've seen a lot of that in classes at art museums, not so much from the artists, but from the everyday kind of person, who had artistic tendencies, they seem to need to exert their right to create art, instead of just doing it.
When it came time for me to move on to a place where I could do printmaking, without having to compete with other people, I found Zea Mays. At first I was excited but nervous at the prospect, of being in the studio with other artists. So I signed up for a class, and discovered what a wonderful place it would become for me. Here the teacher was close to my age, even had kids the same age as me. I discovered she had been doing printmaking as long as I had been a nurse. She was genereous with her knowledge, and taught me a thing or three, it was great. the other thing i noticed at this studio where you supplied your own ink and paper, and copperplate, people really were sharing with their knowledge, there was no sense of entitlement.That same year I took the class, by the summer, I had joined as a member.
I have been an active member for over 5 years, and will continue to do so, until I decide to stop. Over those years we have moved down a few doors from a small studio, that could only have 4 artist working at the same time to now 7. It amazing to see the growth of the studio, which is fueled by artist turning toward non-Toxic printmaking, also there is something about a collaborative environment where we work beside each other, and have the pleasure of looking over each other's shoulders seeing what people are doing, and we all seem to have our own unique style which is hugely creative. We are mostly a studio of women, with a few men. Is there a reason for that, no we are open to whomever you are, but maybe women search more for a place like that, who knows.but either way it has become a big part of who I am as an artist, and who I will continue to grow into.