Elegy by Holly Downing

Elegy by Holly Downing

Elegy

Holly Downing

Title

Elegy

 
Artist

Holly Downing

  1948 - PRESENT (biography)
Year
2000  
Technique
mezzotint 
Image Size
12 5/8 x 18 3/8"  
Signature
pencil 
Edition Size
12 of 40  
Annotations
titled & dated 
Reference
 
Paper
wove Rives BFK 
State
published 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
HD128 
Price
$750.00 
Description

Holly Downing uses her preferred medium of mezzotint to create this composition, a skeletal shell which emerges from the black background. An elegy is a poem or lament that reflects on life and death, in this case a shell that remains as a reminder of a life form that no long exists and an environmental warning against the pollution of the waters.

Downing comments on her website about her work:"Mezzotint is a form of engraving, whose subtle qualities are achieved with tone rather than line. The artist spends many hours “rocking” a copper plate until the plate has thousands of tiny holes, each with a bit of raised burr that hold a tremendous amount of ink. A fully rocked plate prints a lush, velvety black, unparalleled in any other medium. To obtain an image, the artist scrapes the surface of the plate, variously lowering the levels of the burrs so they will hold less ink and thereby yield gradations of dark and light. Gradually an image emerges out of the darkness. The plate is inked by hand and printed on an etching press."

Between the years 1974 and 1980, Holly Downing resided in England where she researched the mezzotint technique earning her M.F.A. from Goddard College in 1980. Downing taught art for twenty-three years at the Santa Rosa Junior College and prior to that she taught briefly at the University of California at Santa Cruz and San Francisco State University.

 

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