I strive for Magritte's basic intention, to make art with a "disturbing poetic effect."ť My work presents exotic subjects in the drama of black and white, or the subtle monochromatic tones of printers' inks. The prints are based on my photos of real places and slightly mysterious objects that are embraced by a post-apocalyptic anxiety, which induces a state of psychological unease in the viewer. The images raise questions, but knowing the back story doesn't necessarily provide comfort. The result is by turns intimate, earthy, fragile, universal, and contemporary. The images are full of the organic subtlety showing the naked beauty of weathered rock and plants, contrasted with man-made architectural elements. The organic elements complement the man-made. In purely aesthetic terms, the works use an interplay of tones and textures, with formal qualities of composition in the arrangements of objects under the viewer's gaze. The unfamiliar induces a state of ambiguity mixed with a strange longing or nostalgia. The camera captures temporal events, figurative and narrative, fragments in the cycle of life and death. History is revealed in multiple layers with an underlying order and inherent drama exposed in contrast and detail, painterly and sculptural at the same time.
I was living in New Mexico when a fortuitous requirement of printmaking coursework for my graduate program in art therapy led me to expression in another medium. Since that time I have been exploring printmaking and creating soft ethereal-like inspirational images. The circle or circular movement can often be seen in my artwork. The circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning--a continuous symbol that has no beginning and no end. Throughout my life I have created circles, benefiting from the sense of comfort, peace, and total integration.
How I feel when I am making art is perfectly described in what Don Miguel Ruiz says: "When you are in your creation and you are doing what you love to do, you become what you really are again. You are not thinking in that moment; you are expressing.” I love being in that space where I am not really thinking, I am expressing what I am feeling inside. One could say that I make art to please the eye and touch the soul.
I currently create nature-related abstract prints. The line work images represent a small part of a natural being, such as an insect. As I work to create these images, I abstract them as I am sketching before I begin cutting my plates.
I also have created a series of prints based on imagery in an old book about geography: Map, Mail Stops, Contour, and Flight Path
And, I occasionally create a representational print such as Medium Brew, for the 2016 WPA Trade.
Madelon Umlauf was born in Austin Texas in 1942 and educated there and in New York City. Her prints are inspired by nature. Her pieces achieve their finality when the forms in illusionistic deep space -- illusionistic because it is just ink or paint on a flat surface -- come into dynamic and coloristic balance. Although her prints and paintings are inspired by nature, she sometimes choses palettes of colors which are other than the usual colors one sees in landscapes.
I am an artist with a background in graphic design, painting, drawing and photography. I am interested in exploring various ways of printing without a press. I have played with monotypes, cyanotypes, rust prints, eco-prints and my own original stencils. Currently I am experimenting with a Silhouette mint machine to make printing plates from my photographs. I then create a relief print on watercolor paper and hand color them with watercolor paints.
An interest in Japanese Ukiyo-e and German Expressionist woodcuts started my fascination with printmaking. It was my major at UT Austin, where I also learned silkscreen, lithography, and etching. The variety of printmaking techniques allows infinite possibilities for creating imagery. Currently I am focusing on linocuts and plexiglass engravings with monoprinting. I enjoy making multiples and find it a great method for sharing artworks with others.
I have created visual art all my life and my work has been a reflection of my surroundings, ongoing circumstances, memories, emotions and imagination. Most of my artwork includes women because that's how I've experienced life. Encircling movements occur often, a reflection of universal natural currents, the continuous flow of ideas, communication, and time.
WPA Event Details
The deadline for this event (7/26/2017) has passed.