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MARKO SPALATIN / STUDIO TOUR
 

 

My studio is located west of Madison in the rolling hills of Blue Mounds, Wisconsin.  The building, constructed in the 1890s, was formerly a country school.  I have lived here with my family since 1971.

 

 

Titling, numbering, and signing an Akumal III limited edition print

 

 

Preliminary Sketching

In creating my work, the initial concept is developed through a progression of small-scale drawings.  These drawings represent the exploratory part of the process necessary for discovering the potential of an idea.

 
 
View Sketch Gallery
View Artist's Statement
 
 
Printmaking (Serigraphy)

I create my serigraphs using a particular silkscreen printing technique which I developed in the mid-1960s as an art student at the University of Wisconsin.  This method allows for accurate editioning using floating stencils rather than permanent ones.  Throughout a color run, the ink itself holds the stencil in position on the screen.  Each color application involves two back-and-forth squeegee strokes of equal pressure in order to keep the stencil from shifting out of position.

I use architectural tracing paper as the stencil (blocking material).  With a single-edge razor blade and straight-edge tool, I carefully cut away the areas through which the ink will pass onto the printing paper.  The tracing paper that remains acts as a resist on the screen.  The color is printed on every sheet of paper in the entire edition, and each print is transferred to an adjacent drying rack.  When the run is completed, I remove and discard the stencil, clean away the remaining oil-based ink from the screen with turpentine, and prepare for the next color.  The process of cutting a stencil is repeated for each color, and each color requires a separate printing.

 

It is critical that every color run is accurately registered against the previous one.  (My serigraphs are composed of anywhere from 10 to 40 separate colors.)  It is an exciting moment for me when the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle falls into place and the complete image is finally revealed.

 
 
Works on Canvas
 
 

Creating a successful painting begins with building a sound and accurate stretcher.  I craft my stretchers from carefully selected high-quality redwood. 

 

 
 

Equally important is the proper stretching of the canvas.  It is crucial to achieve firm and even tension.

 
       
   

 

After priming the canvas with three coats of gesso, I draw the lines of the image onto the canvas with pencil.  This drawing is based on a pre-conceived idea that has been fully developed (including the approximate color scheme) through extensive sketching.

Each area of color is then masked out on the canvas and brushed in with several coats of acrylic paint.  I tune the colors as I paint.

 

work on canvas / works for classical guitar

 

Commissioned work on canvas for public installation

at Ten East Doty Building in Madison, Wisconsin

View Preliminary Sketch         View Installation Photo

 

1977

 

NEW: Geoform Interview


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ARTWORK COPYRIGHT 1969-2005 MARKO SPALATIN