|Brooke Lambert, Blossoms, 8"x10", collograph and gauche|
I recently met Brooke because her wonderful prints are on the panel next to mine in the Hello, Brooklyn show now hanging at BWAC. I was immediately attracted to her palette and the joyful nature of her work. As a fellow printmaker, I appreciate her dedication to the process and the unique results it produces.
1. Why do you make art?
I make art to express and communicate my feelings about my surroundings
in nature and to share beauty. I believe it’s important to share beauty in the
world and be a source of positivity in people’s living and working
environments. Art for me is about taking something that’s important to me
and making it visible and more beautiful to other people. I’ve always
thought that the best songs are personal to the person who wrote them but
relatable to anyone who listens to them. My goal for my art is similar: to
make something with deep meaning for myself but also something that
translates to the viewer.
2. What tools/materials do you find essential in your studio?
My works are primarily collagraphs because I’m drawn to the sculptural
qualities and rich range of color I can achieve in this way of working. To
build a collagraph plate, I first take a piece of matboard and cut it down to
my desired print size. I cover the plate with materials I’ve collected,
including string, netting, and pieces of fabric.
After I arrange my materials on the plate, I use a staple gun to attach
them to the plate while using a brush to cover them with gesso, creating a
sculptural, low-relief surface. I take that plate to my printmaking studio
and cover it with ink using a large brush. When it is completely covered
with ink, I use balled-up tarleton to wipe the ink off most of the plate, so it
sticks only in the crevices in my design.
I put my plate on my printing press and cover it with wet 100 percent
cotton rag paper. I cover that with newsprint, then run it through the press
to make a print. The enormous pressure of the press drum and press
blanket push materials on my plate into the cotton rag paper to create an
I take my print and go back to my home studio, where I paint with
gouache to add luminosity and color to my pieces. The results are original
painted collagraph prints.
3. Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in the world around me everywhere, but mainly
from the ocean. A lot of my imagery comes from looking at materials I find
washed up on the beach as well as shadows and light and colors that come
through water. I also find inspiration in wildflowers and in textures and
colors I find especially interesting -- wherever I might see them.
4. How long have you been a member of BWAC and what has been the
I became a member this summer. It’s thrilling to be part of the New
York art world. I have enjoyed meeting artists and seeing a larger array of
work. I’ve found BWAC to be an incredible community that is welcoming
and accepting of new, emerging artists like me. I’m so excited to see what
5. Ask yourself the question you wish I had asked about your work/life/art.
What made you choose printmaking as your primary medium?
From early childhood on, I’ve always been interested in all types of art,
especially drawing and painting. In high school art class, I got the
opportunity in art class to make my first linoleum print. I fell in love with
the process. I loved the way carving felt. It was physical and sculptural at
the same time as being graphic and true to the image I was making. I loved
having the ability to make multiples but also to make those multiples
unique, changing color or transparency. It opened a new world of
possibilities for me.
In college, I took printmaking courses and began experimenting with
woodcut, etching, and monoprint. After deciding I wanted to focus on art
full time, I transferred to Massachusetts College of Art. My first year there,
I took drawing, painting, 3d design, 4d design. But, to my surprise, what
stood out to me the most was my 3d design sculpture class. I loved
throwing myself into building, carving, attaching, and transforming objects
to make something new and different. I loved the physicality of the process
and creating something whole that had structure and character.
After my first year it was time for me to choose my major. This was more
difficult than I initially thought because I had been sure I was going to
choose printmaking, but sculpture had now become an option. In the end I
chose printmaking because I was eager to learn methods I had not learned
before and work in the college’s state-of-the-art printmaking shop. During
my four years at MassArt I learned every type of printmaking: etching and
photoetching, lithography and photo-litho, woodcut, silkscreen, and
|by: LaJiribilla.cu/presentecubanart.org 06/11/17|
In my senior year a visiting artist came to the school, Choco (EduardoRoca).
Choco is a collagraph artist from Cuba. Speaking little English, he
amazingly taught each student in my class individually how to make a
collagraph plate, how to find materials and build the plate, then how to ink
it and print it. I absolutely fell in love with the process. I had finally found a
way to combine my love of printmaking with my love for sculpture.
After Choco left, I wanted to continue to make collagraphs and make them
very large. As no one at the school had ever focused on collagraph as their
main medium, I was met with skepticism and even told not to approach
making big collagraphs. However, I did it anyway. Choco’s work was
incredibly dark and intense, which the medium of collagraph is very well
suited for. But what I loved most about the medium were the patterns,
shapes, and embossment. I wanted to create a way to see those patterns and
shapes and let the light of the paper come through the ink. I innovated the
process by using very transparent ink, which made much lighter images
that still had the heavy embossment and strong patterns impacting the
print. I started painting the prints with bright, luminous colors to act as
light coming out of darker printed areas. This process for me came to
6. Please include one image of your work you think best represents your
collagraph w/ gouache
24” x 36”
Follow Brooke and learn more about her work.