Saturday, October 2, 2021

Meet BWAC Artist: Brooke Lambert


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

embossed print.

    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

greatest benefit?

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

comes next.

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:  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

represent hope.

6. Please include one image of your work you think best represents your

creative vision.


collagraph w/ gouache

         24” x 36”

Follow Brooke and learn more about her work.

Instagram: @brookelambertartist

Facebook: @brookelambertprintmaker

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