Tag Archives: artists

MEET MEMBER DICK HANELIN: “WELL-GROUNDED” PRINTMAKER

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BOLLI Member Dick Hanelin shares linoleum prints based on his photography with the Camera Club.

At a meeting of the Camera Club during the spring term, relatively new BOLLI member Dick Hanelin shared linoleum prints he has made from photos he has taken.  The amount of detail and intricacy in his work are quite stunning.  Here’s what Dick has to say about his art.

I was an elementary school teacher for 37 years and taught in New York City and Newton, MA.   As a teacher,  I integrated the visual and performing arts into all curriculum areas.  After retirement, I took a variety of art courses and found I was most smitten by creating sculptures and linoleum prints.  Through Arthur Sharenow’s course at BOLLI,  my interest in photography was rekindled, and I have used some of my photos as a springboard for creating some of my linoleum prints.

I was drawn to linoleum prints because of the bold and graphic images that can be created through the use of contrasts.  In seeking out subjects for my prints, I am always thinking about shape, texture, line, and value. These elements of design are my driving force. That is why, for example, I find construction sites and basements (not your typical subjects) as fertile ground for my prints. I try to create a tension and movement in my pieces by using both realistic and imaginative elements in my compositions.

The printmaking process begins with making a drawing and then transferring it onto a block of linoleum.  I then carve into the linoleum with a variety of tools that create marks of different thicknesses. After this, ink is rolled onto the block of linoleum. (For my prints, it’s black ink.)  Where I have cut out the linoleum, white lines, shapes, and textures will appear, while the rest of the print will be black or gradations of grey.  This process takes much time, but I find it very enjoyable.

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Dick and his wife Isobel, both career educators,  are now active BOLLI members who serve on the Study Group Support Committee. We are all benefitting from the wealth of their experience!

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEET MEMBER SAM ANSELL: What is a Cartoon?

Sam Ansell, Cartoonist
Sam Ansell, Cartoonist

Well, if you eliminate political cartoons a la Pat Oliphant, and funny papers, and illustrations, and graphic novels, you are left with the spot cartoon–a single drawing or sequence of drawings that have no particular meaning beyond a simple comment on either something going on in the Zeitgeist or in common amusing experiences.  For example, a great Peter Arno cartoon shows a lonely spot next to a street lamp. It is night, and a young couple is talking to a police officer. The guy is carrying the back seat of an auto, and he says to the cop, “We wish to report a stolen car.”  No social message. No moral. Like any good cartoon, it is self-referential, and its only purpose is to garner a laugh.  Like this one–

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It was one of those tree huggers, wasn’t it?

How are cartoons conceived? Well, in my case I may be thinking of something or observing something, and a switch occurs to me–something that relates to the original notion but turns it around or reveals an unexpected consequence.

SAM Red Sox
All the same, I’m sorry for the poor Red Sox.

Let me trace one idea I had for a cartoon. For some reason, I was watching some ants.  What do ants do?  They bite people.  What if one bit an ant expert?  How would the ant feel about that?  How would he behave afterwards?  And the cartoon flashes in my head. One ant is prancing about in a very conceited manner, and another ant says to his companions, “He’s been impossible ever since he bit E.O. Wilson.”

SAM AntsOf course, it all loses its punch when I explain how it came about,  which is why I should never tell anyone where my ideas come from.

SAM queen
Corgi and Bess

How did I get interested in cartooning? I suppose it was because when I was very little, my father would read me the funnies after I was tucked up in bed at night. My heroes were not sports figures or soldiers: they were Moon Mullins, Mutt and Jeff, and Ignatz Mouse. So I guess that’s when I started scribbling down little sketches.  At Harvard, I had a lot of cartoons and stories printed in the Harvard Lampoon, and later, when I got a Master’s Degree in Journalism at Columbia, I contributed cartoons and a cover to the Columbia Jester.

SAM Spot
“Et tu, Spot?”
SAM Lands End
“If you can’t rely on Land’s End, whom can you rely on?”

In New York, I worked for various advertising agencies as a copy writer, finding time to submit cartoons to national magazines.  I even placed a couple of drawings in Collier’s and Argosy;  alas, they both went out of business, killed by television.

Of course, every cartoonist’s dream is to place a drawing in The New Yorker, and though I sent in hundreds of “roughs,” none were ever accepted.  Frankly, I think the cartoons they do print just plain stink, but that may be sour grapes.

SAM Lost and Found

While working in New York, I met Na’ama, married her, and became the father of Gideon, Seth, and Aliza.  Then our family returned to Boston where I took over the family business – we were wholesalers of glass and plastic bottles.  After I retired,  we divided our time between the USA and a home in Italy.  Returning to America, we felt a need for intellectual stimulation, so when we heard about BOLLI, we enrolled and have been taking classes ever since.  And every once in a while, an idea strikes me, and I draw it up.

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Editor’s Note:  Sam also provides cartoons for BOLLI’s newsletter, The Banner.  This month’s volume, now available online and in hard copy, features yet another gem.  Be sure to check it out!

MEET MEMBER ELLEN MOSKOWITZ: A “PAINTERLY” PRINTMAKER

Ellen printmaking
BOLLI Artist Ellen Moskowitz

 

A “PAINTERLY” PRINTMAKER

Eight years ago, I retired from 33 years of teaching art in the Boston Public Schools, and, soon after, my sister took a class in monotype printmaking.  When I saw the variety of techniques used in the process, I was greatly intrigued and took a class myself.  I’ve been printing ever since!

Monotype printmaking involves planning, spontaneity, and unexpected outcomes.  Although the basic technique consists of painting on a plate and then running it, with paper on it, through a press, the print does not end up being an exact copy of the plate because of what happens as it’s put through the press.  Monotype has been called “the most painterly method among the printmaking techniques” and is often called “the painterly print” or the “printer’s painting.”

I particularly enjoy monotype because the process offers infinite potential for variation– including working on prints after they’ve been through the press.   I use watercolors, colored pencils, crayons, acrylic paints, and collaging.  I’ve also worked with styrofoam and linotype and created several collages out of cut up, rearranged, and recombined monoprints.

1 Monotype with watercolor added

watercolors added
Frog and Harvest Monotypes with Watercolors Added
3 Deer mono
Deer Monotype
4 After the Aborigine 2.1
After the Aborigine 2.1
5 collage made from prints
Collage Made from Prints
Pennsylvania Tree Linotype
Pennsylvania Tree Linotype
Henna Plant Styrofoam Print
Henna Plant Styrofoam Print
Trees & Bird Monotype with Collage
Trees & Bird Monotype with Collage

Although I’ve been aware of BOLLI for about 10 years and encouraged my husband David to join,  I didn’t  join myself until one and a half years ago.  I’m so glad I finally did.  I have really enjoyed the classes and meeting so many vibrant people through it. I like taking a variety of courses and being exposed to so many new ideas. In addition to BOLLI, I really enjoy time at our condo in Williamstown.  There’s so much to do out there–  theater, museums, and the beautiful outdoors!