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Pamela Lanza, my teacher and an inspiration

I went to a great art opening a few weeks ago, "Darkness and Beauty," at the Matarozzi / Pelsinger Building building. I loved the fabulous pen and ink and multimedia drawings by my experimental drawing class teacher, Pamela Lanza (one pictured below). “Combustio” by Pamela Lanza

I love what she does with light, color and wash. She also works well with ink, has great line work, and includes amazing detail.

She paints her politics in a beautiful way. She’s fabulous at painting figures in her surreal worlds, where odd objects such as grenades allude to a destroyed world.

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She’s also a fantastic teacher. She’s been gently pushing me to be a better artist through suggesting new techniques and showing me new ways of approaching my work.

What artists inspire you, either through their work or through their teaching?

First up, frottage

In the experimental drawing class I’ve been taking, I’ve been having fun playing with a technique called frottage. I’ve always loved texture, and with frottage I can bring it into my art in a very visceral way. The term “frottage” comes from French frotter, “to rub,” which probably gives a good hint as to what the technique entails. Developed in Max Ernst in the 1920s, it’s similar to grave rubbings, except instead of intending to reproduce, it’s used for further exploration and refinement. You can chose a variety of surfaces to rub on. Your house can become your playground! I used the surfaces of baskets, cushions, furniture, walls and objects such as those pictured below. Photos by Elizabeth Cooper

Here are a couple tips I’ve found: 1) Experiment with a wide variety of papers, because the texture of the paper will impact the rubbing. In general with my art I use a variety of thick papers, so I’ve found that softer, thinner paper is a bit easier. 2) An automatic eraser (such as the Sakura Electric one I use, pictured below) can be your magic wand to transform the rough frottage into a more finished piece based on whatever you see emerging.

I have found creatures emerging from my frottage (pictured below).

Animals

What do you find emerging?