1 | Mixed Media Drawings

Inner States Icon
Mixed Media Drawing
8″x 10″ on paper
Don Olsen| 2018

It took me a long time to give myself permission to draw on my prints.

I was trained as a printmaker but some aspects of it’s practice never really “took” inside me. The main thing was that imagry came out of me too fast to be able to commit to one thing. In other words, what am I going to make a plate about? I always have been interested in using plates more than once, but to make new images each time. Today, I use traditional printmaking techniques like etching, relief and monoprinting, along with loose ink-wash, drawing and painting to compose my work. 

These works are freeing for me. I don’t follow traditional printmaking guidelines where every print from the set is exactly the same. Instead I use printmaking to create my “stage” and other methods to flesh out the finished work. My philosophy is to use the print as a point of departure – something to work within and fight against. When I’m cutting a new block I’m thinking about what will be fun to draw on / over later.
I think about my point of view when making these. What does it mean to look out of my eyes? How is it different to look out of your eyes?
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2|  Paintings

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I work painting differently than I do drawings or prints. I have no end point in mind for these, they may eternally be in-progress. I play with how images are formed and deformed by distance, focus and just how paint 
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3 | Lunchbox Drawings

Feel Good! I send these little drawings in my kids lunchboxes each day. I’ve been doing it as long as they’ve been going to school (over 5 years now). I make these so they can remember that I’m thinking about them and I love them. It is also a great creative exercise to do from start to finish before the coffee even kicks in.
More lunchbox drawings…