Interview with Evanston Art Center Printmaking Student: David Moskow
How long have you been a student at the Evanston Art Center and what has been your favorite class?
I began printmaking up in the printmaking studio at the art center in 2017. I had an intaglio class with Duffy O’Connor, and then I went into independent study and open studios.
Have you taken other classes at the art center?
Nope, I kind of find a glove and stay in that groove.
What kinds of prints do you make?
Etchings, all etchings, and some of the etchings I’ll print on watercolor paper and do some hand drawn watercolor on. It’s a fine line, would you call that a painting? I don’t know, but it’s something that is reproducible so if I do four of these paintings they all look, they all have the outlines in the same places. There is some variation in color and tone because of the nature of paint, but they’re all basically the same. So it is like printmaking, it is a serialized process.
Did you study printmaking before taking classes at the EAC?
My mother taught me how to etch when I was about 15, 16 maybe. That’d be 1975. Then I studied printmaking at Southern Illinois University, dual specialization in Painting and Printmaking. My painting kind of flipped back and forth between watercolor and oil painting, and after college I pursued a lot of painting and mostly after college (I did) oil painting. I took a little bit of a break from painting, and when I came back to the art work I wanted to downsize the amount of materials that I had so I moved from stretcher bars to pieces of flat paper, and flat paper is printmaking so now I am full time on the printmaking.
Printmaking strikes me as a medium that takes more preemptive planning. Walk us through your creative process. Do you conceptualize the final product before starting and how do you choose your subject matter?
I will develop a drawing before I go onto the plate and I sometimes use photographic influences, I’ll look at somebody else’s painting and I’ll say, “man that’s nice” and I’ll draw something similar. I try to work out spatial relationships and narrative themes on paper before I commit to the plot. Once you put it into the metal it's far easier to move line with an eraser and a pencil than it is with a scraper and a burnisher. You’re moving metal as compared to moving graphite on paper so to the extent that I can work out the spatial relationships, work on my narrative, I do that before moving over to the pale.
Once I move onto the plate, the plate has certain needs, there are certain elements of the process that can influence the plate, there might be a scratch on the plate, there might be some environmental influences. There are corrections I need to do on the plate, and the plate will tell me once I put it onto the press what it needs. There’s that relationship I have of working out the problems before I have a presentation quality print I have to present, to sell, to move onto the world.
How would you describe the Evanston art ccene? Is there a community of printmakers and do they collaborate?
[At] the Art Center, [in] the print shop, there are a group of us who form a community, who communicate outside of the print shop, on various things [like] life or movies so there is that sort of community that the various open studios generate. I’m kind of a regional artist, so I do art fairs in the area, and during the pandemic a lot of that shut down, so I didn’t go out to Elmhurst, I didn’t go down to Lakeview, I didn’t go up to Lake Forest. But there was an event in Evanston put on by Evanston Made which was a makers’ market which was over at the Maple Street Garage which was an excellent show. Lisa D[egliantoni] has informed me that Evanston Made is going to be doing Saturdays Maker Markets every Saturday starting in May to August in conjunction with the Farmers’ Market, and I’ve committed to her to do first Saturdays every month. So I don’t have to leave the Evanston community with my artwork anymore, so I’m kind of happy with this change of events.
Concentrics is a quarterly interview series featuring EAC Exhibiting Artists, Faculty Members, Board Members and Students.
Find out how our faculty and board members started at EAC and why our students love it here. We want to give you a look into the community that makes up the Evanston Art Center!