California Printmaker Lori Michelon has been working in ink for more than 20 years. She uses rubber/lino woodcuts layered with screenprinting, engraving, and stamping to create complex monoprints.
She is based in the Eastern Sierra of California, close to the Nevada border (and not much else).
I have always been in love with printmaking. My mother used to make clever little linoleum cut Christmas cards, at least before my four brothers and I were born and took up too much of her energy.
I studied printmaking at San Francisco State University in the late 70s, then took it back up in graduate school at Cal State Long Beach in 2000. I got my MFA in 2005, commuting weekly to classes from my home in the Eastern Sierra (Tom’s Place) to Long Beach, in southern California. I loved being back in art classes – the luxury of graduate school cannot be overstated.
I now teach at the local satellite of Cerro Coso Community College in Mammoth Lakes: drawing, painting, and art history. I also participate in yearly art shows with a group of like-minded artist friends. We try to explore a theme we can all interpret differently according to our chosen medium.
Although I have tried my hand at all the printmaking techniques, I am most in love with the laborious woodcut and linoleum cut. I love the physical aspect of this craft, the limitations, the sculptural look and feel of the carved block.
Portraying us humans is not my thing, but I almost always portray the objects we have created and that we use. These objects, eggbeaters, vacuum cleaners, minute minders, all speak about the absent human. They are stand-ins. Many are simple yet finely crafted for their specific use, and are attractive to me. They are banal, mundane, but clear, manageable parts of the chaotic life we all lead. They are something I can get a handle on. In adding words, phrases, song lyrics, and/or maxims to my treasured objects, I hope that the juxtaposition will spark humor, thought, or? in the viewer – my hope for a connection.
The Eastern Sierra has been my home since 1974. However, I have also lived in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Sonoma County, Paris, southern France, and briefly in Reno, always returning to the Eastside. I live with four cats and am probably considered the local Cat Lady by my neighbors.
A good day is an ART day.
If you have a question about the art or are interested in purchasing a piece, you can email Lori.