Kelli’s current body of work focuses on the expansive, diverse environment of the Pacific Northwest Landscape. With the simple use of contrast and minimal color, as well as line manipulation, she strives to create exhilarating compositions inspired by the natural world.
Captivated by the wilderness since early childhood, Kelli MacConnell embraces a unique relationship with nature that continuously sparks her imaginative work. Exploring landscapes with careful observation, she translates her natural surroundings into richly detailed prints. For MacConnell, printmaking serves as a key vehicle in fostering a relationship between humans and the natural world. Through her creations, she strives to show how one person can both exist in civilization and remain connected to that which is inherently wild.
Linocut is a variation of woodcut printmaking. A sheet of linoleum, often mounted on a wooden block, is used for the relief surface. A design is carved into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel, or gouge. This leaves the raised, un-carved areas to represent a mirror image of the final composition. The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller called a brayer, and then carefully impressed onto paper. The actual printing can be done by hand or with a press.
“My prints are of or influenced by places that I have visited. The story of my experience with these sites unfolds as I carve. I use printmaking to develop a new and more conscious understanding of the subtleties found in these natural spaces.”
“My process of transforming my experience into a print involves reversing the image from my sketches onto the relief surface, then carving away the negative space. My work is printed primarily in black oil-based ink. Occasionally I will make use of simple color gradients to gently alter the mood. After the block is complete, I usually pull a few “proof prints” before proceeding with the series. These proofs are unique in that they are the very first prints pulled from a new carving. As such, they often contain experimentation with image and color that is not replicated in subsequent editions. I typically utilize a printing press in order to take advantage of the resultant embossing effect, a product of the machine’s enormous pressure. The final prints that make up the edition are printed using either Arches Cover white or BFK Rives paper.”
– Kelli MacConnell