FA 370 Introduction to Print

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 Katie Tufts

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katietufts



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Join date : 2015-02-10

PostSubject: Katie Tufts   Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:13 pm


Robert Bechtle is an artist who has been involved with painting, drawing, and printmaking for about the past six decades. Bechtle, who was born in 1932 in San Francisco, California, studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland where he received his MFA and BFA by 1958. At first he started out as an artist that mainly focused on oil paintings, watercolor and charcoal drawings. He then became skilled in printmaking, specifically lithography and later focused on etching when he started a career at the Crown Point Press. Robert has lived in California for the majority of his life, the only time he didn't was when he was drafted and living in Berlin where he would paint murals in the mess halls. Lots of his work has been featured in many exhibits internationally and in his hometown.
Considering Bechtle hasn't traveled far from California it makes sense that his art is inspired by his surroundings such as his hometown and neighboring cities. He is considered to be one of the first photorealist by working from photographs taken himself. Some of his most popular work consists of street scenes, cars and his friends and family. What I like most about his artwork compared to the other artists on the list is the fact that his designs look so real. It was interesting to find out he was born, raised and lives in the Bay Area as I was born there as well, so I was automatically drawn to his etchings of the California streets and palm trees. I think he was very successful at portraying the characteristics of streets in California in his etchings even though shades of only one color were used. It is almost hard to tell from a far distance that his etchings aren't photographs; it isn't until one can get a closer look to see all the detail being used to show definition. Seeing such a photo-realistic etching done makes me curious to see how the process of etching works and if I could create something like that.
I am really drawn to Bechtle’s overall theme in his artwork which is just settings from his everyday life living in California. I am also interested in the techniques he uses in his oil and watercolor paintings that make the images look so real. I've dabbled with oils, watercolor and charcoals before so I’d be curious to see a lot of his work in person to get a better sense of how he created each piece. I would especially like to see the drawings done in charcoal because I found charcoal messy and difficult to use. I guess after 60+ years of practice it would get easier. Something I would have liked to find in my research of Robert Bechtle would have been his work with lithography since that is the topic we are working with in class currently. Bechtle’s other skill in printmaking made me excited to learn the etching process when we come to it.

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