My work is the result of experimentation and chance using four things that I love: paper, print, collage and color. Full sheets of heavyweight paper are uniquely printed from antique wood type, cut into strips and collaged on wood panels using archival PVA glue. Thick layers of epoxy resin are used to coat each work, resulting in brilliant, lively colors that show natural mark-making from relief printing as well as overprinted color shapes.
Rachelle W. Chuang MA MFA lives a creative life as an artist, educator and tutor. She has taught in the Art and Graphic Design Departments at seven colleges in Southern California over the past nine years as both a full time and adjunct professor (Chapman, IVC, Biola, LCAD, Saddleback, Concordia and OCC). Prior to her mixed media work she created handmade paper sculptures and letterpress prints which have been exhibited in group shows and published in several books.
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INSPIRATION & PROCESS
This body of work initially started from demonstrations of ink overlapping to students as letterpress prints. I’ve taught typography (Beginning, Advanced, Experimental, Letterpress) twenty-one times at various colleges, as well as a Color class five times at Chapman University. In these classes, I wanted to introduce digital students to the love of paper, printing and ink. Students arrange antique wood type into various compositions and print a small edition. The resulting prints showcase experimental typography using antique wood type and the found shapes that are created through overprinting and overlapping. The series also functions as educational samples about the qualities of ink and paper and color theory such as CMYK, color relationships such as analogous and complementary, and how spot color works. The prints weren’t originally meant to be finished or resolved compositions but evidence of the process. However, I found these prints interesting enough to submit them and they have been shown in exhibitions and published in books. Not being afraid of maximum color impact, I decided to find a way to intensify the work by cutting the prints into strips and collage them on wood panels. I often think of classic color theories from Bauhaus teachers such as Josef Albers and Johannes Itten. Itten’s color theories includes his famous seven color contrasts such as Simultaneous contrast and Contrast of hue. I place each printed strip based on simple formal design decisions, color approaches and how the rhythm of the shapes play off each other to create a vibrant whole.