Oak Park Artists: Jill Kramer, Printmaker

I think of my own pieces and the images I work with as a little snapshot of places I’ve been I’ve had a lot of people tell me it looks old-fashioned and I take that as a compliment my hope is that people will look at them and maybe think that they’ve been to that exact place 99% of the time my images start from life I have this love of history and of old architecture I’ll do a quick watercolor sketch quick pen and ink sketch that stays in my sketchbook that comes back to the studio I then redraw that will get transferred to a sheet of linoleum and then the process starts with cutting away I really do like the method of carving there is something about making negative marks in the linoleum this is the time where I wish I was ambidextrous there is something very methodical about just cutting away I feel like my right arm and right hand are so much stronger than left you know you get the right music going and I could work until I can’t quite feel my hand hold the tool anymore and the bengay and that’s done the image is proofed good sticky black relief ink is rolled on top with a nice fat brayer a wet paper is put on top rolled through the printing press and I print the entire edition all at one time it’ll be a proof I’m pretty happy [Music] I hand color each one individually and I work at them all at the same time so that each color can remain as accurate on each addition in the flying – colors I actually started out in graphic design at Kent State University in Ohio I had actually taken the first introductory printmaking class that was mandatory and I hated every single minute of that programming class made a mistake after about two and a half years I really missed the smell of paint and getting dirty and chalk on my hands and under my fingernails and I left graphic design and ended up helping to run the department as an undergraduate student and have never turned back while we’re sitting out here we have this huge beautiful building in front of us I started working with the Oak Park Education Foundation I’m going to give you each of you a set of watercolors the old Park Education Foundation is a privately funded nonprofit group that puts practicing artists and professionals into a classroom to engage students with hands-on learning experiences that somehow relate to real life I’m gonna show you how I start I had really never done anything quite like that and from there it sparked something in me that actually prompted me to apply to graduate school oh yeah okay nice and I did then proceeded to get a masters of art and art education from the school of the art would you keep it three would you add to it so teaching whether it’s how to take your sketchbook out and look closer at things but really close I tell my students all the time that when you’re posed with a question unlike a lot of other things in life art allows you to have multiple answers it really starts forming the idea of a lifelong learner you [Music] you

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