Printmaking means to me: Going through a process, working from back to front and slowly building an image from shape to shape, colour to colour.
When I print: It’s like a game of chess. It’s a very methodical craft and you have to be aware of the moves ahead. Changing the steps in a process can change the outcome of the image.
A silk screen: Is a lot of fun.
Hey all, my name is Nathan Larson and I was born and raised in London ON, Canada. In the 70’s, London was quite the scene and some great Canadian artist came from there. I went to Fanshawe College and took the fine arts program and graduated in 2004 with a diploma in fine arts.
From there I went to NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and really explored the art-making process. Originally signing up for photo courses, I spent hours in the dark room. This was my mad scientist lab where I played around with DIY cameras and DIY Enlargers. I was really exploring what a photograph was. At the midpoint of that exploration, the program made the shift from manual to digital as well as the content of the program. It became focused on being a documentary/photojournalism program.
At that time, I was not interested in that style of photography. I wanted to continue with my exploratory methods so I made the switch to painting and drawing. I incorporated printing techniques for my work and set out to develop my own visual language.
What made me fall in love with printmaking would have to be the process. It is a very methodical craft and it gives me the time to think things through. Starting a print is probably the most exciting because there are many different approaches that could be taken to make the print exist. The element of play gives a number of variations on the print and it comes down to choosing the best one. The ones that are unused are stored away for a later date. I always have something to do when I go to the studio.
I graduated in 2006 and since then, I’ve been working away developing my craft, utilising aspects from the photo, drawing painting and print. I create work that has a balanced blend of these disciplines. Being a child of the 80’s I was pretty much left to my own devices. This is where I learned to be creative with the things around me, living in my imagination and frustrating my teachers along the way. There was always paper, pencils and paints at my disposal and I would spend hours drawing my action figures, cutting them out and creating scenes that I felt should have been in Star Wars.
On shopping trips, I was always asking for paint by numbers sets or comic books. I was your average 80’s kid. It wasn’t until I was in grade 11 that I really wanted to follow this path. I was really inspired by the art history unit and from there, I wanted to contribute to art history. It’s difficult to put myself into a discipline because my work has a lot of reference points. However, the last couple of years, I have been really exploring printing techniques.
It has been a bit of a challenge due to the lack of presses available in Vietnam, but with a little bit of creativity, I am able to get to a close proximity of traditional prints. Also, the availability of silk screens has been to my advantage. I really like the quality of line that comes from dry-point printing and the smoothness of colour in silk screened prints. Every day at the studio is an adventure.