05 April 2006
New Crown Point Press Book
Founded by Kathan Brown in 1962, Crown Point Press in San Francisco, California, began as a print workshop. In 1965, Crown Point began to invite well-known painters and sculptors to come to the studio to make prints with the help of the staff. Most of the artists create etchings, although from 1982 through 1994 Crown Point added Asian woodcut techniques to its etching program, taking artists to Japan and China to work with craftsmen in those countries.
Kathan Brown has just released a book, Magical Secrets About Thinking Creatively, in which she recounts some of the things she has learned from artists about creativity during her 50 years of helping them learn new processes and techniques. It's a beautiful illustration-heavy book full of quotes from artists, inspiration, explanations of process, and insights from Kathan.
In conjunction with the book, a Magical Secrets web site has been launched. Check out the monthly video feature called "The Three Minute Egg" which will continue the exploration of creativity beyond the book.
Although most of the material in Magical Secrets About Thinking Creatively deals with etching and not woodblock, I'm enjoying the book a lot. It comes at a good time for me, as I'm delving deeply into my own artistic process and trying to understand it. I also don't know a lot about printmaking, so Kathan's explanations of the various processes - aquatint, hard ground, soft ground etc. - is a big step in my efforts at self-education. This is not a "how-to" book, but an inspirational book, full of the wisdom of a woman who has dedicated a lifetime to helping artists learn to print.