Anna Maria Pavlik
A native of Minnesota now living in Frankfort, KY, Pavlik’s interest in nature is augmented by an analytical approach reflected in her 20-year career as a mechanical engineer. Her original etchings and relief prints are simultaneously thought-provoking and artistically sensitive. Pavlik explains, “a growing concern for the survival of nature and a need to understand the relationship of people to the landscape has encouraged me to explore nature related themes."
"My images are concerned with extracting tangible thoughts from views of natural sites, scientific data, and maps. By creating these works I hope to direct the viewer’s attention to the value, beauty, and mysteries of our environment.” In addition to etchings (intaglio), Pavlik also creates stratographs. In intaglio prints, acid is used to etch lines or texture into a metal plate, which is then wiped with ink and printed on a large press. Stratographs are a cousin to relief pints (wood and linoleum cuts) but done with a matrix of cardboard onto which textured secondary materials are added. The print is often made as an offset (second) print from the first printing.
Pavlik incorporates natural materials such as leaves in her stratographs and often experiments with various color combinations. Her work has been featured in shows and artist residencies across the country, including Natural Selection, at the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge and the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge (Prairie City, IA.) Early in 2006, she became the Artist in Residence at Amistad National Recreation Area, TX. Her work is featured in well-known print galleries in the Midwest.
About Stratographs (Notes from the Artist)
Stratograph is the technique of creating an image by using pressure to transfer the “plate” (or surface from which the print is made) to paper. The pressure from various textures displaces the ink and yields a silhouetted halo-like effect. Images can have a soft-edged delicate quality not usually associated with relief printing techniques.
“Plates” can be made from torn or cut layers of paper, tape, pressure sensitive labels, leaves and more. The plate will vary dramatically based on the choice of materials. I have found that an interesting way to work is to create a matrix from a thin cardboard sold as Carolina Blank. It is easy to cut and holds up well to press pressure. Adding a secondary material creates texture within the image. Leaves, lace, tape, cornhusks and textured paper all make good materials for this layer. For the most controllable results fairly thin materials with thickness variation within a narrow range work best.