Friday Artist – Peggy Levine
What is your career and your current job title? My husband, Howard, and I have owned a Bed and Breakfast for 30 years. The inn has a printmaking studio and a painting and drawing studio. For part of my life, I am an innkeeper. At other times, I am an artist.
Describe in a sentence or two your art. My degree is in printmaking from San Francisco State College. Printmaking includes etching, lithography, linocuts, silkscreen, monoprint and all kinds of combinations of those mediums. Printmaking has qualities of expression that cannot be achieved in any other medium. Although printmakers often print in numbered editions, our prints are considered multiple originals.
How long have you been working in this discipline? I took my first class in printmaking from Gordon Cook at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1965. His class was my introduction to etching, I had no background in the medium.
Why do you do it? I love line, and etching is a great way to draw.
What do you hope to accomplish? I am slowly working on two series. One about flowers. One about interiors. I want to continue to respond to my environment and make new drawings about what I see and how I choose to “frame” things that interest me.
Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive and if yes, what is that message? I like to draw, and I like to surprise the viewer with my concept of space.
Where do you want to be with your art, in terms of part time versus full-time status, art positions and where your works are seen? Working full-time at your art is very difficult. It is easy to fall into a trap – do what sells; then it gets boring. A successful formula. You see it all the time in other artists. You can lose your inspiration. You need to keep pushing, finding new ways of working. Teaching is fun – helping other people express their ideas.
What kind of special training did you take? Completed my degree in Printmaking in the Fine Art Department at SF State. I supplement that with classes at KALA Institute in Berkeley and interactions with other artists through organizations like the California Society of Printmakers.
What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? Our house is full of artwork, our own and other artists. The most fun is taking people through the house and seeing their response to the “eye candy.” Talking to guests and students about the world of printmaking.
What’s your least favorite part of your endeavors? Marketing my work.
How many hours a day, or more appropriate, a week, do you spend on your work? A good week would be 20 hours.
Do you consider it hard work and could anyone do it? It is a lifestyle. I like to be busy, and I like work that is physical. I integrate the artwork with the house. Printmaking takes time – drawing, etching, inking, wiping – and then you may not be happy with what you have printed. The plate needs more work – scraping, etching, different inking – not everyone wants to spend the time.
Any other comments you’d like to include? I am the speaker Wednesday night, April 6, for the Grandes Dames at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley. There is a potluck, then a general meeting from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., and I will be talking about printmaking, especially monoprints. The Grandes Dames is a social, educational, creative and service arm of the Center. For information about it call Jan Nottingham at 274-7164.
To recommend a creative talent to be profiled in this feature, contact Pam Jung at email@example.com or 477-4232.
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