Process of completing a print, Emily Orzech

I recently completed a new print, Waiting for a Bed. The piece is one of the last in my series Family History, and perhaps a transition into new work.

Once I have exposed the screens, I print them onto the panel in light ink, so I can plan the registration. The initial halftone is completely covered by the time I finish the print. Then I create contact paper stencils for large flat forms like this chair. Usually I just paint directly onto the panel, but I can also put the contact paper stencil onto a screen and print through that if I want a thinner and more even layer (or if I am editioning).
In addition to contact paper, I often use blue tape to create large areas of color. Once I have enough layers of ink on the panel, I then start screenprinting the half tones. Because of the size of the panel, I sometimes piece together the image. For example, the chair legs and chair are on two separate screens. I also add flat layers of ink and sand away others, working both in a both additive and subtractive manner.

This is the finished piece. It comes from a memory of spending the night in the ER while waiting for a bed in the hospital upstairs. The diagrams on the right come from the CDC instructions for wearing PPE, something I became familiar with even before Covid. Now I think about the sever shortage of PPE and beds, as well as the need to fully isolate patients. I see revisiting this memory as both wrapping up the series and hopefully as a stepping stone to a new body of work that responds to the present moment, though I am not sure what that will look like yet.

  1. Liza Ordinartceva

    How big is the finished piece? It is very powerful with transmitting the heavy feeling of anxious and burdening anticipation.

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      Emily Orzech

      Good question! It is 24x36in

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    Crystal Marshall

    Very beautiful. Loving the color scheme and nuances and subtly of form and colors over lapping in very smooth transitions. My eyes are taken on a journey as a I examine the subject matter and the placement of the chair which seems to be the focal point. Loving the process you use as well, very inspiring. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

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