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Drawing | Etching | Printmaking

Jean Behnke

Lopez Island


Tideland Studio

The Thing of the Things



“My approach to making art is basically inventive and the start of this process is often motivated by my own innate bearings. Essentially, I am drawn in by inherent qualities of materials and gathered objects, followed by simple impulses to combine things. Bronze work began as collected and assembled wood elements. These forms are objects of metaphorical utility suggesting acts of marking, messaging and warning, and sometimes an invented poetic device to measure with and at the same time is also the thing being measured. I make graphite drawings and also unique monoprints on a large Ettan press. The press brings unpredictable depth into the flat space of paper by merging composite layers under 6,000 pounds of pressure. Each additional printed layer brings a welcome departure from my own initial intention. I am encouraged by the idea that the press always has something to say last in the process. What I make in the studio seems to resolve itself on its own terms, somewhere between any of my intentions and lack of that. Although resolution is not possible to predict, I can place things in some kind of alignment where an authentic work may happen."

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