The Artist and Her Work
Denise Saint-Onge is a New York-based artist and a francophone native of Quebec, Canada. She became interested in printmaking while obtaining her undergraduate degree in Studio Arts from Plattsburgh State University. Upon completion of her degree, she was further drawn to printmaking and took courses and worked in various studios in Montreal, Canada. She holds an MFA from the University at Albany, State University of New York
Denise's work is warm and generous, inviting the viewer to laugh and reflect on a romantic and lyrical plane. Her images seem to bring a tangible narrative to the felt story of her life. She synthesizes images from memory. Places she visits, landscapes, scenes, details of objects, architecture, all of these and more are sources of ideas for her prints.
prints using a technique called Mezzotint. Also known as "manière
noire" or "black manner", mezzotint is unique among graphic
methods because contrary to other intaglio processes, a mezzotint design
is created working from dark to light, rather than light to dark. The
key to a fine mezzotint lies in the preparation of the plate. To create
a mezzotint, the entire surface of a metal plate, usually copper, is texturized.
This texture is called a ground. The mezzotint ground is achieved using
a rocker. The rocker is a thick, serrated blade with a handle. The blade
is curved to allow the rocker to move from side to side. The end is fluted
to allow the teeth to penetrate the surface of the metal plate. As the
rocker is moved in a rocking fashion, from side to side and forward, it
creates a series of dotted lines on the plate. Several thousands of tiny
holes are needed to form an adequate ground. Every time the teeth penetrate
the surface of the plate, it pushes out a small amount of copper, creating
a mound, called a burr. The burr helps to retain the ink and creates the
rich dark tones characteristic of mezzotint.