I am Kelsie Becker, I started printmaking regularly two years ago. I explored a large cross section of other media but I struggled to find the one that really made my heart sing. I had just finished my undergrad in biology and was feeling a little adrift and decided to take a crack at “officially” being something I had unofficially been my whole life: a maker. Two years later here I am still figuring things out but soundly rooted in a certainty that making is exactly what I am supposed to be doing.
About my work
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
I have been asked a lot about how I got the idea to use book pages to print on recently. So I would like to take a brief moment to talk about the origin of the books. When I first started exploring printmaking outside of a traditional print studio I realized the amount of trial and error involved in my process was going to become quite costly. High quality printing paper is usually sold in large sheets and they can be expensive to purchase. So with only a small budget to dedicate to my work I had to look for other more cost effective means to produce finished prints that did not feel cheapened by not using printing paper. Turns out there are a great many used books out in the world filled with hundreds of pages of paper!
So in the beginning my use of books grew out of a need to keep my costs low. As my skills and confidence grew (and even my budget a little) I realized books were not simply cost effective they are also an endless source of inspiration. Sometimes I select books based on ideas I already have, sometimes I select books that will inspire their own work.
For example, I did several dog portraits last year and came upon a copy of "Marley and Me" by John Grogan – they were a match made in heaven and I printed almost all of my dog portraits on pages from that book. More recently I came into possession of a pocket guide book from the 60’s about tidal marshes and have been working on series of prints of various inhabitants of tidal marshes designed specifically for print on pages from the guide book. And occasionally I come across a book that I have not read but become so engaged with while using it that I ultimately end up getting another copy for reading, as in the case with Sy Montgomery’s "Soul of an Octopus."