John Odlin is a Colorado artist who has been working from his Rocky Ford studio since 2008. A painter and printmaker, his emphasis has been on printmaking for many years.

An early workshop at Oehme Graphics introduced me to many printmaking techniques. Currently my process involves combining elements of monotype, stencil, and collagraph, with etching and relief plates in the production of monoprints. Although I work from a smaller press in my studio, the prints represent here were made at Oehme Graphics in 2020 under the expert direction of Sue and her staff, on OG’s kickass Takach press.

While I admire the work of so many printmakers, it is primarily the prints of Frank Stella, in particular those made at Tyler Graphics, that are most reflected in these prints. The main thing that drew me to Stella’s work was the incorporation of so many techniques within a single print. A typical Stella print from that time might be described as a lithograph, screenprint, etching, aquatint, relief print.

In the prints shown here, I use a similar array of techniques, (minus lithography). I use irregularly shaped steel plates for both etching and relief. While I originally chose steel over copper for economy, I have become quite satisfied with steel plates.

One of my favorite “art quotes” is Frank Stella’s “What you see us what you see.” There is no intentional allusion to objective visual reality in these prints. I have no deeper meaning to convey, no mood or idea to evoke. Rather, it is like a foreign language from which no literal meaning can be understood, yet which possesses it’s own logic and structure. It is more to the level of shared human emotion, not intellect, that this work is meant to speak.

My aim is a coherent composition, which necessarily involves a coherent relationship of form and color. I wish I had more to say about color. I leave much to chance in this area. I have no theory or design, I start from anywhere and try, through various adjustments, to make these relationships seem “not wrong”.