As an artist, I am drawn to the ever-changing drama of paper and ink. In a marbling tank, the ink kisses the paper. In sumi-e painting, the ink attacks. In bookmaking, the two dance together to conjure ideas and meanings. In printmaking, the enormous pressure of the etching press tests the materials (and tests the artist), calling out strengths, weaknesses, and character. Art is like a walkabout in a vast country — slowly finding the truths of this paper, that ink, and how they yield to each other in an intimate, endless experiment with life.
Mary K. Brennan is a book artist, printmaker, and co-owner of Red Squirrel Studio (www.redsquirrelstudio.com) in Harpswell, Maine. Her education in the making of prints and books began in 2000 at the San Francisco Center for the Book and continued at Maine College of Art. She has also studied with Hedie Kyle, Pamela Barrios, Keiji Shinohara, and Pamela Fiske. She has taught bookmaking for artists and printmakers at Maine College of Art in Portland. Since 2002, she has twice served as a co-president of Peregrine Press. She is the founder of the Annual Harpswell Papermaking Invitational. Her work is held in private collections in on the East and West Coast and in the public collections of the Bowdoin College Library, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Colby College Museum of Art, Farnsworth Museum of Art, New York Public Library, Portland Museum of Art, University of New England, and Wheaton College.