Karen Hartono

Myths and Legends (printmaking/watercolor work)

Class of: 2023

Medium: Printmaking and watercolor

Faculty: Alaiyo Bradshaw

Prompt: Printmaking based on Native American Legends and Greek Myths and using watercolor to paint the prints.

My two drawings are inspired by the Hercules and the Corn Legend from Omaha. Hercules, as many of us know, is one of the most popular heroes in ancient mythology. He continuously had to deal with the goddess Hera trying to trick him and get him into trouble. In the end, Hercules died when his wife was tricked into poisoning him. However, Zeus saved him and his immortal half went to Olympus to become a god. Hence, I made a reiteration of Disney’s Hercules, a very strong and muscular man figure. The corn legend, on the other hand, tells a story about a man finding a corn stalk, nurtures it, and it becomes the root of life. This was my first time doing printmaking and I found it very satisfying and fun. Creating the print is not as hard as I thought it would be. I place the inked plexiglass on the grid and take the wet paper out of the water bath, and dried it with a towel. Then, I roll the printmaking tool and lift up all of the layers, and voilà! I am very happy with the results! My first prints are more dull and lighter, but once I got the hang of it, I managed to add more ink and the later prints are so much more vivid. I decided to paint my ghost print of the Corn Legend, as the subtleness of the ink complements the watercolor better. I used some glazing and wet on dry techniques with some yellow and green hues. Overall, I had so much fun with printmaking and I am happy to have picked up a new skill. I would love to be able to experiment with this again in the future.