MGNE Members Highlight:
Q& A with Barbara Nachmias-Kedesdy

At our 2018 Annual Meeting, we awarded artist Barbara Nachmias-Kedesdy with a lifetime honorary membership for her service to the Monotype Guild of New England. Barbara has been a member of MGNE for 11-years, and served on the board for 6 years as Secretary. She is continuing to volunteer as a member of the Exhibitions Venue Committee. “The Guild would not be the organization it is today without Barbara and her mentorship over the past few years,” stated MGNE President, Rebecca Leopoldina Torres. “Barbara helped to recruit many of our existing board of directors. She also has played an important role is helping guide and support the board through several transitions and presidents. We have all benefited from her wisdom and grace.”

Recently, we had the opportunity to interview Barbara about her work and what inspires her:

Q. Describe your work in three words.

A. Expressive, botanical, subtle

Q. Why monotype? What draws you to the medium?

A. The excitement of revealing form by removing ink, drawing into and creating texture in ink (with mark-making tools, found objects, fingerprints).
As carefully as I think I’ve planned a print, the surprises are often the most satisfying outcome. I love integrating drawing into monotype and combining print processes (trace prints, viscosity, stencils).

Q. How did you hear about MGNE?

A. In 1999, I took a monotype workshop with Irene Valensius at Mass College of Art and was hooked. Shortly afterwards, my husband found the MGNE website online. I entered my first MGNE show in 2007 and joined the Board in 2011, serving as Secretary for three years.

Q. What inspires you?

A. I am inspired by the natural world, landscape and especially plants. I live on the edge of a salt marsh, on a tidal river, and love to be outdoors…biking, gardening, on the water. Working in colored pencil as well as printmaking, I have long been inspired by the history of botanical art.

Q. What are you currently working on in your studio?

A. This time of year, I work from photos of the summer landscape and garden as well as from recent travels. This summer, I was inspired by a Silverpoint workshop with Linda Heppes Funk at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and am currently exploring ways to combine monotype with Silverpoint drawing.

Q. What advice would you give to a new printmaker?

A. Welcome the unexpected! Look at lots of prints, by different artists, in varied forms, using multiple techniques.

Q. If you could meet any printmaker/artist in history, who would it be? What would you talk about?

A. I have always loved the paintings of Degas and Gauguin, but discovering the innovative printmaking work of both has been inspiring in recent years. Degas, a master of dark-field monotype, for his passionate spirit of experimentation; Gauguin for his original explorations of trace and transfer prints.  Among contemporary printmakers: the great Michael Mazur, who seems to define the ‘painterly print’, Mary Frank, and Maine artist Alan Magee.

For more information about Barbara, visit her MGNE profile page in our Members Gallery and visit her pages at 13 Forest Gallery in Arlington, MA and the American Society of Botanical Artists