Showcasing a 400-year old medium in Beaver Creek |

Showcasing a 400-year old medium in Beaver Creek

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily"Salmon Falls," by Mark Thompson. There are 100 editions of this etching.

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” Artist Mark Thompson will demonstrate his etching process today through Sunday at Knox Galleries in Beaver Creek. Though Thompson generally demonstrates his egg tempera painting technique, for the first time he’ll instead have his portable etching press and several etching plates with him at the gallery to show people how he creates his etchings.

“I have long been fascinated by the beauty of line and the work of the Renaissance and pre-Renaissance masters,” Thompson said. “Etchings are essentially the distillation of balance and rhythm, volume and line in a medium over 400 years old.”

The original drawing for an etching is done on a ground zinc or copper plate. An etching needle is used to scratch through the ground and expose the bare metal.

“When the drawing is finished, the entire plate is submerged in a bath of acid until the exposed metal is bitten deeply enough to hold ink,” Thompson said. “The longer the plate is submerged, the deeper the bite. The deeper the bite, the darker the line. When biting is complete, the ground is cleaned off, and the plate is rubbed with ink then wiped clean. The only ink that remains is in the bitten lines. The plate is then placed face up on an etching press and covered with damp paper. Paper and plate are then run through the press, forcing the paper down into the lines and picking up the ink. Each print is unique and the excitement is renewed with each new image.”

A Colorado native, Thompson received his B.A degree in Commercial Art from Colorado State University. After working briefly as a commercial illustrator in Chicago, he returned to Colorado. He taught art for 10 years and completed course work toward an M.A. in drawing and painting at the University of Northern Colorado.

He turned to his art full time in 1981, working in the media of egg tempera and etching.

Thompson’s etching show the diversity of his artistic talent and attention to detail, “whether his subject matter is the architecture of an old structure of days gone by, a beautiful woman in Victorian dress or an animal in its natural surroundings ” they are all timeless images,” said Know Gallery Director Mark Kihle.

The gallery has around 60 Thompson etchings available for sale, including etchings of fly-fishing and Paris.

For directions to the gallery or more information about the available works, call the Knox Galleries at 970-949-5564.

What: Mark Thompson demonstrates his etching process and explains his egg tempera painting technique

Where: Knox Galleries in Beaver Creek

When: Friday, 4 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday, 4 to 7 p.m.

Cost: Free

More information: Call 970-949-5564

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