"Look At Me" monotype and screen print 2009
Everyone has a story to tell. Unfortunately, for those who have autism communication is difficult. Some people on the autism spectrum cannot speak at all. I want to speak for them through my artwork. After all, just because you don't talk doesn't mean you have nothing to say.
I am a printmaker. I make monotypes primarily, by building up numerous layers of ink on a sheet of paper (see the video). I also make other types of prints such as etchings and screen prints and then sew everything together. I can get some pretty interesting effects by layering my prints that are nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get by painting or drawing. That is why I love printmaking.
I am also the mother of two young boys. My youngest son Derek is autistic. My son is 3 1/2 and can speak about as much as your average one year old. He is still considered "non-verbal." The Autism Art Project began with a single art piece--a monotype--that I created about three months after Derek was diagnosed. At the time, I couldn't even get Derek to make eye contact. I was fighting around the clock to get my son back. I titled the piece, "Look At Me." Over the next year, the idea to do a series of prints about autism began floating around in my mind. I decided to create a second piece, about the unspoken bond between my sons. Once the piece was finished, I knew I had no choice. I had to do the project. At first I thought about telling just Derek's story. I am quite literally my son's "voice." But I want to tell other kids' stories as well.
"Brothers: The Unspoken Bond" monotype and mixed media 2011
I want to have a show!! I plan on putting together a series of at least 10 prints and having a gallery show. I am going to hang my prints next to pieces created by the autistic children I do portraits of. The money raised will go towards art materials such as ink, brayers, a roller, paper, mat board, foam core, and framing materials. It will also go towards gallery rental, promotion, and fulfilling rewards. Any extra money raised will go towards buying a printmaking press.
Watercolor #1 by Derek Hanson
This is one of Derek's paintings. He always makes very deliberate marks with the paintbrush and uses earth tones. I will hang this next to the print above in the show. I always wonder what my son is thinking about and what he is trying to say. I can't wait to find out someday.
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