Mark E. Ritchie
Mark Ritchie
Artist Statement

Mark lives and works in Laramie, Wyoming where he teaches at the University of Wyoming. His work in printmaking is rooted in a love of drawing and both continue to be companions in his work. One often informs the other in his studio and he frequently draws on prints and prints on drawings. In recent intaglio and lithographic prints, the relationship of the lines on waxed papers and marks made on both sides of paper build the image. Color is achieved with hand-tinting, worked on the plate prior to printing or through printed layers. The printmaking matrix becomes a vehicle for multiple unique solutions and several plates often contribute to a single image.

Animals: birds, monkeys, horses and dogs, play the roles of humans in the obtuse narratives in his work. The garden, the house, the prairie provide a setting. Ladders, mazes, bells and paper airplanes reference communication and epiphanies. These symbols are shared in many traditions, while others are unique to his experience of growing up in Kansas and current home on the high plains. Asian folding screens, Islamic miniatures, paper fans and medieval book illuminations have all provided inspiration and visual vocabulary.

His work provides a middle ground between the observed and objective and the lyrical world of the subjective image with the intention to evoke rather than describe a specific narrative. The Byzantine spaces in each piece encourage the viewer to enter a flattened world of paper and ink and like many Asian works, ask the viewer to enter and trace a journey.