The Inbox

Printmakers present ‘Art by the Bay’

Art by the Bay poster

By Winnie  Velasquez, VERA Files

The Printmakers Association of the Philippines  opened its studios at the back of the Folk Arts Theater to give the public a peek at the fascinating world of printmaking in "Art by the Bay"  for the past three  Saturdays and will continue to do so this Saturday, Dec. 8.

From 5 p.m. onwards, visitors  will enjoy a magnificent view of the sunset but have  a chance to meet their favorite artists and see them at work.

This is the second time that PAP is presenting Art by the Bay. Last year it drew a good crowd prompting the organization to make it an annual event. PAP holds regular workshops on printmaking.  For six Saturdays, Benjie Torrado Cabrera has been conducting a workshop on etching. It ends on December 8 just before the start of the fourth Saturday edition of Art by the Bay. Those who come to the PAP studio early can watch the workshop students at work and observe how prints are made.

Since it was founded by Manuel Rodriguez, Sr. in 1968 along with Adiel Arevalo, PAP has upheld the illustrious tradition of printmaking in the country and made fine art available to more people. Some of our National Artists have produced fine prints among their most notable works. PAP's roster of members reads like a Who's Who in Philippine art.  BenCab's prints are as widely collected as his paintings.

Other notable printmaker-painters are: Raul Isidro, Pandy Aviado, Benjie Cabrera, Fil dela Cruz, Brenda Fajardo, Ambie Abaňo, and Ofelia Gelvezon-Tequi, Imelda Cajipe-Endaya, Ling Quisumbing.  The works of some of these artists along with those of recent 13 Artist awardee Joey Cobcobo, Janus dela Cruz, Noel Farol, Buen Abrigo, and Angelo Magno will be among those on exhibit and sale in Art by the Bay on December 8.

"Printmaking is an intricate process done entirely by hand thus it is considered an original art form. It entails transferring images from a prepared matrix onto the final material. Since the matrix is permanent, the process can be repeated allowing the creation of multiple originals and variation prints. With multiple originals, an artwork can have further reach. It can be exhibited at various places at the same time, and more people can acquire it. Because it is done in editions, prints are very affordable compared to other art mediums. Truly, it is people-friendly, a very democratic art form. Someone starting an art collection can best begin by acquiring original fine prints," says Angelo Magno, PAP secretary.

Printmaking is done using a wide variety of materials and techniques. Below, Magno explains the four basic printing processes:

  • In relief printing, ink is applied on the surface of the matrix, which is transferred on the final ground. For example, in woodcut and rubbercut, the design is drawn on a piece of wood or rubber. The background or non-printing area is cut away with a carving tool. Using a roller, ink is then applied to the matrix which is pressed on the paper, fabric or other surfaces. Designs produced in this process are usually very bold and raw. All you need is ink, a roller, and usually a spatula for rubbing and transferring the image from matrix to paper.
  • In the intaglio process, scratches and incisions are made into a plate or matrix. The plate is usually made of copper, zinc or an acrylic sheet, which holds the ink or pigment. The artist pushes the ink with a squeegee onto the entire plate and wipes off the excess ink on the surface, leaving the ink only in the incised lines. A damp sheet of paper is placed on top of the plate and the plate is run through the etching press, which pushes the paper into the groves, lifting the ink out of the groves. Drypoint, etching, engraving, mezzotint and aquatint are some techniques under the intaglio process. In contrast to the relief method, the images produced in etching are more fluid and spontaneous.
  • The planographic technique pertains to lithography. It is based on the principle that oil and water repel each other, and limestones are naturally attracted to oil. In handmade lithographs, the artist draws or paints directly onto the limestone with a greasy lithographic pencil or touché. It is then treated with acid accordingly and the ink adheres only on the drawn areas when rolled on. Soft lines and varied tones are achieved from lithographs.
  • Serigraphy is also known as the silkscreen process, a method also used in shirt printing. In contemporary silkscreen, artists use screens made of a fine nylon or polyester mesh. Selected areas of the screen are blocked out by screen fillers or paper stencils, and the ink is prevented from penetrating through the mesh to the paper or textile underneath. Serigraphy is most favoured by artists who use a lot of color in their works.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for "true.")


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Que nails first title in 3 years

    The three-time Asian Tour champion, who bounced back from a mediocre start of 72 and 71 with a fiery 66 Friday to tie Tabuena at helm, pooled a 72-hole total of seven-under 281 to nail the elusive win on the ICTSI Philippine Golf Tour worth P650,000. Hounded by poor putting, Tabuena went birdie-less for the first time in a long while but still stayed in the title hunt with a slew of pars at the back until he bogeyed the 17th and fell by two. …

  • Church: Donate to ‘Alay Kapwa’

    An official of the Church’s social action arm has asked the faithful to be generous when making a donation to "Alay Kapwa" today, Palm Sunday, which is also designated as Alay Kapwa Sunday.   Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA), said the faithful should generously give to Alay Kapwa as the amount collected will be used as emergency funds for crisis and calamities both from natural and …

  • ‘PNP’s systematic anti-crime drive to be sustained

    Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) secretary Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas II vowed to sustain the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) deliberate, programmatic and determined approach in fighting criminality.  “The President and Filipino people can be assured that the PNP will not slow down in its mission of fighting criminality, not only in Metro Manila but nationwide," said Roxas, who bared that there has been a significant drop in criminal activities within Metro Manila, especially …

  • Visayas grid to benefit from new Luzon power plants

    Owing to the existing transmission interconnection, Visayas grid is seen benefitting from the projected ‘oversupply’ that may saturate Luzon in the next three years. The Department of Energy and players from the power industry have noted the scant flow of capital for new power projects in Visayas, but they underscored that the transmission link-up would enable the sharing of energy between the two grids. First Gen executive vice president Ernesto B. Pantangco, who is also vice president of …

  • Arroyo’s co-accused permitted to undergo hospital procedure

    A co-accused of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in a plunder case has been allowed by the Sandiganbayan First Division to undergo a medical procedure tomorrow. The graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas, who was also its former budget and accounts manager, to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance procedure at the St. Luke's Medical Center in Quezon City this morning. Aguas, who is …

  • Petron expands petroleum retail operations

    Following the completion of its re-branding on acquired assets, leading Philippine oil firm Petron Corporation is now setting its goal on expanding its retail network in Malaysian petroleum market. The company has emphasized “20 more sites are in various stages of construction and commissioning.” On the downstream petroleum industry, it is the first time that a Filipino firm had brought its brand to an offshore market. It is technically some sort of ‘symbiosis’ when it comes to investments …

  • PAGASA: Storm may enter PH by Wednesday

    It may be a wet and windy Holy Week due to an erstwhile low pressure area which has intensified into a tropical storm with international name "Maysak,” according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.As of yesterday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the cyclone at about 3,300 kilometers east of Mindanao and outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).Should it maintain its present speed and track, it may enter the …

  • News In Brief

    The weighted average rate stands at P44.796 MINDANAO INFRASTRUCTURE SHARE INCREASED In a bid to boost the Mindanao economy, the Philippine government has increased the southern island’s share of the 2015 infrastructure budget to 30%, or around $4 billion, said Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson at the Philippines Investment Forum in Manila last week. “In 10 years’ time it’s still likely to be 30% because while the Philippines is committed to growing renewables, demand will …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options