Tea & Talk With the Talented: Lee Ann Frame


Lee Ann Frame, Traveling Marbles V, hand-colored intaglio print

By Colette A. Finney

Artist Lee Ann Frame‘s professional resume is full of accolades and accomplishments. The owner of  Norris Creek Printmaking Studio in Fruitport, Frame is a printmaker, and art instructor, with additional interests in bookbinding. She is the has exhibited extensively, and has work included in collections all over the world.

I was fortunate enough to take an introductory woodcut printmaking class with Frame, and have been enthralled with the medium ever since.

Frame’s hand-colored Intaglio print Traveling Marbles V, can be seen at the Holland Area Arts Council. through November 4, as part of the MI Arts: All Michigan All Media Visual Arts Competition.

CF: What motivates you to create?

LAF:  I have an innate desire to create, problem solve, and think of the possibilities. I can be motivated by nature, always bold and challenging, presenting amazing textures, colors, light and patterns. I am motivated by experiences, relationships, travel, great works of art, and daily life. I tend to reflect on life and roll around ideas for some time before putting them to print. Ideas and the possibilities are motivating in themselves. At this point in my life, I feel as though I have finally come into my own, this realization is motivating.

CF: Do you have a typical artistic routine, and if so, can you share it with us?

LAF:  Mornings are my best time to think and mentally problem solve, however, that being said, I can be found in the studio working on prints at midnight and later. I do find that obligations and upcoming shows encourage routine and longer stretches of time in the studio. I teach at Muskegon Community College, have a gallery representation. Balance is important but doesn’t always happen.

When I begin a new work there is a ritual that takes place. Organizing, clearing space, preparing the matrix, copper, wood, or aluminum plate, inks and tearing paper are all part of the process.

CF: What do you do for inspiration when you are in a creative slump?

LAF:  I go for a walk, kicking a stone down the path, or ride my bike and ponder. I do not limit or fence my imagination. I wait and float ideas and experiences until they begin to take on a direction. I let images come and go, nearly continuously on how to say something without feeling as though I have a mouth full of marbles. I look at high quality art, prints by the masters and strong works by contemporary artists in galleries and museums. I have a great collection of art that I love and live with. These works offer inspiration. I also have a very nice collection art books to peruse.

CF:  What advice would you give to new artists?

LAF:  Observe and learn from the masters, ask questions. Find an artist or artists whose work you find engaging, study it, recreate it, it will help with composition. Travel outside your comfort zone, experiment without fear, experience life fully. This will help you to develop a voice and how to tell your own story. Don’t be afraid to explore and change as life unfolds. Be honest with yourself.

CF:  What do you feel most proud of?

LAF: My “stick to it” and “determination” to work hard. Making prints that manifest because of experiences and relationships with others. I love to explore and do so with enthusiasm and without reservation. I love printmaking.

CF:  What’s something most people don’t know about you?

LAF:  I’m a certified scuba diver.

CF:  What wouldn’t you do without?

LAF:  A safe place to retreat to, pulling away from the business of life–that can be anywhere. This “sacred space” grounds me and helps me to see more fully life and the world that surrounds me.

All images courtesy of the artist’s website

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