Editor’s note: Shared by 5 visual artists, Studio 3 is located on the second floor of FYACS. Here’s a peek at the work and inspiration of one those artists. Kerry Pegoraro is a mixed media artist currently focused on printmaking, cut paper, and painting.

I got my first taste of fine art back in 2005, while I was doing a graphic design certificate program at Mass Art in Boston. I had to take a painting class as an elective and I loved every minute of it. I graduated and forgot about painting until October of 2011, when I’d been stuck at home with a toddler and a newborn and was desperately in need of an outlet. I started attending the adult drop-in time at a relatively new Follow Your Art and decided to paint. Kris Rodolico was very encouraging and helped me with things I found challenging and suggested workshops she thought I’d enjoy. Everything snowballed from there and gradually my work evolved to what it is today.

Most of my artwork is some variation on painting and gravitates toward the abstract. I work with both oil and acrylic paints and frequently include cut paper and other elements such as glass beads or sand. More recently I’ve been exploring printmaking, specifically white line printmaking – a process pioneered in Provincetown, MA at the turn of the 20th century.

White line printmaking solves all the problems I had with printmaking… I always wanted to incorporate color – lots and lots of color.

For me, white line printmaking solves all the problems I had with printmaking. I have enjoyed printmaking for years, ever since taking a class at Boston University. However, I always wanted to incorporate color – lots and lots of color. This is problematic with traditional relief printmaking techniques, which requires either multiple plates for each color or a reductive technique, which requires you to remove a different element of your image with each color addition, leaving you with an empty plate and no way to make more prints. After participating in a workshop at FYA with white line printmaker Kate Hanlon, I realized that I had found the solution to my issues with printmaking and pursued it with vigor. White line printmaking has you carve the outlines of your image, then apply a water-based ink directly to your plate, allowing for as many colors as you want to be applied and leaving you with a reusable plate to make more prints later.

Pegoraro's white line printmaking

As a result, my artwork is currently divided into two areas – painting and printmaking. My painting might be an abstract with cut paper and glass beads, or it might be a straight-up landscape. Sometimes I like to explore the abstract created from everyday objects viewed in extreme closeup and sometimes I like to explore a more narrative style. I’m always looking for new ideas, new sources of inspiration, and new ways for my artwork to evolve. So far, my white line prints tend more toward the abstract but even I don’t know if that will change down the line. I have been showing my work as often as I can whenever the opportunity arises, including in three shows with the Coffee Shop Artists group and one show at the Melrose Public Library.

Pegoraro's landscapes

I will say that that current COVID-19 crisis has had a profound effect on my artwork. I’ve been out of my FYACS studio, and (unsuccessfully) trying to work from home. Between trying to help my children with their schooling and trying to keep my household running smoothly, there hasn’t been a lot of time for me to just create. All my paints are in the studio and I’ve been trying to create printmaking plates at home. I don’t have the basswood plates that I prefer to carve and have been attempting to use pine boards my husband had in his wood shop. Working with pine has been a very different experience and has presented new challenges, but I have had some success. I also have many designs worked out and am considering working to improve my drawing skills. So stay tuned, my repertoire may eventually include drawing as well!

Kerry Pegoraro is an Artist in Residence at Follow Your Art Community Studios.

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