(Above: Heather Halpern talks about the complex techniques involved in a print by artist Elizabeth Brinton. The work is Flower Fall III from 2015, a monotype; photos by Paul Carter)

By Randi Bjornstad

Those who are not familiar with the name Elizabeth Brinton — or the beauty of her 46 years of artistry as a printmaker — have a chance to rectify this omission starting Oct. 27 and continuing through Nov. 22.

That’s when the walls of Whiteaker Printmakers will be given over to a show called, appropriately, Elizabeth Brinton: A 46 Year Retrospective.

The show even includes a chance to meet the artist, at the opening reception from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 27, at the Whiteaker Printmakers studio at 1328 W. Second Ave. in Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood.

And best of all, artist Elizabeth Brinton intends to attend that day, along with members of her family who arranged the show with the assistance of Whiteaker Printmakers founders Heather and Paul Halpern.

After that, there will be another open house on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the show also can be viewed on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 1, 8, 15, and 22.

Brinton’s work has been shown in solo exhibits in Oregon and Washington as well as in Skopelos, Greece and Venice, Italy.

She describes her work this way in a brief artist’s statement:

My journey into printmaking is informed by early work in the screen-printing industry. After graduating from the University of Oregon in Fine and Applied arts, I went to work at Bay Street Productions in Oregon as a color matcher and screen-printer for fine custom wallpapers. From there I’ve built a busy full time studio practice, making art daily. In addition to printmaking, I work in painting, ceramics, jewelry, fabric and combined techniques.

Elizabeth Brinton; courtesy of the artist

The ancient tradition of the print is always at the heart of the work. Now decades into this journey, the pleasure of process and a newfound freedom with materials and techniques keeps it all moving into new territory. I make prints not as copies or reproductions at all. Silkscreen yields the jazzy and juicy layers of color, and clear shapes. Intaglio and monotype renders deep blacks of varying densities and values. Chine collé provides “moving parts” in the form of favored shapes and colors. Layering of colors, use of multiple plates, evolving plates, and marks allows the medium to “talk back” at some point. I treat printmaking as an open ended and ongoing investigation into a hidden world.

In fact, the Halperns have organized the show to reflect the ongoing phases of Brinton’s experience and development in the world of fine-art printing.

Brinton’s interest in art has been eclectic. She earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Oregon with coursework in Fine and Applied Arts, Education, and Art History, as well as graduate study in jewelry and metalsmithing. After that, she pursued sculpture at Pratt Fine Arts and ceramics at the Kirkland Art Center.

All that curiosity and experience is on display in this solo show, Heather Halpern said.

“When you first come in, you see prints from her early years in Eugene,” she said. “As you progress through the rooms, you see the way her artistry changed during her years in Salem, when she seemed to have a period of working with pastels, and different again later when she was in Washington state.”

In fact, Brinton says that she is the inventor of the reduction silkscreen process, which involves masking off many layers of a print and adding that many layers of ink, Halpern said.

Detail from September Flowers, a reduction screenprint by Elizabeth Brinton

“Through the years, she really figured out her own style and nailed it — and it is very complicated. For example, her piece, September Flowers, has 30 layers of ink. With all those layers, some of the prints actually look almost three-dimensional.”

An interesting facet of Brinton’s work is that in some of the most recent, “You can see her in some ways revisiting some of her earlier techniques,” Halpern said. “There are 64 pieces in this show, and it is just so inspiring — I don’t want the community to miss it.”

Elizabeth Brinton: A 46 Year Retrospective

When: Limited hours from Oct. 27 through Nov.22, 2023

  • Opening reception 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Oct 27
  • Receptions from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29
  • Viewing hours from 4-6 p.m. on Nov. 1, 8, 15, and 22

Where: Whiteaker Printmakers, 1328 West Second Ave., Eugene

Information: whitprint.com and ebrinton.com

(Above: Bloom Time 4: Collage on Birch by Elizabeth Brinton)