Updated: Apr 7, 2021
In the 1990s, I met Richard Press who operated Richard L. Press, Fine and Scholarly Books in Sacramento. He was generous with his time and was a wonderful source of history about my own culture. One of the first books I purchased from him was “45 Contemporary Mexican Artists: A Twentieth-Century Renaissance.”
The influence of this book was incredible on my interest in collecting and creating art. I was already a painter/printmaker and was familiar with the big three Mexican muralists (Siqueiros, Rivera, and Orozco—Los Tres Grandes) and the cala
vera images by Guadalupe Posada. However, this book exposed me to many more Mexican Masters, painters and printmakers. Additionally, it contained in-depth information about the most influential and enduring progressive printmaking collective of its time, the Taller de Gráfica Popular (the Popular Graphic Art Workshop or TGP) founded in 1937.
I studied art in high school. In my senior year, my art teacher gave each student several large tubes of oil paint and canvas! That same year, he gave me all the supplies I needed to paint a large 4 x 10-foot canvas with acrylic paint. Of course, I majored in art in college and earned a double B.A. in Art and Journalism. Journalism offered all the graphic arts-related courses, artist anatomy and scientific illustration…essential for a realist painter. I never stopped painting.
I studied commercial printing and silk-screening in college in the early 1970s. My interest in printing was rekindled by an informal group of Sacramento printmakers. I enrolled in printmaking courses at the Kala Printmaking Institute. Then in the mid-1990s, I purchased a combination printing press. It was manufactured by Reynaldo Terrazas (my husband’s 1st cousin) who founded The Griffin Company in Oakland in the 1960s. He hand-manufactured artist printing presses for etching, intaglio, and lithography processes…a combination press can be used for all these processes. His presses are owned across the United States by individual workshops and colleges; and are in the Smithsonian Museum.
Related YouTube Video:
My YouTube Channel, Simona’s Fine Arts, will be highlighting some of the original prints by Mexican Masters that my husband and I have collected. Look for this video in April 2021.