Knife Strokes in the Ramp Gallery, April 28–May 19

E.Mays-Piranha Panic Pastelle

What: Knife Strokes by Ethel Mays

When: April 28–May 19, 2014

Where: The Ramp Gallery, a community curated space at 934 Brannan St. (between 8th and 9th)

Knife Strokes is a collection of monoprints that “suggest a world with action that we may see in dreams or deep thought.”

Artist Ethel Mays began as a black-and-white film photographer trained by a master printer in the production of archival photo prints. When she began making monotype prints, she was intrigued by her instructor’s description of the art form as “painterly” and encouragement to “leave perfection at the door.”

Listen to this audio to hear Ethel discuss her process:

In classes taken at SOMArts’ Chrysalis Studio, brayers, foliage, and stencils are often used to apply pigments and patterns to the printing plates. These in conjunction with high quality paper and a Griffin Series 000 Intaglio Press are used to create the prints. A fascination with the use of paint brushes and mat board strips as pigment application tools eventually led to the use of the palette knife to apply and manipulate the pigments, usually over a solid base of color applied to the printing plates with a brayer. Because she is also a poet and writer, Mays enjoys assigning sometimes otherworldly names to many of her images.

About the Artist
Mays is a California native from the foothills of the central Sierra Nevada. A Seattle University graduate, she enjoys exhibiting her photographic and monotype prints as well as publishing her prose and poetry. She currently lives in San Francisco.

About The Ramp Gallery
The Ramp Gallery, a community curated space in the SOMArts lobby, accepts exhibition proposals on a continual basis. To view submission information as well as past exhibitions, please visit The Ramp Gallery page of our website here. To purchase work on display or for more information email You can visit The Ramp Gallery any time SOMArts Cultural Center is open.

Photos courtesy of Ethel Mays.