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Last Updated: August 8, 2023

Stephen McMillan

Winding Road
multi-plate etching

Multi-plate Etching

Stephen McMillan was born in 1949 and grew up in a home with a sweeping view of the San Francisco Bay. He began drawing early and earned a B.A. and then a B.F.A. at U.C. Santa Cruz. He met up with the medium of aquatint etching in 1974 and has been an avid student of this technically challenging medium ever since. He has worked at the Graphic Arts Workshop in San Francisco, at the Kala Institute in Berkeley, CA, and has lived and worked in Bellingham, WA since 2006.

Aquatint etching is demanding. Stephen’s prints appear photographic, but actually they are the result of careful drawing with brushes into the acid-grounds of multiple copper plates. Coordinating the interaction of the various color plates (often 3 or 4 separate plates) is a task Stephen works out in his imagination. Of the work Stephen says “part of being an artist is being a magician.”

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