How D. P. Brown Makes Serigraphs

The term serigraphy is used to denote fine art silk screening as opposed to commercial applications of the same process.

Silk-screening is a print making process in which inks are squeezed through the open areas in a silk mesh or similar material, stretched on wooden frames. The history of silk- screening is very ancient and it has numerous applications.


Since the application of the paint or ink is done exclusively by forcing it through the perforations of the screen a new stencil must be created for each addition of colour or line. The number of prints created of each image (said differently, the size of the editions) vary.

For his serigraphs, Dan uses 20 to 30 screens. His editions are less than 100.

One argument for considering serigraphs as fine art is that each print is the direct manifestation of the artist's creative impulse. Each print reflects subtle differences because of the vagaries of the medium. The artist's hand touches each serigraphy; and the artist's craft is evident in each.

This is very different from the situation that exists when a painting by an artist is photographically reproduced. With photographic reproduction there is no personal involvement by the artist (although she/he may possibly sign it by hand) and the finished product is not original but rather a reproduction of another work. In serigraphy each number of the edition is in truth an original work of art.

Dan produces all his own silk screens and prints them himself in his studio. This is contrary to the common and accepted practice in the various types of serigraphy for the artist to employ a printer or lithographer. In these cases the artist, after conceiving the idea and creating the master drawing, hands it over to the printer. The artist may or may not supervise the printing.

Prior to starting the process of creating the screens, Dan develops very thoroughly and completely the composition on paper. Occasionally Dan "finishes" a drawing created as a preparatory drawing for a serigraph. These studies are released to the market or retained in his collection.

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