Cecil Day

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"My prints evolve slowly with many proofings and often varied editions. Sometimes I print on fabric to make two and three dimensional hangings. Sometimes I make books images or parts of images. The chance to "play" with the image is part of the pleasure.

Although my sources are from nature always, they may be observed or remembered or provoked by conversation or lines in a poem." - C. Day


There is a sense of spontaneous discovery about a print by Cecil Day. Day leads us to places, to moments, points them out in bold relief, describes them with quantities of colour and wide spaces between the details. As an artist Day is a hidden, listening observer with a keen eye trained to look under water and into thickets and over miles of terrain for unrehearsed encounters with nature. Cecil Day works in both woodcut and etching and enjoys extending the printing process beyond flat paper to include fabric and paper mache. She has an uninhibited earthy approach to subject and form that is playful and somehow timeless in a very unassuming way.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Day studied painting at Wellesley College, Wellesley, Mass. and Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana and completed an MFA in painting at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Day's printmaking experience has lead her to be an artist-in-residence at the Windsor Printmaker's Forum in Windsor, Ontario in 1990 and at St. Michael's Printshop in St. John's Newfoundland in 1993. Washington University recently awarded Day artist-in-residence status for 1995 at Cité Internationale des Arts, in Paris. Her permanent home and studio is in Port Maitland on the southern Atlantic shore of Nova Scotia.

Whether woodcuts, etchings, or quilts, Day's work has been well represented across Canada and in the United States in numerous solo and group shows, including a recent1994 two-person show of prints and hangings at Acadia Univ. in Wolfville, N.S. entitled "Dark Forest". Among the public collections of her work are: the Canada Council Art Bank, the National Library of Canada, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and the permanent collections of both Acadia Univ. in Nova Scotia and Memorial University in Newfoundland.

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Brief Biography

Name: Cecil Day

Born: St. Louis, Missouri

Media: Wood cut, etching, quilts

Studio: Port Maitland, Nova Scotia

Education: Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, MFA (painting); Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, BA (painting); Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts

Selected Permanent Collections:

Canada Council Art Bank and National Library of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Acadia Univ., Wolfville, N.S., Memorial Univ. St. John's, Newfoundland, Nova

Scotia Art Bank, Halifax, N.S.

Selected Solo Shows:

Acadia Univ., Wolfville, N.S. (with Mary Dryburgh), 1994

Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John's, Newfoundland, 1993

Acadia Univ. Art Gallery, Wolfville, N.S., 1988

Memorial Univ., St. Johns, Newfoundland, 1982, 1987

Selected Group Shows:

Lyghtesome Gallery, Antigonish, N.S., 1994

N.S. Printmakers Assoc., (travelling), 1990-1991, 1993-94

Malaspina Printshop, Vancouver, B.C., 1993

Acadia Univ. Art Gallery, Wolfville, N.S., 1992, 1993

At the Sign of the Whale, Yarmouth, N.S., 1990,1992

Memorial Univ. Art Gallery, St. John's, Nfld., 1988,1989

Eastern Edge Gallery, St. John's, Nfld., 1987, 1988, 1990,1991,

Up-coming Events:

November 1994: "Far and Wide" - Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS) juried show - Dartmouth Heritage Museum, Dartmouth, N.S.


January - April, 1995: Artist-in-Residence - Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France

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Available Prints

CD-1 "The Raft"

"This print is based on a popular swimming hole at a lake near my house. The place reminds me of paintings by Eakins and Homer. The print was meant as an homage to this genre tradition of an earlier time.

This is a viscosity-coloured etching. The plate is made with an intaglio level, a surface level and an open bite level. By using rollers of varying durometers and inks of different viscosities one can separate colours or blend them.

In this image, I ink the intaglio level first - this is the green-black. Then, with a hard roller and an oily ink, I ink the top layers. Because the areas are separate I can use two colours, the flesh tones and the yellow of the landscape. Then, as a final roll I use a very soft roller and a very dry ink. The oily ink repels the dry ink to keep all colours separate. I use a "rainbow" roll on this last roll which shades from a near transparent thalo blue to an opaque thalo blue mixed with red." - C. Day

Etching, viscosity - colour; Edition 50; Size 18" x 12"; Produced for the Lyghtesome Print Folio, 1994; $200.

CD-2 "Running In"

This is an animated print of a young boy running into water that graduates in tone from an inviting pale blue/green near the shore to a deep aqua against the brown of the distant shoreline, with the youth's noisy splashes in white and faint pink. The rocky foreground is a mossy yellow/green.

Etching, viscosity - colour; Edition 10; Size 9" x 18"; 1994; $200.

CD-3 "The Raft in Fog"

A group of young boys play on a raft as the fog clears from the lake.

Etching, viscosity - colour; Edition 10; Size 12" x 16" (vertical); 1994; $200.

CD-4 "Porcupines I"

A porcupine camouflaged in a dense, organic bramble of rich browns and greens, oranges and yellows.

Etching, viscosity - colour; Edition 10; Size 17 1/2" x 24" (horizontal); 1989; $200.

CD-5 "Porcupines II"

A thickly textured silhouette of a bristled porcupine on a branch; chocolate browns and green blacks against a yellow background.

Etching, viscosity - colour; Edition 10; Size 12" x 18" (horizontal);

1989; $150.

CD-6 "Porcupines V"

A porcupine up a tree, the animal's long brown spines contrasting with the short green spruce needles; yellow sunlight creating patterns through the branches.

Etching, viscosity - colour; Edition 10; Size 17 1/2" x 24" (horizontal); 1989; $200.

CD-7 "Starlings on Chimney Pots"


Nine black starlings on five grey chimney pots, with "thoughts of flight" rising above them in shadowy bird shapes in the light grey and textured sky.

Zinc etching; Edition 100 (A/P only available); Size 19 1/2" x 25" (horizontal); 1988; $200.

CD-8 "Sticks"

A large square composed of nine 4"x4" etched squares, each containing stick "impressions" of varying thicknesses, some curved, some straight, creating a stimulating graphic piece, full of movement and rhythm. In small editions of blue/green or black/white.

Etching, drypoint; Edition 4; Size 14" x 14" (square); 1983; $100.


Please note: Most prints produced by Cecil Day are in very low editions and therefore availability is limited. Also, due to the nature of colour viscosity etching, greater variations in colour from print to print can be expected than in some other media.
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