I was raised in Portland, Maine and from an early age spent most of my spare time making images. I received a BFA from the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, then worked in New York and New Orleans before I moved to Ketchikan, Alaska,where I lived before I returned to Maine. I have worked commercially as a graphic designer and illustrator for clients all over the US. When I am not working on a design project, I can be found either working outside on a sketch, or in the studio making prints.


Each print is pulled, or printed, entirely by hand on French or Japanese 100% rag fine art paper. My prints are either relief or intaglio, and no two are alike. Relief prints are created by carving an image into a linoleum or wood plate, removing the material everywhere but where the lines create the image. Only the lines left in relief, or raised, will carry the ink, which is applied with a brayer, or hand roller. Multiple color relief prints require that each block be carved separately for printing one color at a time. All blocks must register, or line up, in the final image.

Reduction linoleum prints use one block for all colors. After each color is printed, the block is cut again to protect the colors that have been printed from being covered up. Often, colors are deliberately overlapped, or trapped, to produce a new color. Once the edition is printed, there is very little left of the printing block. Most of the image has been destroyed and cannot be replaced.

Other prints are etchings, which are intaglio prints made by burning the image lines into a copper or zinc plate. The lines making up the image are etched below the surface of the plate. Etching the image involves multiple bites and several immersions in a hydrochloric acid bath to build up a velvet black. Areas not intended to etch must be protected with a ground, or coating, that resists the acid. Printing the image involves pressing ink into the recessed lines by hand, then carefully wiping the surface clean and printing with great pressure on dampened paper to force the ink out of the recessed lines and onto the paper. The beveled edge of the printing plate can be seen in the finished original print.

Prints are made with an Ettan etching press with a 24 x 48 inch bed. Each print is an original, numbered and signed in a limited edition. When the edition is finished, the plate is destroyed.

In addition to printmaking, I also work in many media, including watercolor, gouache, pastel, acrylics and oils.




















karen.lybrand@gmail.com | links

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