Karen Baden Thapa

Fine Art Printmaking & Collage

Printmaking is a craft as much as it is an art form. I make fine art prints at the Civic Art Studio in Walnut Creek where they have a beautiful French/American etching press. I have a background in painting so I love the more painterly process of making monotypes and monoprints. For me, they begin with either an etched copper plate or a poly plate. I ink the plate and either use reduction to create my image or I add inked handmade or found paper elements and other ephemera, and run it through the press which applies very high pressure. Then, the press does its magic and all of my textures and lines are compressed into one flat image. After the paper dries, I often go in with watercolors to highlight certain areas.

I have a series of monotypes called “Croplands” that focuses on agricultural imagery, mostly from above.  I use sepia brown ink to show crop patterns and pivot irrigation sites that are brown due to lack of water. The series includes rivers, marshes, and estuaries near agricultural lands.  I have been flying back and forth to Dallas the last few years so most of the images are inspired by photographs I took from the plane.

My latest series of hand pulled etchings is called “Sea & Shore”.  I am exploring the ocean and how it is being changed by human activity .  I read about the necropsy of a sea turtle where they found 17 plastic bags in its stomach. One of my etchings shows a turtle that is eating a plastic bag instead of a jelly fish which is their normal food. I also have an etching of a tide pool with plastic under the starfish and a coral reef that is bleached white.

Mediums:  Printmaking, Collage, Mixed Media & Photography


1983, Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of California, Berkeley

1979-80, Art History Studies, University of the Sorbonne, Paris, France

Teachers & Mentors:

Toru Sugita, Printmaker

Bill Harsh, Printmaker & Painter

Mira M. White, Painter

Jim Melchert, Sculpture & Art Books

Joan Brown, Painter

Elmer Bischoff, Painter

Art Association Memberships

Lamorinda Arts Alliance-  Board Member At Large

Arts Benicia-  Artist member