LARRY WELO (b. 1951)
My interest in art began during my childhood. In college, I decided to make art my profession and specialize in printmaking. I did not want to enter the world of academia and become a teacher. It was my desire to create artwork and somehow make my living working as a creative artist. Since 1975, this is the path that I have followed. I worked nights unloading semi trailers in Decorah, Iowa to save the money needed to buy a small etching press. I remember it being delivered to the ramshackle house that I rented and how I struggled to move its three hundred pound mass down the unsafe stairway into the basement where I set up my first studio.
The following eighteen years were spent in South Minneapolis, where my wife, Pat, and I raised our children and pursued our careers. In 1994 we moved to southern Wisconsin, which provided a small town environment similar to the ones we had grown up in.
The etchings that I am currently making are distinguished from those of many printmakers in that I prefer to create the etching composition while holding the copper plate in my hands and drawing on the plate with the subject directly in front of me. There is a connection that occurs between mind, hand and subject, which I prefer. Since I do this professionally, I constantly look at things from the standpoint of visual compositions or contributing to compositions.