Ken, Pablo, and Patti"
by Donald Bunse
Don Bunse is a native of Flaxville, Montana though he was raised in California and Oregon. He studied at Willamette University and received an M.F.A. from the University of Washington. In 1957, along with a group of fellow-artists, he developed the collagraphic form of printing. His work is included in the first edition of The Complete Collagraph. A former curator at the Cheney Cowles Museum and at the Henry Gallery of the University of Washington (where he was also Director), he has taught at the University of Montana since 1961 and heads the printmaking area there. He was a delegate for the University of Montana in the first academic art exchange between the United States and the People's Republic of China. His work is in collections in this country and abroad.
A soft-spoken, thoughtful, and immensely knowledgeable teacher, Bunse sees the Rattlesnake Valley Press Centennial Portfolio as a "tremendous idea" and is happy to be once again in the company of former students like Jay Rummel and Jerry Rankin. He shares with both a sense of Northwest regionalism admitting that the mountains of Western Montana energize him.
Bunse chose an image for his Portfolio print, "Rudy, Ken, Pablo and Patti," which grows out of a theme that has been a part of his work for some time: the view through an open window. In this case it is a real window in his own home and the objects on the sill are very personal to him. Acknowledging that surroundings affect him whether outside in nature or inside in a manmade setting, Bunse worked on his plate in four hour segments, always attuned to the changing light and its effect on the composition. Standing and using both arms he draws in what he describes as a "battle" with the empty surface. The result is a definite signature in which he merges his subjective style and vision with the objective reality of his subject matter. What he works to achieve is that ideal fusion or what he calls "clicking together" that transcends a specific time or place to "reproduce," not duplicate, reality.
--From the Rattlesnake Valley Press Centennial Issue, 1989, Margaret Mudd