Yolanda Cotton Turner, a fine art printmaker in Oakland CA and community art instructor.
Yolanda Cotton Turner was born August of 1969 and traveled about the U.S. in a 1970 Volkswagen van with her father and sister before landing in her hometown of Oakland, California in 1978. She began pencil drawing as a child after becoming inspired by finding her mother’s sketches and won art awards at St. Patrick’s Elementary School (1978-1984). At Holy Names High School (1984-1988), her focus moved to vocals & music theory, skills stemming from her father’s genes. She attended California State University, Hayward (1988) to study music but was introduced to lithography where she instantly fell in love with the laborious, mind-bending, and magnificently serendipitous processes of printmaking. Changing her major to Art Studio – Printmaking, she had the opportunity to study under the renowned Tamarind master Kenjilo Nanao and monoprint expert Linda Goodman. Married at the age of 25, she took a hiatus to parent 3 children. After her father in 1999, and husband in 2008, both passed away, she decided it was time to return to the healing medium of printmaking.
“Writing my story through my editions, printmaking from speechless places. … promoting peace & love within self & community” ~ Cotton-Turner
Yolanda’s current focus is monotypes & monoprints although in 2015 she used mostly relief processes, 2016 more serigraph, and 2017 she anticipates more intaglio. Experimental by nature, she keeps her methods fresh while her focus keeps the subject consistently on urban culture, the power of nature, and other social, spiritual, and environmental inspirations. Her images as well as their depth of meaning are often layered and printed on handmade paper, mulberry, or cotton rag, using plexiglass in addition to wood, lino, and nature itself as a printing plate. She personally executes all the steps involved in the printmaking process, from developing the image, gouging, inking, and pulling the print by hand from a Takach press. Yolanda chooses the antique technology of fine art printmaking to express the conflict she finds within contemporary issues, creating impressions that teache a history as well as inspires connections that spiral peace and love within self and community.