Rivol’s prints were inspired by seeing the book Petroglyphs of California and Adjoining States by Julian Steward, which was published in 1929. She convinced a friend, John Greathead, to go with her to see one of the sites, on the Carrizo Plain in San Luis Obispo County. Excited by the trip, she then talked to Joe Danysh at the Federal Art Project in San Francisco and proposed reproducing the rock inscriptions that she had seen for the Index of American Design. San Francisco was a center for commercial lithography. Danysh and Raymond Bertrand were in charge of the FAP Graphics Workshop, which developed a new type of transfer paper so that artists could work on paper and then send the drawing in to the workshop to be transferred to the stone and printed. The technique was featured in period publications such as Elizabeth McCausland’s article on lithography, which also specifically mentions Rivol’s project. Deciding on the medium of lithography, she worked on the project for three years, taking her friend with her as she traveled to the sites. Greathead photographed the sites while Rivol sketched. Back in the studio, she used Greathead’s photographs as a guide for the final drawings, traced from projections with Polychromos pencils onto pebbled paper that gave the texture of the rock. The results were incredibly accurate. The drawings were then transferred to the lithographic stone by Fred Bohne at the FAP workshop, using several stones for the different colors.
Reynolds, Rebecca Lee. "Lala Eve Rivol." Carrollton Collects: Prints from the WPA. Carrollton, GA: Department of Art, University of West Georgia, 2011. Print.
Austin, Don. Petroglyphs.US. http://www.petroglyphs.us/ (accessed 6 September 2011); Freeman, Paul. The Rock Art Lithographs of Lala Eve Rivol (Novato: LWL Consulting, 1992); McCausland, Elizabeth. “Lithographs to the Fore.” Prints 7.1 (October 1936): 16-30.