Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Highlights from [Baren] Exchange #65: Using the Grain (Part 2 of 3)

These are two woodcuts from the [Baren] Forum's print exchange #65. The theme and style were open and the paper size was 10" x 15". There were 18 participants and while the entire collection is amazing, I decided to highlight 5 prints: these two that effectively employ the use of the grain, as well as two landscapes and one portrait.

There are few similarities between this untitled, abstract print by Aaron Gillette and By the Cook Stove, a representational woodcut featuring a dog by Gillyin Gatto. I suppose I only felt a need to feature the two of them together because for this exchange, I created a woodcut titled Sunflower that was essentially all about using the grain as an expressive, descriptive, and formal element of the image.

I love the way the vertical grain in Gillette's print works with the frayed edge across the top of the red shape to emphasize its swift plummet downward. I feel caught in a moment just before impact, wondering at the diminished, loose stack of bars in its path.

The woodgrain in Gatto's woodcut of course literally describes a wood floor, but the rugged texture also compliments the carved textures of the dog's fur and pattern of his bed, and adds weight and more structure to the entire composition. This is a particular interior space and we viewers are honed-in to a specific, small piece of the larger scene.

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