Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Pioneer Woman"

4 color reduction
8" x 12"(image) 12" x 16" (paper)
Oil-based inks on Kozo paper
Edition of 2
Available for purchase here.

This image was created for the second of several book covers I'm designing for my mother to market her novels for Amazon's Kindle. The novel is an adventurous, historical story about a girl coming of age as her family seeks a new life in the American frontier. I'll post again about it once the cover is finished and the book available online.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"The Sounding Line" by Bridget Mary Henry

Image posted with the permission of the artist. I was quite excited to discover the work of Bridget Mary Henry on Etsy. She is a woodcut printmaker who incorporates much surreal use of color and imagery. Check out her website to see more of her breathtaking and imaginative woodcuts.

Everything starts small. The first step in a marathon. The first cup of flour for a batch of nana's chocolate chip cookies, the smell of which will live in the memory of her grandchildren for a lifetime. Tiny buds on an otherwise naked magnolia tree that no one seems to notice, and before we know it, its maternal branches are covered in full, thick blooms.

She has cast herself down into the murky depths in the name of information gathering. Science! Progress! It is a pretty sacrifice, and there will be magnolias at her funeral.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Tug of War" by Ethel Spowers

Two in the center pitted against each other yet joined by the tight grip of hands, their arms stretched like a slingshot. Behind each of these foes is a line of fellow warriors, arms all around waists, heels dug into the ground and pull, pull, pull! Nonparticipants kick and hoot from the sidelines. They think they want a resolution to all this tension. In the heat of battle they long for relief and don't consider casualties. They fail to appreciate the exquisite calm that results from balance.

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Jenny and Eleanor Take A Tumble"

8" x 12" (image)
5 layer reduction woodcut
Available for purchase here.

This is my second stab at this image. The first was in my opinion a dreadful failure.This is better, but I still have so much farther to go.

Everything is so pretty on the outside, like a bright, pastel Easter egg shell around a spoiled interior.These two sunshine gals just didn't know what they were getting into. They thought they could ride a creamsicle steed to a better world. Now the memory of their dusty life on the shelf fades away as they tumble into the purple chiffon abyss.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"The Flood"

Woodcut (reduction)
11" x 16"(image) 12.5" x 18.5" (paper)
Watercolors and waterbased printmaking inks on heavy Arches paper
Available for purchase here. 

This was a commission for some friends, with which I had a great deal of creative freedom. I played around a lot with some new materials (watercolors applied with brushes instead of only block printing inks applied with brayers) and used the highly emphasized wood grain in a new way. I am quite pleased with both the process and the final products. I did a total of four unique versions of the image from the block. This was my second favorite version, but it looks the best in digital reproduction, so I decided to use it instead of my favorite one for this blog post.

I thought I'd write something deeply poetic about this print on this blog post as I often do, but I just can't. The print itself is just so fantastically bizarre and colorful that I don't want to narrow anyone's perceptions with my own ideas about the meaning and narrative. Hell, I don't even want to narrow my own by committing the ideas that happen to be passing through my head right now to paper. Er, screen. I'll just say I'm really glad I made this. I love my babies and cats and toy prints, but I needed to do something more ambitious and, well, weird. I hope this will lead to other interesting avenues with regards to both subject matter and technique. We shall see...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"Sun Hat"

White line woodcut printed on Stonehenge paper. Image is 4" x 3".

If one thinks in terms of overall composition and color, it is easy to make 2D works of art that look better from a slight distance, and which look more fantastic as a digital photo back-lit on a computer screen, or shrunk down and professionally printed on a postcard. And so I feel rather odd having made a print that looks so much better close up and in person that from a distance and in reproduction. This is the sort of image that is best held in one's hand like a book, and looked at in very close proximity, as one would peer into a tiny window. A grace is found in the subtlety of textures and gradations, and few, but oh-so-finely cut lines. Which in a way fits the subject matter, because while most kids are at least somewhat cute, there is a certain magic found only in the unique interactions we have with the children with whom we are especially close.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Untitled" by Sandesh Nicol

Image posted with permission by the artist whose website can be viewed here and works for sale can be purchased here.

Two androgynous figures embody two faces of winter under the cool and still branches of trees. 

One blond and composed, a gentle finger offered as perch for falling snowflakes. In solid, lanky blue, he casts a solid shadow on the bumpy mounds of snow-covered ground, a slight cock of his head, a serene smile on his face. 

The second, white-robed and exuberant, arms flung up in greeting of the rising sun. Slanted, grey marks stripe her entire body, almost as if in an attempt to scribble her out of existence. Like a translucent specter, she employs dramatic gesture to boost up the horizon, lined with blackened trees. In one graceful sweep she summons the very sun up from behind the earth.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

In memory of Griffin

I did this little 3" x 4" 6-color reduction woodcut of a friend of mine's dear cat who passed away. I know how incredibly painful it is to lose a long-time animal companion so I wanted to make a fitting tribute. He was a gorgeous striped cat with big, beautiful green eyes and striking white fur accents including a white tip at the end of his tail. He was also blind, but had a friendly and easy-going personality, which well-complimented the (charmingly) neurotic personality of my friend's other cat. Rest in peace, Griffin, having given so much joy and comfort to your owner.