Saturday, June 19, 2010

New Woodcut

Plate size: 13 1/4" x 12"

I am attempting to expand my printmaking focus and create more woodcut prints. One reason is that I love the way the wood grain comes through on the print. I also find the act of carving the wood very therapeutic, almost meditative. The wood also guides me, helping me with the direction that I take the work and I love aspect of the creative partnership with the medium.

I try to find discarded scrap wood, if possible, so that I can try to minimize my impact on the trees used for plywood, etc. It's not always easy or practical to do this but I think it's worth the effort to find scrap when and where I can.

I find that my approach to carving the wood is similar to my approach to creating aquatint etchings where I tend to use multiple strokes to add depth to the image. With etchings, I use a brush with stopout (both asphaltum-based and acrylic-based) to create the varied layers of tints. And with woodcuts, it seems natural to me to make the same type of marks with my carving tools. I'm not sure if this is the best approach to use for wood since it lends itself to yielding more bold and graphic prints than does etching. Yet, it seems that my style leans more towards the subtle and a focus on detail (unless I'm working on monotypes), so this comes through on my woodcut work as well as with my etchings.

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