Category Archives: woodcut prints

Artist Update: Matina Marki Tillman

Unlocker by Matina Marki Tillman

Unlocker by Matina Marki Tillman

The New York Society of Etchers 3rd National Intaglio Exhibition, held at New York City’s National Arts Club, concluded last month after another beautifully executed opening and show. The opening was an elegant event, well-attended by artists and art-lovers alike, in the vibrant National Arts Club gallery. WPG Artist Member Matina Marki Tillman was one of the artists selected for the exhibition, and attended the opening. Dr. Leonard Moss and Dr. Muriel Moss, founding members of the Print Club of New York, curated the exhibition which showcased an outstanding collection of drypoints, etchings, mezzotints, solarplate etchings, and more.

Matina’s work featured in the exhibition was from a series of direct etchings of charcoal drawings onto solarplates, several of which are currently on display in WPG’s “Distant Voices” six-member exhibition.  This exhibition will run through the month of July in WPG’s main gallery.

Printmaking 101: Intaglio and Relief revisited

Ooooh, remember the Art Babble pressure + ink video we linked to last week on lithography?  They have one for intaglio and for relief printing, too!  They’re shorter than the litho video, but you can still see the materials and differences.  Enjoy!

Artist Update: Max-Karl Winkler

"Angry Girl on the Metro" by Max-Karl Winkler

“Angry Girl on the Metro” by Max-Karl Winkler

WPG artist member Max-Karl Winkler will be teaching an 8-week Relief Printmaking class at the Smithsonian, beginning Thursday 24 January. This class meets once a week for 2 1/2 hours, and is held at the Ripley Center (easily accessible by Metro). Students will design their own prints, carve both linoleum and wood blocks, learn one-color and two-color printing techniques, and print (without a press) their work. This course is offered through The Smithsonian Associates; further description and enrollment forms (for this and other studio arts classes) can be found on-line at their class website.

New shows added!

We’re so excited because we just published our December and January shows to the upcoming exhibitions page of our website!

Trudi working on “The Exposure of Luxury,” image courtesy of Scott Ponemone.

In December, we’ll have Beneath the Old Masters: Evolution and Process by Trudi Y. Ludwig.  The show-stopper of this, well, show, is The Exposure of Luxury (based off of Agnolo Bronzino’s 16th century Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time), the second life-size woodcut of stripped down–literally stripped down to their bones–classical paintings she has completed, the first being Primas Veritas from almost a decade ago.  Want to know more? Scott Ponemone did a great interview with her here.

“Carlos” by Dale Klein

Also in December, we’ll have Dale Klein of Rochester, NY in the Press Room with her thought-provoking mini-solo, Ba beneen: Senegal 2012. Inspired by the time her daughter spent in Senegal during her junior year of college, Dale took a trip there herself in June of 2012. In the prints exhibited here, she seeks to record the precariousness of Senegal’s fragile democracy, the gentleness of the Senegalese people, and the challenges they face due to government corruption and unequal access to education.

Finally, January marks the 10th anniversary of the January Invitational series.  Starting with Jack Boul, we’ve featured some wonderful artists and artist-groups including the New York Society of Etchers, Simon Brett, Helen Frederick, Renee Stout, and Lou Stovall.  This year, we are pleased to present Professors of Print, featuring seven area printmakers: John Carr (Montgomery College), Georgia Deal (Corcoran College of Art and Design), Donald Depuydt (Northern Virginia Community College), Elizabeth Klimek (Corcoran College of Art and Design), Kay McCrohan (Montgomery College), Dennis O’Neil (Corcoran College of Art and Design), and Justin Strom (University of Maryland).

Mark you calendars and we hope to see you this winter at WPG!

Hannah Phelps on White-Line Woodcuts

We’ve shared our own Printmaking 101 post on White-Line Woodcuts, but here’s an explanation in the artist’s own words:

“Gentle Assault” by Hannah Phelps

Like any piece of art, a white-line woodcut print begins with an idea. Using the natural world as inspiration, I create a drawing on paper. This drawing is then transferred onto a piece of wood. With my lines visible on the surface, I carve an outline of the drawing with a knife. The carved lines will become the “white-lines” in the final print.

The wood left untouched now stands in relief from the lines. I attach a piece of paper to the edge of the woodblock to ensure that it lays on the wood the same way each time I place it against the block (this is called “registration”). I then “ink” one shape with watercolor using a brush, flip the paper down on the block and rub the back with a wooden spoon to print that shape on the paper. I repeat this until all of the shapes are impressed
on the paper.

When I am satisfied with the image, I remove the paper from the block and get ready for the next print. The block can be printed several times, but no two will ever really be alike, so each piece becomes a combination of print and original painting.

Printmaking 101: White-line and Jigsaw Woodcuts

We’ve discussed the difference between a wood engraving and a woodcut and also a woodcut sub-media, color reduction woodcut.  With Hannah Phelps’ plein air to print exhibition coming up next month, we want you to know a little bit more about what you’re looking at.

“Path of the Water” by Hannah Phelps, White-line woodcut, 2009.

Hannah has two woodcut sub-media in her exhibition.  The first is a white-line woodcut.  White-line woodcuts are characterized by exactly what it sounds like: a white outline surrounding each shape of color.  These lines are carved into the wood using woodcut tools.  Then, the individual shapes are inked one by one using different colors (Hannah actually paints hers with watercolors) and run through a press or rubbed with a spoon onto the paper, like a regular woodcut.  The “streaky” quality of the image above is actually the natural wood grain of the block.

“Private Wave” by Hannah Phelps, jigsaw reduction woodcut, 2012.

Jigsaw woodcuts are made from completely separate blocks of wood.   Each shape corresponding to a color is cut out, usually using a jigsaw, and put together like a puzzle after each piece is inked, usually into a mold to hold all the pieces together.  Depending upon the artists’ intention and how tight the pieces fit together, jigsaw woodcuts can also have a bit of a white outline between color shapes, but it won’t be as pronounced as a true white-line woodcut.  The print to above also has some uses some reduction.  Without seeing the plate, we’d guess there were 4-6 main color shapes–perhaps the foreground, back cliffs, water, and sky, that were each printed and then re-carved to get some of the darker colors.

“Ernesto” by Ed McCluney, from his recent Press Room Mini Solo

Some of Ed McCluney’s woodcuts are also jigsaw woodcuts (see his chicken, Ernesto, at left, which was printed using two jigsaw pieces).  As you can see, there’s a lot of aesthetic variety within this media!

July 2012 Show Pics

Here is a quick slideshow of some of the work up in the gallery this month from Three Figurative Printmakers as well as Eric Robinson’s Press Room Mini Solo, Fragments.  This is by no means exhaustive–Eric has over 600 small prints up, Three Figurative Printmakers has 47 prints, and then there’s the member show as well, not pictured here.  Come in and visit us!

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More from Hannah Phelps!

“Maine Wave” by Hannah Phelps, jigsaw reduction woodcut, 2012.

We just sent out National Small Works notifications yesterday, and are only six short weeks away from the opening of that show and Plein Air to Print, the concurrent solo exhibition by 2011’s winner Hannah Phelps.  This week she sent us some more prints, which we’ve shared, below.  Mark your calendars to see them in person, and enjoy them online here!

“Private Wave” by Hannah Phelps, jigsaw reduction woodcut, 2012.

“Gentle Assualt” by Hannah Phelps, jigsaw white-line woodcut, 2012.

“Path of the Water” by Hannah Phelps, White-line woodcut, 2009.

“Wave on a Perfect Day at Odiorne Point State Park” by Hannah Phelps. White-line woodcut, 2011.

For your calendar: “Floating World” and more at AU

Friends of WPG brought “Floating World: 19th Century Japanese Woodblock Prints” to our attention.  This exhibition is on view now (it went up yesterday) through May 30, as part of the Cherry Blossom Festival, at the Katzen Art Center (American University’s art building).  The opening reception is tomorrow, 6-9 pm.  At 7 pm, there will be a special demonstration of printing a woodblock in the traditional method with a master printer from Japan.  Can’t make it to the opening but want to see that demo?  There are demonstrations at 12:30 and 2:30 pm every day through this Sunday, April 8.

Also on view at AU (we noticed while looking at their website for info on the above exhibition) is “Lou Stovall: Vertical Views.”  Lou has been featured as a WPG January Invitational Artist in the past.  The opening for his exhibition, along with Floating World and all other Spring exhibitions at AU, is tomorrow, 6-9 pm.  He will also be giving a gallery talk Saturday, April 24, at 4 pm.

Sneak Peek: A Thing or Two

"Blues Alley" by Ellen Verdon Winkler

WPG artist Ellen Verdon Winkler is busy gearing up for her May solo exhibition, A Thing or Two.  We just posted 18 of Ellen’s new prints on our website. You can see a few here, along with her artist statement, below.  Mark your calendars for her Opening Reception on May 5th!

Most of the work prepared for this show was done in the last 12 months. The work began with monotypes done in Rock Creek Park. They were studies of the rock formations that line the creek.

I thought it would be interesting to try one of those images as an etching, so I began to focus my attention on the various intaglio methods. The work included a number of landscapes and outdoor scenes, and several prints done from sketches of riders on the subway.

"Day Lily Capsules" by Ellen Verdon Winkler

As winter approached and I was unable to continue working out of doors, I began studies of small objects. Some of these were from my garden, but one was an object that I found in the street on a gray November day… a lost pompom.

I rescued that item, and began to work with it and with other things I found or made. My concern was not the object itself, but the marks I was making to describe it. Those marks were made with techniques that included drypoint, hard and soft ground, and engraving.
My greatest interest in the works in this show is in texture of the prints. Engraving particularly leaves a thick ropey line of ink on the surface of the print. The surface marks are unique to hand pulled prints and have fascinated me because of the added dimension of “data” embedded in the print.