Tag Archives: linocut

New artist: Cynthia Back

WPG would like to welcome Cynthia Back as our newest gallery member.  “Wait,” you say, “didn’t WPG just add an artist?”  Yes, we did, and you can see a selection of Linda Rose Larochelle’s work newly up on our website!  Cynthia now has a webpage, too, but if you just can’t wait for it to load, check out the slideshow, below!

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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.

Intern Perspectives: National Small Works

We’ll have pictures of National Small Works up tomorrow, but for now, read WPG intern Rachel Cohen’s take on the show!

The National Small Works show features prints from artists all over the country. From relief to monoprint, etching to lithograph; this show is incredibly diverse in both mediums and subjects. Here you can find abstracts, landscapes, portraits, and more.

"Spring" by Patrick Simon of Dallas, OR

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but one print that popped out the second I saw it was Spring, by Patrick Simon. It is a 7-colour linocut of a Japanese-style landscape, complete with paper lanterns and cherry blossoms.

I love relief printing, especially linocuts, as it’s my preferred method of working when I am printing myself.

Simon’s print is stunning. The diverse linework between the lake, mountain, and different types of wood grain really help pull the piece together. But the thing I love most about the print is the use of color. The warm, bright red, yellow, and peach tones contrast perfectly with the cool blue and gray. The colours pop out from across the room; they are muted, yet bright. The colour, combined with the linework, creates a wonderful overall composition.

Despite the diversity of the prints, the show as a collective works wonderfully together. Every print is a different technique, style, and subject. Yet they all as a group complete each other National Small Works has something for people of all tastes.  In this group of prints, everyone is bound to find a favourite.

Intern Perspectives: Edward McCluney

We hope by now you’ve had a chance to check out some of the prints from our newest artist member, Edward McCluney.  If you haven’t, read on for some insight from our summer intern, Ashley Ruel, and see some of his prints!

"Sepia Olive," intaglio by Edward McCluney

The prints of Edward McCluney range with a variety of techniques and visions.  With his different approaches to creating prints he gets different results out of them. For example his detailed intaglio’s such as “Wedding Guest II” or “Sepia Olive” have a softer feel than his linocuts, allowing you to get lost in the fine lines that make up the entire image, and appreciate the hand-drawn quality. Not only do they reveal strength in his ability to render realism, but through use of lighting and marks he captures the emotional content.

McCluney approaches each linocut differently as well, some of them such as his nude figures are large shapes described with thin simple lines, while others are much more worked with intense detail.

"Ella," linocut by Edward McCluney

The trait they all have in common is that McCluney is always in control of creatively utilizing positive and negative space with contrast.  An example of this is the portrait “Ella” (part of his Nine American Masters Series). The shadows imply planes yet at the same time melt into the background, creating the dramatic lighting that gives these prints a harsher quality. Other great examples of his use of black and white include his linocuts of abandoned boats in beautiful natural settings. These draw your attention to the carved quality achieved with the chosen process. It’s something that can also be seen in my personal favorite “Gargoyle and Five Doors”, an intricate image of what could be a haunted house, built up of wonky windows, towers, and shingles, sitting as a looming dark mass surrounded by nothing but the white of the paper. It’s a powerful use of space that McCuluney seems to be aware of in all of his pieces, and it’s a quality that is not only technically effective but visually striking.

Printmaking 101: Linocut

"Young Girls" by Lila Oliver Asher, 1 color linocut, hand-printed.

This month’s solo artist, Lila Oliver Asher, works almost exclusively with linocuts.  This printmaking technique is  very similar to a woodcut, but done into linoleum instead of a block of wood.

Artist linoleum is exactly the same as linoleum used for flooring, and essentially is a compound material of solidified linseed oil and pine resin mixed with particles like saw dust and backed with a heavy-duty fabric, such as burlap.  It has a smooth surface that can be cut into using woodcutting tools, creating an area of relief that takes the ink, much like a woodblock.

After a linoleum plate is cut, it is inked with a brayer and either run through a press or hand pressed onto the paper to make the print.  Lila, for instance, hand-prints all her images using a printmaking barren, a little disk with a handle that is rubbed over the back of the print so the paper picks up the ink on the front.

"Jazz Piano" by Lila Oliver Asher, multi-color linocut

Linocut is a great way to start experimenting with printmaking.  With a little ink, a small, inexpensive piece of linoleum, a few tools and a barren the novice printmaker can start at their kitchen table.  As you can see in the image Young Girls, above, some of Lila’s simplest images are the most beautiful.  As one gains experience, new techniques such as multi-color printing or larger prints can be made (such as Jazz Piano, above).  Come to the gallery to see more examples of linocuts in this month’s exhibition, Reflections Past and Present, through March 27.

Lila Oliver Asher

"Jazz Piano" by Lila Oliver Asher, linocut, 18x22 in

You may have read our earlier “Intern Perspectives” posts on Lila Oliver Asher, whose solo exhibition Reflections Past and Present opens next week.  Lila has been a Washington, DC area printmaker for over 60 years now, in which time she has managed to accomplish a lot.  Here’s a little fact sheet about Lila for your review before her show:

"Persephone II" by Lila Oliver Asher, linocut, 18.5 in diameter

-In addition to being an artist, Lila is also a published author.  Her book, Men I Have Met in Bed, was written about her experiences as a volunteer in the USO’s Hospital Sketching Program between 1943-46.  As part of this program, artists traveled to military hospitals, spending a week in each one, providing drawings, entertainment, and companionship to the men who were unable to attend the usual USO shows.  Men I Have Met in Bed contains Lila’s sketches, letters, and commentary, and is available at the gallery.

"Eve II" by Lila Oliver Asher, linocut, 25x26 in

-Lila is a printmaking heavy-weight, her work having been praised in publications many times over.  For example, Paul Richard of the Washington Post said that she is “like Matisse, able to suggest the weight and warmth of flesh without recourse to shading, with a single line.”  Harold Horowitz of the WPC Quarterly wrote “What seems most wonderful about [Asher’s] works is the quality of the lines…the linear elements of the designs are very powerful and are able to both define forms and suggest three dimensional properties as well. We take such talent in handling linear elements for granted when we look at prints by master draftsman Picasso.  Lila Oliver Asher also has this rare ability.”  Being compared to Matisse and Picasso-our hats go off to Lila!

"Joie de Vivre" by Lila Oliver Asher, linocut, 23x16

-Lila’s work is included in the permanent collections of: the National Museum of American Art (Washington, DC), University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA), City of Wolfsberg (Germany), Embassies of the US (Tel Aviv, Israel and Mexico City, Mexico), Fisk University (Nashville, TN), American Jewish Congress (New York, NY), National Museum of History (Taipei, Taiwan), and Georgetown University (Washington, DC) to name a few!

-Lila has had solo exhibitions around the world–India, Denmark, Iran, Turkey, Taiwan, and Japan.

Now that you know a little bit more about Lila and have seen some of her prints, we hope you will join us for her show next month!  Don’t forget that the opening reception is Saturday, March 5, 1-4 pm.  If you can’t make that, Lila will also be giving a short artist demonstration on Saturday, March 12, 2-2:30 pm at the gallery.  We hope to see you there!

Intern Perspectives: Lila Oliver Asher

For those looking for pictures of this month’s Excellence in Printmaking exhibition, check back in tomorrow – the nasty cold that has been going around means we’re a little short on help this week and just a bit behind!  In the mean time, read Cori Barton’s take on Lila Oliver Asher’s work.  Cori is one of WPG’s current interns and a printmaking student at MICA.  Lila Oliver Asher is the solo artist in next month’s show.

A nostalgic aura is present in Lila Oliver Asher’s work. The atmosphere of the prints read as distant memories, or of events that are familiar yet very far away.

The subject matter of the prints includes simple scenarios: young girls getting dressed, a boy drinking a glass of milk, or children playing on a playground. However, the way that Asher depicts space, texture, and the figure transforms these images from prints on a wall to experiences that we all have had, and can in some ways relive through her work.

"Hopscotch" by Lila Oliver Asher

The remarkable element about “Hopscotch”, a linocut printed in 1995, is the portrayal of the environment around the kids playing hopscotch. In the background you can see a nearby sandbox, with other kids playing. This is all of the information Asher will give. The rest is blank, making the hopscotch and sandbox look like islands far away from each other.  The kids are floating in space, perhaps in the mind, and all that exists in that moment is the game of hopscotch that they are playing. Asher manages to capture and preserve a moment and feeling that everyone has felt, yet she delivers it to us in a way that we haven’t seen before.

Most of the figures that Asher renders are in a black-figure style, which is very recognizable and usually identified with ceramics that were made in ancient Greece. This associates a time period with the work, and automatically takes the viewer into the past.

Her work, however, does not seem to be about the figures themselves, but about their interactions with each other and their environment. What Lila Oliver Asher accomplishes beautifully is that she sheds to light to the minutest events, and by doing that her work is able to grab and hold the viewer, and potentially make the connection from her work to their own experiences.