Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Enjoying Prints without White-lines

Reflecting Pool at The Clark Art Institute

I recently visited The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA to see an exhibit of Helen Frankenthaler's woodcut prints and paintings. 

You may know that Frankenthaler's woodcuts are a huge inspiration for me. If not, you can read a previous post about my first encounter with her work here.

It was a marvelous exhibit. I hadn’t seen any of her prints in person before and it was well worth the five hour drive round trip. 

Some of the prints were unbelievably luminous. The brilliance was partially achieved using printmaking techniques that she herself didn’t even know how to do. She worked with professional printers who turned her ideas into print editions. 

That is the traditional way of doing things, actually. All the famous Japanese woodcuts familiar to you were created by a team. Two names you know, Hiroshige and Hokusai, were painters who created images for a printmaking house, who employed specialized carvers, paper handlers and printers, to translate into prints.

In Frankenthaler's case, she pushed these printers to their limits with her ideas and forced them to invent completely new techniques to fulfill her visions. Many of these pieces took years of proofing, experimentation and failure before completion. According to books and museum tags, tempers were known to flare.

Standing before her imposing images, I couldn't always puzzle out how they were done even after reading a detailed description. 

Even though they are woodcuts. Even though they are jigsaws.

Instead of frustration, I feel energized by this. 

I've got some big ideas of my own and seeing hers in full lively color helped turn my hope into faith that they will be in my hands or on the wall sometime in the future. Even if I don't quite know how it will happen.


P.S. There was also an exhibit of a few of Frankenthaler's paintings in another building of The Clark. To get there, you "had to" take this wooded path.

Even thought the Frankenthaler exhibit is no longer on display, The Clark is a marvelous place and I recommend a visit!





Thursday, August 24, 2017

A Break During Dog Days

Measure, a little more than six months old, enjoying a hike in Acadia National Park.

I went to Acadia National Park for the first time last week. For years, people have been telling me that I have to go there and paint.

I did half of that. I went and camped and hiked and ate a lot of seafood. 

I had all of my supplies for three different media just in case I felt like working. I enjoyed all of the scenery immensely and a lot of it reminded me of Home - the woods where I grew up north of Portland, ME, Rye, NH where I watched waves crashing on rocks for hours as mosquitoes and greenhead flies feasted on me every summer as a kid, and my grandparents' home on an island near Rockland, ME.

Acadia is my first visit to any National Park. This seems odd - most of my life I have lived only a few hours drive from this one and I had never been. And there is something wrong about an American who has journeyed all the way to Australia twice but never seen the Grand Canyon.

Somehow, all this added up to the decision to just look, relax and appreciate the environment, my dogs and husband, and a short break from my responsibilities here in New Boston.

I didn't even take many photos - a few of my puppy, Measure, who has now already been to a National Park as a baby. Lucky Dog. Maybe this will be the first of many for her. And me.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Weeks After

More white-line woodcuts in the booth last week.

The League of NH Craftsmen's Fair is over. Some prints found new homes and lots of people were exposed to white-line woodcuts and jigsaw reduction woodblocks.

My "Beach House" inspired booth set up also won third place in the "Other" category and prompted many compliments. It was a nice space to sit in for 9 whole days straight and the prints looked great on the white, beadboard walls.

I gave out a ton of flyers about my next white-line workshop. It will be at League Headquarters in Concord, NH the weekend of October 14-15. 


Before that, I'll be teaching printmaking on Appledore Island August 28 - September 1, which is off the coast of Portsmouth, NH. There will also be sessions in drawing and painting. 

Sound fun? There might still be spots, so check here to sign up!

Before that, I am going camping with my dogs. Maybe I'll paint a bit. Maybe I'll do another white-line woodcut on site. Maybe I'll just sit and enjoy the outdoors. Any of that sounds nice after a fun, but very busy week.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

White-lines at the League of NH Craftsmen's Fair


The League of NH Craftsmen's Fair is this week. I am printing a little in my booth between visitors.

If you haven't stopped by yet, you still have a few days. The Fair doesn't close until Sunday, August 13th at 5 pm, so stop by!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Booth 407 Ready for Transport


Here is a sneak peak at part of my new booth. It is going to go to Mount Sunapee Resort soon for the League of NH Craftsmen's Annual Fair.

There will be more in the real booth - note cards, large prints and more smaller ones - Come see for yourself!

And there are over 200 other craftsmen with booths full of pottery, clothing, jewelry, furniture and a ton of other great art.

I can't wait!



Wednesday, July 26, 2017

White-line Cards


The League of NH Craftsmen's Fair starts August 5 and that means that not only do I have to finish printing and bundling some of the prints I showed you last week, but I've had to get my note cards ready too.

Pictured above are some of the prints that have also become note cards. They will be available at the Fair, of course. If you can't wait, the 8-card packs are on the website and, for now, domestic shipping is free.

I have to get going and finish up some booth construction (if you want to see some photos of that, I've been sharing a bit on Instagram and Facebook). See you at the Fair!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Printing All Seasons

Two blocks and two prints, including Leaves in Winter

Prints in progress here. I am working on quite a few at once since the League of NH Craftsmen's Annual Fair is right around the corner. August 5-13, to be precise.

If you want to see any of these prints in person, visiting my booth, #407, at the Fair is a great idea.

Along with printing white-lines, printing at the DM Penny Press, framing and bundling, I am working on a new booth. Maybe I'll show you more next week, but right now, it looks like this:


Yes, my snowshoes are in the background. They stay there all year. It is appropriate that they show up in this post, though, because Leaves in Winter, pictured above, was inspired my snowshoeing experiences.

I won't be bringing them to the Fair, though. I'll have too much new art to carry.


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