Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Artist: Gordon Mortensen

It seems, that at least for now, I'll be using this blog to mention (briefly) various print artists I run across, mostly surfing the web. Gordon Mortensen is one I discovered when looking for reduction woodcut prints. When I first ran across his work I stared in amazement. I thought, there's no way these can be reduction prints. But, amazingly, they are.

To quote his gallery's website ...
"Gordon Mortensen (b. 1938, American) is one of the best known reduction woodcut print artists working in the U.S today. He works from watercolor studies to understand the color dynamics needed for the woodcut. The artist uses up to sixty-four colors and takes as long as three months to create the woodblock image. Although the final outcome has a painterly feel, it is unmistakably a woodcut with rich layered colors and wood grain textures. His early images mostly represent the upper Midwest landscape, and areas around where he lived in North Dakota. His color preferences in these early works is more muted compared to the brighter colors he favors to present his current home in California."

Think about, folks - sixty-four colors! I mean, most of us would be satisfied with maybe a half dozen colors at best, but sixty-four? No wonder it takes him up to three months to complete a woodcut.

Nevertheless, I do think at some point in my development I will need to attempt this technique. I love color prints, which is why I gravitated towards white line prints. And reduction prints are yet another single block technique for me to try.

BTW, the gallery's website is http://www.davidsongalleries.com/artists/mortensen/mortensen.php.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Artist: Kathryn Lee Smith

Ran across a new artist, at least new for me - Kathryn Lee Smith. She creates wonderful white line prints, and also seems to break the rules (as if there ever were any rules).

For example, her print, "Three Poppies", breaks away from the rectangular print style most often seen in these sort of prints, to create a more engaging image. She also plays with the colors in her prints to create various types of shading effects.

I strongly encourage your visiting her website. (http://www.kathrynleesmithwhitelineprints.com/)