28 May 2007

Aline Feldman


In the two years I've been exploring moku hanga I've found that working successfully in this medium requires me to be calm, patient and focused and I just can't find those qualities in myself right now, what with buying a new condo and selling my old home. It's possible that I won't produce any more prints until later this summer after we've moved, although I can hardly bear the thought.

So I'm studying. I'm reading about printmaking and looking at prints. At my local library I found a book called A Graphic Muse: Prints by Contemporary American Women, written in 1987 by T.J. Edelstein and Ruth E. Fine. Although a bit dated, the book is introducing me to some women artists I've not heard of before and a few of them work with wood.

The work of artist Aline Feldman (born 1928) interests me on many levels. A student of previously blogged Werner Drewes, Feldman switched from the western woodcut method (rolling oil-based ink onto blocks) to the Japanese method (brushing on water-based inks) in the 1960s under the tutelage of Unichi Hiratsuka. Later she discovered the "white-line" method developed by the Provincetown printmakers and combined this with moku hanga to develop her own brand of one-block multicolored printmaking.

In addition to being interested in her process, I'm also interested in Feldman's distinctive aerial view landscapes. Unlike my method of working from satellite photos I find on the internet, Feldman actually goes aloft in a four-seated Cessna to find her source materials. I like that idea! Now to find a friend with a pilot's license...


Beth Zentzis said...

Annie, I know it's hard to live with limitations. It's hard not to want to just pull your hair when you can't do what you'd rather do but you can't... I type this as I am feeding my dad, bite by bite since he cannot handle utensils or even a sandwich. If I get to carve tonight it will be much, much later.

Moving is a huge effort - selling, keeping things all pristine for that unknown buyer. Gawd. At least you have 50% of the equation worked out - you know where you'll be moving to. Maybe that offers some relief.

I appreciate reading about the artists you discover. Thanks for posting, and when you get back to printing, it will be fun to read about it as no doubt some things for you will be different - space, time and study.

Dusty (dusty_grrl@excite.com) said...

That's a lovely woodcut. I am absurdly gratified when I see something like that because my first attempt at carving (eraser type material) was a Christmas card. My coworker, who had an art degree, was most disapproving that I inked up the rubber in two colours instead of using multiple blocks.

Can you still do your work while you are distracted by moving?

Annie B said...

Hi Beth,
I'm sorry to hear about your dad. Yes, elderly parents, children, jobs, home-keeping -- all of these demands on our time have to be addressed. And speaking of women printmakers, I think that women are especially pressed by other people's needs. As far as being an artist goes, the fact that I don't have children is helpful. I like Dusty's suggestion to just work anyway. I'll try that.

Nicole said...

Sosaku hanga girl,
I'm looking forward to seeing your designs done from a plane :).
I like all the blues in Feldman's print and that there is so much sky. Looks like those shapes up in the sky (clouds?) have cast shadows on the ground. I especially like her three tree woodcut-monoprints (in the link you posted) and the one called "Sky washed Twilight".
I can understand what Unichi Hiratsuka said (in the link) about the fullness of black & white. As much as I love color, I often feel similarly about the richness of black & white. I also think it is cool that he made buddhist religious images and nude females along with other things.
...Or, not work and simply enjoy the "gestation" time that study and rest can bring... Interesting link you posted~thanks.

KJ said...

I was about to commiserate about the lack of time to indulge in the passion, the interruptions that make you throw up your hands and wonder 'why bother?' Until I read Beth's response and perspective entered the picture again. You're on the right track substituting reading and other mental preps... might be a good idea to keep notes for a quick review when time comes to actually indulge again. Good luck with your move.