21 August 2014

View of Fuji from Mt. Holyoke

View of Fuji from Mt. Holyoke after a Thunderstorm (after Thomas Cole)
White line woodcut on Rives heavyweight

I wanted to try one more white line print before I teach a workshop at Zea Mays in October, and this time I wanted to try something a little more moody, since I was previously disconcerted by the relative brightness (and happy tone) of my white line experiments. If you've ever seen Thomas Cole's "View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts after a Thunderstorm—The Oxbow," then you'll know what I mean by moody.

My white line print certainly can't compare to Cole's painting, either in mood or in skill. But it's a view of the same scene (the Oxbow of the Connecticut River at Northampton, Massachusetts) and it perfectly encapsulates my feelings of longing to go to Japan next month for the Second International Mokuhanga Conference. Alas, I can't go, so I will pretend that I can see Mt. Fuji from Mt. Holyoke when I look westward.

On a technical note, I carved this print on birch plywood instead of shina. I'm not fond of carving birch ply – it chips more than shina and the glue is hard on tools – but the grain was fun to work with.

I sent a jpeg of this print to my friend Mariko who lives in the Tokyo area thinking that she would appreciate the sentiment. She did appreciate the sentiment, but I was amused when her feedback included the word 'akarui,' which can be translated as 'bright' or 'cheerful.' I guess white line prints look cheerful in any language.


Elizabeth Busey said...

There really is something cheerful about white line prints. But I think it looks wonderful as well!

Celia Hart said...

I love this Annie! I use birch ply and really enjoy carving it. This has inspired me to try a white line print myself.

The print I'm working on is a sort of white line print but will be overprinted with a more detailed 2nd block in black line.

Must get up and get carving!
C x

Andrew Stone said...

It's your colors. Despite the ominous clouds, the bright yellow greens and pink houses and blue sky are all technicolor/wizard-of-oz colors...a bit unreal and do look bright and cheery.....you'd need a much duller palette to evoke other emotions.
Nevertheless, It's visually interesting and the tongue-in-cheek narrative is nice. I like the story and I like the print.

Annie B said...

Thanks, Elizabeth and Celia! I like some of the qualities of birch ply, especially the grain, but I'm put off by the scratchiness of the glue as I cut through it.

Andrew, I think you're right about that yellow-green. That's the color I saw in my mind, though, so maybe I didn't really intend the piece to be moody. Maybe I just have to face up to the fact that I'm more cheerful than I think I am. And the beauty of white line is that I can do it again in all new colors.

Leslie Moore said...

This is inspiration for your white line workshop in October! I can't wait!