22 July 2005

Pause and Assess

I've been looking at these 3 prints and trying to discern where I want to go next. I've also been looking at some woodcut books that my friend Alan loaned to me, particularly a book about the German Expressionist E.L. Kirchner. What I notice most about Kirchner's woodcuts is the energy in his marks, the fact that you can "see" what he cut and the tools he used. You can almost watch his hand move. Look at this piece, for example:

Some of the cuts seem very precise and planned, but there's an energy and roughness to some of the other marks that I really like.

I'm happy with the 3 Buddha pieces I made, but I can see that what I've done is reproduce in woodblock a way of constructing a drawing that I've learned from 20 years of using vector-based computer software. In vector-based illustration you essentially layer colored shapes on top of one another to create your drawing, almost like cut paper. That's what I did with the Buddhas, too. Nothing wrong with that, but I'd like to experiment with the characteristics of the wood itself and the marks that the various cutting tools make.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Annie,

They look really nice together. I see you have touched on 5 senses, if we allow for the birds squawking.

Overlapping colours is a real challenge in prints made from water-based colours, Moku Hanga. Primary colours will not always blend in a predictable way. Overprinting will produce many fascinating results, but not what vector graphics would give you. Some pigments will fight each other while others seem to blend happily. If you spend a lot time trialing the print you can come up with amazing results.

Expressive carving is harder than it looks. My favourites are Shiko Munakata and Un'ichi Hiratsuka. They share a chapter in Helen Merritt's book, Modern Japanese Prints, The Early years - an excellent read for anyone interested in Sosaku Hanga - the creative print movement.

name of the rose said...

an effective piece...each individual block as well as the triptich, which keeps the eye circulating

I agree, that Kirchener and German expressionist printmakers in general
have an energy...and make good use of the inherent characteristics of their medium...

An interesting blog...
thank you for showing your process.