Cherry twig test prints

March 3rd, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I pruned some branches off of my cherry trees. I brought the twigs inside and put them in a vase of water. Some of the buds are swelling and I hope they might have enough energy to produce flowers or leaves.

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Instead of putting a couple of twigs in the water I experimented with making prints from them. I used my chisel to shave off some of the bark to expose some of the wood, and then inked and printed them as I do for my woodblock prints.

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Planks of cherry wood are what has been traditionally used in Japanese woodblock prints, though I use Shina woodblocks more often. I hope to experiment with printing twigs more in the future and perhaps someday make a woodblock print entirely from cherry twigs and branches instead of from plywood or larger pieces of wood. It seems like a great way to use the resources I have in my own yard.

I wonder if the potato prints I’ve been doing with my 2 1/2 year-old son have had anything to do with this thinking outside the box?

Reduction woodcut mask by MCAD student Margarita Wenzel

March 3rd, 2013

I meant to blog this picture several months ago, but I’m catching up now that I’m slowly emerging from several months being too busy teaching.

In the fall I was teaching two classes at Bethel University, Introduction to Creative Arts and Two-Dimensional Design, and I was teaching Print Paper Book Techniques at MCAD.

One of my MCAD students, Margarita Wenzel, made this mask for a reduction woodcut assignment.

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Emily Hoisington has artwork in “Changing Landscapes”

October 9th, 2012

I have artwork in the “Changing Landscapes” show at Silverwood Park gallery with an opening this Thursday October 11. The show runs until November 30.

Changing Landscapes: A Shift from Rural to Urban

October 11 – November 30, 2012

Over the last 200 years, as the nation shifted its output from agriculture to industry, people moved from rural to urban areas. This shift redefines one’s relationship to the land and often results in a lack of connection to the natural world. Evidence suggests that spending less time outdoors negatively impacts one’s health and well-being.

With growing populations living in cities, it is critical that people connect to the natural environment, but where does nature exist in urban spaces? We ask artists to consider the possibilities.

Silverwood Park Gallery

Three Rivers Park District – Silverwood Park 2500 County Road E Saint Anthony, MN 55421 763.694.2078 http://www.threeriversparks.org/events/G/gallery-reception-for-changing-landscapes–a-shift-from-rural-to-urban.aspx

Opening Reception October 11 ■ 6-8 Pm

Reduction Print Japanese woodcut

August 19th, 2012

As a demonstration print during the workshop I just finished teaching, I made this:

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I used one of Karen’s dead bird images, cropped it to fit a small woodblock, carved away everything that is white, then printed the orange, then carved everything that I wanted to remain orange, then printed the red, then carved away what I wanted to remain red, then printed the purple.

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This is the first time that I’ve tried using the reduction technique combined with Japanese woodblock. I enjoyed how the transparent watercolors layered and also how the registration marks directly carved into the block made lining up the layers simple and easy.

Student work from Peninsula School of Art workshop

August 19th, 2012

I just finished teaching a three day workshop on Japanese woodcut at Peninsula School of Art in Door County, WI.

The students made lovely prints, and they all learned and accomplished a lot in three days!

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Two blocks, and print in center by Jenny, showing Japanese rice harvest and a volcano in the background.

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Color variations on Jenny’s print.

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Anne’s print and blocks, a sparrow perched in a tree.

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Karen’s print and blocks, a dead bird and Hopi raincloud symbols.

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Karen carving.

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Anne inking her woodblock.

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Jenny pressing with a baren.

Thanks to Peninsula School of Art and my students for a great workshop!

“Diggers” print complete!

August 14th, 2012

Come see my recent work at the MCAD faculty show August 24-September 16.

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“Diggers” 2012 watercolor monotype and woodcut

“Digger drawings” (not pictured) 2012 process book with woodcut, monotype, crayon and pencil drawings

This print and process book are the results of my summer investigation into diggers, the movers and shapers of the earth in my neighborhood. Some diggers are large and loud, they are the construction machines that are building the new central corridor light rail line on University Avenue near my home. Some diggers are small and quiet, they are the ants and sow bugs, earthworms and millipedes that turn and renew the soil in my backyard.

In this print, I have distorted scale in order to make the small diggers and large diggers the same size and importance. These diggers create the infrastructure of my city and the structure of the soil, both profoundly shaping the way I live in this place.

The process book contains a summer’s worth of drawing on location with my two-year-old son as I researched and gathered imagery for the print. Some drawings in the book are his and some are mine, but most contain marks made by both of us as we tried to capture the quick movements of the industrious diggers.

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Lid monotypes return

August 12th, 2012

The “digger” prints I made yesterday didn’t quite turn out how I wanted them, so I am making more today. I just painted four tiny monotypes of the central area of the Twin Cities showing the central corridor light rail route. I tried to get the grid of city streets slightly more accurate than the ones I did yesterday, but there’s still plenty of distortion. I wonder if I will start mixing up east and west since I have been making mirror image maps for printing!

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Bugs and Diggers

August 8th, 2012

I have been printing a bit!

I pulled out some invertebrate stamps I carved a while ago and made prints to send to my students in my online class Collaborative Printmaking:

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I also did some more construction observation with my son. This backhoe with loader and jackhammer caught our attention and we followed it along University Ave until I finished sketching it:

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I then re-drew my sketch directly onto a woodblock using pencil and watercolors. I changed the proportions a bit and my son added some gestural marks:

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Here’s an image of the block after I’ve done much of the carving. I carved some of my son’s drawing but not all of it. Next to it is a block with a drawing of a sow bug (or wood louse or whatever you like to call it) that I drew from life directly on the block from a live model scurrying around in a jar. I have just barely started carving this one.

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And here is an ant I’m about halfway done carving. I drew this in pencil on the block from a macro photo of an ant that my dad took.

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Stay tuned to see if I can put this all together into a finished print before I leave to teach my class at Peninsula School of Art next week!

Digger sketches

July 20th, 2012

I just sketched out some thumbnail ideas for the digger prints I’m making this summer. Four ideas for a pair of prints bringing together light rail construction, sandbox digging, and underground creatures.

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Diggers

June 12th, 2012

My summer goal is to develop a parallel exploration into “diggers”, the movers and shapers of my environment, large and small. The large ones are the big construction machines at work on University Avenue making way for the new Central Corridor Light Rail. The small ones are the earthworms, ants, millipedes, and other creatures who are constantly renewing the soil in my garden, occasionally disturbed by my shovel or my son’s toy trucks. I’m drawing them with my son by my side, and as you can see in my Flickr set “diggers”, he’s been making as many marks on the drawings as I am.

Yellow dump truck sketch

Collaborative drawing by me and my son, age 2