Posts Tagged ‘woodcut’

Frost Burrow work in progress

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

carving frost burrow

Making some progress on my print for the lunation book, starting to carve a block for a second layer.

test print first layer frost burrow

Here’s a test print of the first layer of my print for the lunation book.

This is my progress so far on my print “Frost Burrow” which will be the 29th page of the Lunation book. My page corresponds to the last day of the waning crescent moon phase, and I’ll be tweaking the values to aim for 2-4% illumination. I’m working from a photo I took during the winter, on a day without snow on the ground, of a rabbit burrow (I think) edged in frost. The frost formed from the meeting of warm moist breath with the cold outer air and clung to the dead grass and roots around the entrance to the burrow. So this print is about hibernation, waiting, hints of life amid evidence of death, warmth hidden in darkness, and a hole that may be empty or full.

Woodcut demo this Sunday 1-3pm, come print from my blocks!

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Sunday, Apr 21, 2013
Art Demonstration
MMAA Project Space | 332 N. Robert Street, 55101
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

This event is free, open to the public, and does not require registration.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts teacher and artist Emily Hoisington will bring in her hand-carved woodblocks, some of which were used to print the pieces in the show, and teach you how it’s done. Don’t miss this special opportunity to learn the process behind the art from the artist and try it yourself.

Anniversary print

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Happy tenth anniversary to my husband Dan, who has tirelessly encouraged and supported me as an artist.

On the left, a print made with several layers of monoprinting from the same woodblock, on the right, where we were ten years ago today.


Cherry twig test prints

Sunday, 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.


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.


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

Sunday, 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.


Reduction Print Japanese woodcut

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

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


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.


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

Sunday, 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!


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


Color variations on Jenny’s print.


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


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


Karen carving.


Anne inking her woodblock.


Jenny pressing with a baren.

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

“Diggers” print complete!

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

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


“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.


His Roots version two

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

I made a new version of His Roots this week, adding more blue gradation in the background and a pink gradation in the placenta.

His Roots version two

His Roots

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

So, now it’s been two months since I posted that I would be back to updating this blog regularly, feeding the creative process. I finished the print “His Roots” a long time ago, and am happy with it. It is in a print portfolio that will have a show sometime next year. In order to keep making work, I think I need to commit to participating in at least two print portfolios per year after this.

I am satisfied with being a mother and being a teacher. My students at MCAD are now working on their final projects, printed books. My son is crawling. I get so much satisfaction from facilitating and observing other people’s learning, making and becoming. The question for this blog is how to facilitate my own learning and making. Part of it is a matter of time management. It’s hard to focus on making art when I am hungry and need to wash dishes in order to make food. Part of it is also a matter of motivation. Seeing my students or my son interact with me and the world motivates me to invest more time in watching them and helping them. In order for my art to motivate me to spend more time with it, I have to spend time looking at what I’ve made before and remembering why I made it. Also, in the midst of the clutter of a house that seems to be impossible to baby-proof, it’s difficult to be motivated to make more physical objects. So, perhaps I need to find ways to work that are more ephemeral, more recyclable? Or to tap into the motivation I get from working with other people and find ways to work that are more collaborative?