Beatty, Nevada

Saturday and Sunday I was part of a wood block printmaking workshop. It was really for advanced carvers, who were working on colored prints (meaning multiple blocks) printed on a press, but since I was there and since I was invited the join, I had no choice; temperamentally I couldn’t resist. I have never carved a wood block and I’m a mooshy oil painter, but I took the workshop anyway.

So here are my woodblocks. I only did a couple of proofs and no real prints — time ran out. I loved the carving and was terrible at the design. But that’s OK; I’m a painter and I never could think in reverse. But of course, I had to do two wood blocks, the first to see what happened and the second because I was inspired….

clarnopalisadeswoodblock2wThe Clarno Palisade Woodblock, about 5″ x 7″; no prints made yet.

miocenewoodblock2wMiocene, woodblock, about 5 x 7, no prints made yet.

Miocene will undoubtedly get discarded, but I really wanted to do something like that that worked (it’s adapted from a photo of my textile piece Miocene). But I have to keep telling myself that I’m a painter, and in my next life (after I retire from singing opera), I will take up wood carving.

I’m hooked on the carving. It’s the design that gives me fits. –June

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7 Responses to Beatty, Nevada

  1. june says:

    Hi Julio,

    It was Maria Arango who was the instructor. And you are quite right about her contagious energy and wonderful prints. She sold me one that I found astonishing. I’m hoping to see more of her.

    Thanks for the comments.


  2. Julio says:

    Ha, I recognize that style, B&W crispiness……did you have Maria Arango for an instructor ? Her energy is contagious and her prints are fresh and dynamic…I have several of her prints.

    What I wanted to say is that eventually as an artist you will find that certain ‘ideas’ will be better suited for painting and others might be better executed in other media. Let it flow…
    don’t fight it !

    I hope you enjoyed the class……good luck !


  3. Olga says:

    Ah the seduction of the clean line! It is definitely fun trying new techniques – giving a holiday both to hands and mind. I know what you mean about getting round a new way of approaching design, but that’s the right way round anyway. We have to learn how to control and move the car before we set off on any journey.

    Like you I have not been totally seduced by the recent workshop I attended – but I return to my work refreshed. Holidays are definitely a good thing.


  4. June says:

    Thanks, Guys,

    Sion, I can’t do both because I still have a long steep learning curve to climb in my painting — no time to allow the other distractions that tug at me. (And I’m not mentioning textile art, which has been neglected for so long my sewing machine is rusting).

    And Karen, no, no, no, no, no. Get that worm off that hook, immediately.

    Professor Terry, rounding out my education might also be called giving myself a bit of humility. What I really liked about the carving and printing was the clarity and simplicity of design (design was also my bete noire.) I’ve done screen printing and break-down screen printing as well as carving and stamping with easy cut, all on fabric, of course. But these are out of a different world, a different mind-set altogether. Black and white, paper that allows for crispness, wow!

    Luckily I have no more materials available and the instructor has gone home. I’m back to painting today.


  5. terry grant says:

    Good for you–you are rounding out your education! This will only add to your visual vocabulary and the exercise of working in reverse will benefit your painting. So says professor Terry. And isn’t printmaking so fun? I just love pulling the first print. Ta da! Instant gratification.


  6. Karen says:

    Hahaha…. you are hooked, you just don’t fully realize it yet! I love carving and printing woodcut blocks. We have a printmakers guild here that has a full studio of presses, drying racks, etc. that I have access to. It is wonderful!


  7. sion says:

    Judging by the top one, I think you might be a natural. Is there some reason you can’t both paint and print? Other than access to a press, of course, which can be problematic (I’ve been meaning to test for years with using my car as a press …). I’ve always loved both (altho my personal prefs were always lithography & etching).


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