Color Linocut, Contemporary, Early 20th Century, Linocut, Prints

Linocuts

Broadway Moonlight. Emily Trueblood. Three-block linocut, 2006.  Edition 50. Image size 10 x 8" (255 x 203 mm). LINK.

Broadway Moonlight. Emily Trueblood. Three-block linocut, 2006. Edition 50. Image size 10 x 8″ (255 x 203 mm). LINK.

Linocut printmaking is a form of relief printing, using a linoleum block as a matrix. The artist sketches a composition on a block of linoleum, and then cuts away pieces from the surface with a chisel or gouge, leaving a raised area which will receive the ink. A roller is then used to apply ink to this raised surface, and the image is transferred to paper with a press or by hand burnishing and rubbing. Since the recessed cut-away areas do not receive ink, they appear white on the printed image.

The method matches that of a woodblock, but since the linoleum block does not have a directional wood grain, the surface of the print will have less texture and the artist has more freedom in the line work. The linoleum takes all types of lines, but it is suited to large designs with high contrasting tints. If an artist wants to incorporate multiple colors into the linocut, each color will be printed with its own carved linoleum block. The print is created by printing a sheet of paper with each of the blocks in turn, using a strict method of registration to avoid overlapping or misplacement. The greater the complexity, the greater the rate of failed or imperfect impressions.

Below are several of the linocuts we have in our 20th century and contemporary inventory. Stop by our Georgetown gallery to see the prints in person, and look at more linocuts!

Sea View. Stanley Kaplan. Linocut, 2005. Edition 25. Image size 8 1/4 x 17 5/8" (206 x 345 mm). LINK.

Sea View. Stanley Kaplan. Linocut, 2005. Edition 25. Image size 8 1/4 x 17 5/8″ (206 x 345 mm). LINK.

Carp.  Valenti Angelo. Color linocut, undated. Image size 6 1/4 x 8 3/4" (152 x 223 mm). LINK.

Carp. Valenti Angelo. Color linocut, undated. Image size 6 1/4 x 8 3/4″ (152 x 223 mm). LINK.

N. H. Bridge.  Stanley Kaplan. Color linocut, 1997. Edition 25. Image size 8 1/4 x 13" (210 x 330 mm). LINK.

N. H. Bridge. Stanley Kaplan. Color linocut, 1997. Edition 25. Image size 8 1/4 x 13″ (210 x 330 mm). LINK.

Studio Scene w/Doves. Matt Phillips. Linocut, 1976. Image size 22 x 15 3/4" (560 x 400 mm). LINK.

Studio Scene w/Doves. Matt Phillips. Linocut, 1976. Image size 22 x 15 3/4″ (560 x 400 mm). LINK.

El Juego. Karima Muyaes. Color reduction linocut, 2007. Edition 3. Image size 17 3/4 x 11 7/8" (450 x 303 mm). LINK.

El Juego. Karima Muyaes. Color reduction linocut, 2007. Edition 3. Image size 17 3/4 x 11 7/8″ (450 x 303 mm). LINK.

Division Street. Richard Sloat. Three-color linocut, 1995. Edition 50. Image size 7 1/8 x 13 7/8" (180 x 354 mm). LINK.

Division Street. Richard Sloat. Three-color linocut, 1995. Edition 50. Image size 7 1/8 x 13 7/8″ (180 x 354 mm). LINK.

Still Life with Top Hat & Dove in Cage. Matt Phillips. Linocut, 1978. Image size 9 15/16 x 7 15/16" (252 x 202 mm). LINK.

Still Life with Top Hat & Dove in Cage. Matt Phillips. Linocut, 1978. Image size 9 15/16 x 7 15/16″ (252 x 202 mm). LINK.

Vibrato II. Stanley Kaplan. Color linocut, 2006. Edition 25. Image size 12 x 18" (305 x 457 mm). LINK.

Vibrato II. Stanley Kaplan. Color linocut, 2006. Edition 25. Image size 12 x 18″ (305 x 457 mm). LINK.

Dusk at Baker's Beach.  [Massachusetts.]  Emily Trueblood. Three-block linocut, 2006. Edition 50. Image size 3 7/8 x 5 7/8" (98 x 150 mm). LINK.

Dusk at Baker’s Beach. [Massachusetts.] Emily Trueblood. Three-block linocut, 2006. Edition 50. Image size 3 7/8 x 5 7/8″ (98 x 150 mm). LINK.

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Abstract, Citiscapes, Contemporary, Early 20th Century, Figurative, Landscapes, Prints, Screenprint, Serigraph, Silkscreen

Serigraphy

Serigraphy ( also known as screen-printing or silk screen) is a versatile printing process, based on the stencil principle. The method first appeared in China during the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD), and gained popularity in 18th century Europe, thanks to imports of silk from the East. A group of WPA artists, who later formed the National Serigraphic Society, coined the word “serigraphy” in the 1930s in effort to differentiate the artistic application from the commercial printing application. Serigraphy was later made famous in the 1960s by Andy Warhol, who used the medium to achieve a bold, commercial look in his pop-icon prints.

To make a serigraph, a fine woven fabric is tightly stretched and attached to a metal or sturdy wood frame. This forms the printing screen. A stencil is then created on the screen, by the application of a blockout. Artists have experimented with numerous blockout methods over time- including paper, hand-cut film, glue, photosensitive emulsion, and gelatin film. The blockout areas become the non-image areas. After the blockout is laid and dried, paper is placed below the screen and thick ink is squeezed into a line across the top of the screen. The ink is then dragged along the surface of the screen with a squeegee. This forces the ink to pass through the open area of the stencil onto the paper below. For multi-colored prints, a separate screen is required for each color.

Below are several serigraph prints we have in our OPG inventory, by early 20th century and contemporary artists. Hope you enjoy!

Trio. Dorie Marder. Serigraph, 1945. Image size 14 7/8 x 10 7/8" (377 x 276 mm). Edition 45. LINK.

Trio. By Dorie Marder. Serigraph, 1945. Image size 14 7/8 x 10 7/8″ (377 x 276 mm). Edition 45. LINK.

Urban Views.  (Large) #6B. Patrick J. Anderson. Serigraph, 2003. Image size 6 x 6" (151 x 151 mm). Edition 12. LINK.

Urban Views. (Large) #6B.  By Patrick J. Anderson. Serigraph, 2003. Image size 6 x 6″ (151 x 151 mm). Edition 12. LINK.

Coastal Whimsey. Joan Drew. Serigraph, 1965. Image size 8 1/8 x 12 1/2" (210 x 320 mm). Edition 55. LINK.

Coastal Whimsey. By Joan Drew. Serigraph, 1965. Image size 8 1/8 x 12 1/2″ (210 x 320 mm). Edition 55. LINK.

Prairie Sunset. Allan Simpson. Serigraph, 1987. Image size 16 5/16 x 20 1/4" (416 x 514 mm). Edition 30. LINK.

Prairie Sunset. By Allan Simpson. Serigraph, 1987. Image size 16 5/16 x 20 1/4″ (416 x 514 mm). Edition 30. LINK.

Dancing. Thomas Seawell. Serigraph and archival digital, 2010. Tondo - diameter 9 1/2 x 9 1/2" (240 mm). Edition 10. LINK.

Dancing.  By Thomas Seawell. Serigraph and archival digital, 2010. Tondo – diameter 9 1/2 x 9 1/2″ (240 mm). Edition 10. LINK.

Space Planes. Morris A. Blackburn. Serigraph, c. 1950.  8 5/8 x 12" (227 x 305 mm). LINK.

Space Planes.  By Morris A. Blackburn. Serigraph, c. 1950. 8 5/8 x 12″ (227 x 305 mm). LINK.

Pet. Joan Drew. Serigraph, 1967. Image size 2 3/4 x 2" (72 x 40 mm).  Edition 51. LINK.

Pet. By Joan Drew. Serigraph, 1967. Image size 2 3/4 x 2″ (72 x 40 mm). Edition 51. LINK.

Point Blank Distance. By Masaaki Noda. Serigraph, 1996. Image size 12 1/8 x 19 1/4" (308 x 488 mm). Edition 40. LINK.

Point Blank Distance. By Masaaki Noda. Serigraph, 1996. Image size 12 1/8 x 19 1/4″ (308 x 488 mm). Edition 40. LINK.

Hartling Bay. Richard T. Davis. Color serigraph, 1993. Image size 17 3/4 x 20 1/4" (445 x 509 mm). Edition 145. LINK.

Hartling Bay. By Richard T. Davis. Color serigraph, 1993. Image size 17 3/4 x 20 1/4″ (445 x 509 mm). Edition 145. LINK.

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Color Woodcut, Contemporary, Early 20th Century, Foreign Views, Prints, Woodcut

John Ross Color Woodcut Progression

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Brittany Harbor [Port Haliguen]. Progressive (series set of 6). Color woodcut, 1963. Edition 150. Image size 9 3/8 x 6 1/4″ (237 x 158 mm). Very good condition. Set of six.  The five different color block sheets are signed and titled “Progressive” in the lower margins . The finished impression, “Brittany Harbor” (seen at top right), is signed, titled and dated in pencil. LINK.

Today we have an intriguing print series to share with our OPG blog readers- which offers an insightful look into the creation of the color woodblock print “Brittany Harbor” by NY artist John Ross. This progressive series shows each of the five different colors and two different woodblocks needed to complete the print.

Woodblock printing is a type of relief printmaking. In this technique, the artist sketches a composition on a block of wood and then cuts away pieces from the surface. This leaves a raised area to receive ink. A roller (sometimes called a brayer) is then used to apply ink to the raised surface, and the image is then transferred to paper with a press or by hand burnishing and rubbing. Because the recessed, cut-away areas do not hold ink, they act as white-space on the printed image. Relief prints like woodcuts are usually characterized by bold dark-light contrasts and an impress into the paper of the inked lines.

Color woodcuts in particular are a result of inking one block in multiple colors to build up texture and create vibrance of color. Artists can also use more than one woodblock, each inked in a separate color, to create their composition. A sheet of paper is printed with each of the blocks in turn, using a method of registration to avoid misplacement or overlapping. The greater the complexity (number of woodblocks, number of different colors) of the print, the greater the chance for failed or imperfect impressions. For this reason, successful multi-block, multi-colored woodcuts are rare and a serious show of talent, finesse, and patience.

John Ross used two different woodcut blocks to create “Brittany Harbor”. First, the colors (dark blue, teal, green, and purple inks) are printed onto the paper. Each color is a separate pass through the press, but using the same wood block.

Dark purple ink. First block.

Dark blue ink. First block.

Teal ink. First Block.

Teal ink. First Block.

Green ink. First block.

Green ink. First block.

Purple ink. First block.

Purple ink. First block.

The second block, with finer and more intricate cuts, is then inked with a dark black ink and printed on top of the colored inks. This last block adds important details to the print, like bricks, roof texture, boat masts, and waves.

Black ink. Second block.

Black ink. Second block.

The resulting final image can be seen below.

Brittany Harbor.

Brittany Harbor.

 

An animation showing the block and color progression

An animation showing the block and color progression

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Contemporary, Early 20th Century, Etching, Prints

Yvette Lucas Explains Solar Etchings

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(Left image) Lace. By Yvette Lucas. Solar etching, 2010.
(Right Image) Ecstatic Tree. By Yvette Lucas. Solar etching, 2010.

The Old Print Gallery has a show of etchings now up on view. Because the prints span from 1909 to 2012, ETCHED highlights both the use of  traditional methods and a newer trend among contemporary printmakers- a playful exploration of the medium with novel materials, resins, and acids. Yvette Lucas is a perfect example of a printmaker incorporating technological advancements into her creative process. She works with Solarplates™ to create beautiful photo intaglios- two of which are featured in the show.

Solarplates™ were created in the early 1970s by Dan Weldon. Not only are these plates more economical and faster to work with than traditional copper or zinc plates, they remove acid baths from the etching process-resulting in an environmentally friendly printmaking process and safer working conditions for the printmaker.  The plate is “etched” by the sun, which appeals to not just printmakers but also photographers and multi-media artists.

Below, Lucas has written about her experience with Solarplates™ to create Lace and Ecstatic Tree just for our OPG blog readers. We hope you enjoy this look into her creative process and methods.

PHOTO INTAGLIOS

So many of us are drawn to the natural places that exist outside of the heavily populated towns and cities. They engage our senses and calm our mind. I chose these images for their quiet but powerful presence to be enhanced by the process of ink pressed into paper. There is a depth and dimension that is achieved with the intaglio process which is different from a pigment print. Though not as sharply detailed, its softness and warmth pulls in the viewer to experience and linger in those places.  

These intaglios are printed from Solarplates™, steel plates coated with a light sensitive polymer. The plate is exposed with a film positive using sunlight or other form of UV light to burn the image onto the plate. The plates are processed in water then inked, hand wiped, and printed on an etching press in small editions. In this series I use raw sepia for its large tonal range and warm brown color.

Thanks to Yvette Lucas for the explanation! OPG blog readers can view the ETCHED prints in person at our Georgetown gallery or online here.  The show is on view until April 5, 2014.

 

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Aquatint, Early 20th Century, Engraving, Etching, Mezzotint, Prints, Wood

The Mediums of Mastro-Valerio

Alessandro Mastro-Valerio: A Retrospective opens this Friday, September 20th (come to our opening!) with over 25 original prints on the OPG walls. Although celebrated for his mezzotint nudes, Mastro-Valerio also experimented with etchings, wood engravings, and monotypes, before creating continuous and spit-bite aquatint abstractions in the final years before his death (1950-1952).  Today on the OPG blog, we would like to explain the different mediums that Mastro-Valerio so artfully employed, using his prints to show the difference in styles. We hope you enjoy!

Etching

Etching has been a favorite technique for artists for centuries, largely because the method of inscribing the image is so similar to drawing with a pencil or pen. An etching begins with a metal plate that has been coated with a waxy substance called a “ground.” The artist creates a composition by drawing through the ground with a pointed stylus, to expose the metal. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath which “bites” or chemically dissolves the metal in the exposed lines. For printing, the ground is removed, the plate is inked, and then the plate’s surface is wiped clean (leaving the ink only in the etched lines). It is then covered with a sheet of dampened paper and run through the printing press, which not only transfers the ink but forces the paper into the lines, resulting in a raised character of the lines on the impression. Etched lines usually have blunt rather than tapering lines.

Negro Holiday. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Etching, 1933.

Negro Holiday. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Etching, 1933.

Mezzotint

Mezzotint is a technique of engraving areas of tone rather than lines. In this method, the entire surface of the printing plate is roughed by a spiked tool called a rocker. If inked at that point, the entire plate would print in solid black. The artist then works “from black to white” by scraping or burnishing areas so the plate will hold less or no ink, yielding modulated tones. Because of the capabilities for producing almost infinite gradations of tone, mezzotint has been the most successful technique for the black and white adaptation of oil-painted images to the print medium.

Reverie. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1942.

Reverie. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Mezzotint, 1942.

Wood engravings

Wood engravings are made from the end-grain surface of very hard wood, usually boxwood, as opposed to woodcuts, which are made from side-grain planks of wood neither so hard nor so expensive. Rather than cutting away non-printing areas with a knife, wood engravings are made with fine engraving tools which are used to engrave the non-printing areas with incredible precision and detail. As in woodcuts, it is the surface that takes the ink and prints.

Dawn. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Wood engraving, 1946.

Dawn. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Wood engraving, 1946.

Aquatint

Aquatint is an etching process concerned with areas of tone rather that line. For this technique, the plate is covered with a ground or resin that is granular rather than solid (as in an etching) and bitten with acid. The acid bites in between the granules. The design, wholly in tonal areas not line, is produced by protecting certain areas of the plate from the acid with an impervious varnish, by using multiple bitings to produce different degrees of darkness, and by using several different resins with different grains.

Reclining Figure. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, 1950.

Reclining Figure. Alessandro Mastro-Valerio. Aquatint, 1950.

If you have any questions about the techniques or want to share which medium is your favorite, feel free to leave a comment below!

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