As many across the country are starting to organize activities for Culture Days 2011, people are writing in, sharing their stories and what they’re planning for this year’s event, happening September 30, October 1 & 2. Here, we're profiling individual artists who will be sharing their craft with those in their communities over the 2011 Culture Days weekend.
We heard about Culture Days through Martin DeGroot's Saturday column in the Kitchener-Waterloo Record and we've elected to participate to give the public a window on our world and an opportunity to explore the possibilities of the woodcut medium.
For Culture Days, I would suggest that the interested come in with a drawing to be reversed and transferred using a mirror or carbon paper. I recommend a straightedge slant because the image has to be transferred to wood, and grain is a determining factor. Participants will therefore be able to work through the wood and translate their ideas to a print using ink and press. I will show some examples of colour approaches, but the basic exercise will be in black water soluable ink - I have done reduction cuts as well as offset multiple blocs in colour, but there is much more involved - jig saw puzzle approaches are another variant of colour possibilities.
Woodcut Printmaking is the oldest method of reproducing images. Its earliest application in the Western World was to give “everyman” the opportunity to understand scripture through the “universal language” of art. I have embraced that slant and was told early on, before I put knife to wood, that my work had a religious flavour. Curiously enough, my wife and I now find ourselves retired from the workplace in a refurbished 123 year old church I call the “Chapel of the Glass Stoneman”. We are adrift in this Ark on a See [sic] of Landscape. In the last 3 years out here, I have done about 55 blocs inspired by the land, its history and architecture on my mythic journey.
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