Artist Journal 3 & 4 ~ February 15-28

Artist Journal 3 & 4 ~ February 15-28

WOODCUT PRINTING!! Finally being back on familiar ground feels so nice. We have moved into the ‘crash course’ on woodcut prints. This is a method of teaching that I quite like, giving the students the opportunity to try a material and see what they can do with it before really getting trenched in what a woodcut should be. Doing a woodcut in roughly a week often feels clunky and like there are a million and one issues but the students come up with the most brilliant solutions to these road blocks. By the time they get to their second woodcut where they’re given more time for designing and planning as well as execution of the prints the entire process seems less daunting for the students.

I worked on my own woodcut alongside the students and came up with this little raccoon design. The prompt they’d been given was to show their ‘Avatar’ some form of representation of themselves from spirit animals, deities, and portraits to scenes they resonate with. Its always interesting to see the paths they take when given an open-ended prompt like the avatar. Raccoons are one of my favorite animals and I thought it would be the best way to demonstration some techniques with woodcut carving as well as planning and designing for a woodcut as it deals more in shapes rather than line. Part of this project Rhea gave me the opportunity to do a live demo, my first for a college level course. It’s crazy all the little things I do while working on my own prints that are so second nature I’d forget to mention them, luckily with Rhea I was well guided and like to think my first demo didnt go half bad. Additionally I was able to push this woodcut a little beyond the project and show the students a glimps of the type of printing i myself have gotten into a lot lately. Reduction prints. Using the same block and layering colors to get the finished print. I did a quick and easy 3 colored on for my raccoon (I say 3 because i include the paper tone when i count my colors),


  1. Rhea

    I appreciate, and enjoy, the pictures with the blocks, their impressions, and the layers. It illustrates the reduction cut process well.
    This semester we did take two weeks to do the woodcut. One week to look at examples and design and one week to carve and print. We have been doing more discussions on all parts of the process as well including the technical, formal and conceptual. I think the discussions have really helped people be more at ease with the potential frustrations of working in this medium. What do you think?

    1. Yes, I definitely think the in class discussions have helped ease the stress. As a group they seemed very engaged in not only their own work but with providing feedback and suggestions for other people. Ive been in classes where critiques or even regular engagement from students can feel like pulling teeth, whether its the online format or shyness, but this class does a very nice job of responding and participating which makes everything else flow so much easier. I’m really excited to see where these choice projects go!

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