I love making woodblock prints. My introduction to the Japanese water-based art of mokuhanga (woodprint) was in the late 70’s, and I have been addicted ever since. The materials and tools for this craft originate from the hands of skilled artisans. From beautiful paper made in the mountains of Japan, to the bamboo sheath wrapped around my hand-held printing disk, this form of printmaking never feels far from nature, my muse.
The division of space and abstract qualities of traditional Japanese woodcuts attract me. When planning my own prints, I work to simplify what I’m seeing or feeling. To move from the inspiration of the sketch to the mechanics of the print requires thoughtful organization of color and space. The image is broken apart; different colors are carved from separate blocks of wood. Only after just the right amount of pigment, water, and rice starch have been brushed across the wood, and the layers of color have been pressed into the paper, does the image come together again. Every time the paper is lifted from the final block, it feels like magic.
Although my subject matter varies, my goal remains to create images with strength, spirit, and clarity. In a world full of challenges, the process of creating a woodblock print provides a peaceful and safe haven. I am so grateful to be a woodblock printmaker and hope some of the joy it brings me, touches others.