Above and below are two of several woodcut prints I created, probably in the 1960's or 1970's. It was the period during which blacks were referred to as Afro Americans for the first time. There was much attention in the news to militant activity on the part of the blacks, which eventually led to positive changes in american culture. It was a true time of transition from the past, the years of slavery, toward establishing a more positive place in American life. The print below later became a series of three paintings I created related to the same theme. I'm sure I will post them in the future. I carved these images each out of a chunk of wood, working with a set of varied size gouges to remove the negative spaces, leaving only the raised areas that would reproduce in black ink when I would add ink to this printing plate. The print below was gouged out of a slab of wood that had some of the bark of the tree still attached on its right irregularly shaped edge. I liked that about it, and used that as a design element. Since the block of wood is inked and turned face down on the paper it will print on, that irregular edge ended up on the left edge of my print. In the print above, entitled "Anguish", I like the way the gouging process leaves some of the wood higher than other places. When the slab is inked, some of the ink grabs onto those elevated parts of the image as it is applied with a brayer. When printed, it then leaves some inked texture that alludes to the carving process or wood grain. The strength automatically imparted to the pictures by using black ink in printing is one of the properties I enjoy about making woodcuts. It's been a long while since I have done one, although I still own my set of gouges. ( see one print above, and one print below. If you click on each picture, you can see them a larger size!)
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