In block printing, I tend to create tight compositions that focus the viewer’s attention on the subject but still allow for the wonderful variety of “marks” that can be made through the carving and printing process to become a textural attribute. This with the highly graphical tendencies of block printing can give most images a weighty feeling. In this medium, objects that are soft tend to become rigid and angular. When subjects start with a sense of foreboding, it is only exaggerated.
I was initially introduced to block printing while studying Vincent Van Gogh and the influences of the Japanese woodcuts that were finding their way to Europe. With further study, I fell in love with the works of the German Expressionists like Käthe Kollwitz and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner with their strong angular compositions and use of black space. Other artists who have experimented with print making either through woodcuts or etching, like Edvard Munch, Albrecht Dürer and M.C. Escher continue to have a great effect on the way I view the medium.

All of my prints are from limited edition printings, hand pulled and in the case of multi-colored images, hand registered. This tends to create images within an edition that are similar in quality, but do have some individuality because of the printing process.


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 Michael SmithVancouver, WA360 721-3453