Woodcut Thoughts

The following guest blog post is contributed by Huron River Art Collective member, Exhbits Chair and Community Exhibits Coordinator, Dennis Gordon. Dennis had two woodcuts accepted by Juror John Gutosky into the Collective’s Fall Juried Exhibit, 2022.

Teasel, 22×32″ woodcut print by Dennis Gordon

The term ‘woodcut’ is a confusing term, since it refers to the print made from a wood plate.  The above print (aka woodcut) , ‘Teasel’ is currently on exhibit at the Huron River Art Collective Fall Exhibit at the Ann Arbor Public Library.

This woodcut is the only time I have engraved on two separate plates and then attached the plates together (with thin slats on the back side – lots of them, and lots of screws!).

There are many things I like about woodcuts, but if I narrowed it down to two, they would be the strong black lines that you tend to get and the unpredictability of the whole printmaking process.  No matter how much you plan and prepare, you really don’t know what you have till you take the print.  Sometimes it is a good surprise, sometimes not.

One of the nice surprises with  ‘Teasel’ is the variety in the strength of the lines, with the foreground being very defined and the background being blurred.  ‘Teasel’ is similar to many of my other woodcuts in that it comes from a photograph that I have taken where a somewhat simple image can be worked on to produce texture and detail beyond the original photograph. I find woods, shadows, reflections, unusual angles of objects and scenic vistas to be my most frequent inspiration.

While many of my woodcuts are black and white, I often integrate color by painting a loose, not well defined background painting, letting that dry, and then inking up the wood plate and printing the image on that background.

Dennis also has some woodcuts on display at White Pine Studios in Saline and at the Gallery at Cherry Hill Theater in Canton. To inquire about purchasing artwork by Dennis Gordon, email: dennishgordon@yahoo.com

Huron River Art Collective’s Fall Juried Exhibit can be seen at the Ann Arbor District Library (lower level) through the Reception on November 13th, 2-4p. Artwork is available for purchase directly from the artists with no commission. Join us at the reception to hear from the Juror, John Gutosky, and for awards.

All members are invited to submit guest blog posts. For Guest Blog Post Guidelines, please email communications@huronriverartcollective.org.

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