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Furrows in Wood – This is where I belong

You can take the girl out of the country . . .

Hello! This is the inaugural post to my woodblock blog.

I’d like to start with a brief introduction about my roots.

As a child on our family farm in Michigan, I felt a magnetic pull to the earth beneath my feet. For many generations, my family’s whole sense of place and connectedness was through our toil with the soil and with our animals. Each day was filled with the significance of weather and the cycles of life. There was no other way to live.Blog Still 1.2

Now, my relationship with the landscape is through making my woodblock prints.

Being a woodblock printmaker and working with these near-to-the-earth materials is, in some way, my attempt at staying close to my roots. I carve furrows in the wood instead of furrows in the soil. My feelings remain strong about being connected to the natural world, and I’ve devoted my life’s work to portraying my feelings about it.

I was drawn to study Japanese woodblock printmaking because of the materials used in this process. Unlike Western techniques, the Japanese methods utilize water-based colors and the printing is all done by hand – no machinery is involved. These airy, low-tech, and time-honored processes appealed to me over Western approaches. (And, I listened to a teacher who steered in that direction.)

Mokuhanga (wood print) is the term often used for contemporary woodblock prints made in the Japanese tradition.

I’ve had a wonderful career in this medium for the past 20 years. Yet, I will never forget where I came from and those youthful days of feeling like I belonged to more than just a family; I belonged to a place. I experience the same feeling when creating my art: “this is where I belong.”

Stay tuned for future posts and my evolution.

Your comments are always welcome!

PS: and as the saying goes . . . but not the country out of the girl!

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