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Here is a new woodblock that I’ve been working on lately. It’s printed in black and white on a very fine, almost translucent Chinese paper. I’ve completed an edition of 10, and I have plans to do a version with color as well.

The second picture, though a little blurry is the inked block on the press bed.

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Woman in Garden No. 1
Noah Overby
Graphite drawing with woodblock print
Images size: 5.5 x 3.25 inches    

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Woman in Garden No. 2
Noah Overby
India ink drawing with woodblock print
Image size: 5.5 x 3.25 inches    

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Woman in Garden No. 3
Noah Overby
Walnut ink drawing with woodblock print
Image size: 5.5 x 3.25 inches    

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Woman in Garden No. 4
Noah Overby
Graphite drawing with woodblock print
Images size: 5.5 x 3.25 inches    

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Woman in Garden No. 5
Noah Overby
India ink drawing on paper with woodblock print
Image size: 5.5 x 3.25 inches    

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I just completed a series of drawing based on my woodblock print “Venus and Garden.” I have been looking at the amazing woodblock prints of Edvard Munch lately and thanks to the book “Edvard Munch The Complete Graphic Works” by Gerd Woll I learned that Munch used a ‘coping saw’ to cut his woodblocks into pieces as if making a jigsaw puzzle. This allowed him to ink areas of his image with different colors and then reassemble them before printing. The advantage to doing this is that he did not have to carve a new block for each color that he wished to print, and he could create multicolor prints with a single pass through the press.    

I adapted the idea by cutting away the figure from my woodblock. This allowed me to print several blanks that I could use as the basis for new drawings, reinserting different figures into the environment. Since I’m always interested in what I call the language of the drawing and experimenting with different qualities of line and media it was a really fun experiment and seemed to work out great!    

Although the garden scene that forms the background for these figure studies is fictional it reminds me of my trip to Versailles years ago. The beautiful garden with classical sculptures and fountains of flowing water made quite an impression on me at the time. I tried to capture the feeling of frivolity and peaceful sanctuary that the gardens represented for me in these figures.

Available in my Etsy shop for $35 each.

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Venus and Garden

Venus and Garden
Noah Overby
Woodblock print in an edition of 20
Image size: 5.5 x 3.5 inches
available at noahoverby.etsy.com

“Venus and Garden” is a woodblock print on Japanese Masa paper, printed in a blue-grey. The figure is inspired by an ancient Roman, marble. The garden is loosely defined but depicts a fountain, irises and suggestions of blossoms and foliage with clouds in the distance. It provided an opportunity to bring together my current interest in statues of Roman antiquity while alluding to themes in traditional Japanese screen painting, such as the irises, blossoms and clouds.

I have always been fascinated by the artwork of Ogata Korin who worked in the decorative Rimpa style. His paintings of irises make reference to the Ise Monogatori, or Tales if Ise in which a poet who is traveling far from the capitol constructs a poem in which each line begins with a syllable from the word for irises. His poem expressing a longing for his lover who is far away in the capitol. This link includes an image of some of Korin’s screens depicting irises and more information about their meaning.

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Roman Head Woodblock print

Roman Head
10 x 7 inches
2 Color Woodcut on Japanese Paper
available at noahoverby.etsy.com

I just finished printing my edition for the Print Zero Studios Print Exchange #7. “Roman Head” is printed in black and blue/grey from 2 blocks of pine. The edition size is 15 which are all going to the print exchange, but I have a few artist proofs that I am offering for sale.

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A new woodblock print, carved into poplar and then printed on Japanese paper. It is inspired by the landscape of the Pacific Northwest where I live. The size is roughly 6 x 10 inches. I have been playing with the idea of adding more layers and some color, but I like the simplicity and rustic quality of this image. It reflects the nature of the cabin and the landscape.

When I look at this image I wonder who lives in this cabin and whether it depicts a time long ago, or just a secluded nook somewhere today. I’m not sure if the tiny black strokes depict grass and plants that are growing or trees that were cut down in some industrious endeavor that has altered the landscape.

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Stark
Acrylic and collage on canvas
10 x 8 inches
Inventory # 08-J-07
$120

This painting makes a small, but bold statement. It is executed in black and white while the cloud in the center is cut paper from a drypoint print exhibiting a subtle, scribbly texture.

This piece will be part of the Small Works 2008 exhibit.

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Trickle
Acrylic on canvas
10 x 8 inchesInventory # 08-J-08

This painting is elegant in its simplicity. The background is a subtle pale blue, while the cloud image is painted in an iridescent gold. The appearance of the gold paint changes depending on the angle of the light.

This will be part of the Small Works 2008 exhibit.

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