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Woman in Garden

 

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.

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.

 

Here is the current wood block that I have been working on. It is carved and inked with black relief ink ready to be printed. The wood is a white pine. I like the slightly sculptural quality of the wood block.

I carved another block to render a background color and have produced a few color proofs. I’m not totally satisfied yet, but I’m making progress.

I intend to utilize this image for the Print Zero Studios Print Exchange that is coming up in July 2010. Artists will submit editions of 15 prints, then we shuffle them all up and each contributing artists receive 13 different prints from the other participating artists in return. Print Zero Studios retains 2 of the prints for their collection and usually organizes a traveling exhibit of the work.

This sketch of a Roman bronze is from a statue that dates back to the beginning of the first century A.D. The bronze is a copy of an earlier Greek original from the 5th century B.C.that was thought to be a funerary statue.

I am currently interested in studying statues from antiquity and creating a series of prints based on these drawings. It’s a means of exploring some of the early examples of Western art and the idealized human form depicted in these artworks.

I’m fascinated by the way woodblock prints lend themselves to the depiction of flat shapes, which can be be manipulated to achieve the illusion of form and dimension. Printmaking is always a way for me to expand my repertoire of mark making and give a particular character to the subjects that I depict.

I have already started carving a block based on this image which will be the first woodblock print in the series, and may decide to do some drypoint prints as well. I will post an image of the woodblock soon.

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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Sketches after Whistler

Here are a couple of sketches that I completed the other day. One is after “Portrait of the Painter’s Mother” by James McNeill Whistler, and the other is after the “Portrait of Theodore Duret.”
Whistler’s painting of his mother is considered a masterpiece and extremely well known. I find the limited color palette of the original quite beautiful in its subtle hues. I’m fascinated with the way that the dark clothing of the mother, the base of the wall and the curtain all blend into one large block of form, becoming very flat despite the detailed nature of the painting. I have attempted to capture some of the subtle details of pattern observed in the curtains reminiscent of a motif featuring Japanese cherry blossoms. The framed picture on the wall is painted with little detail, but appears to be one of Whistler’s earlier etchings.
Theodore Duret as I have learned was a traveller, collector of art, crooked art dealer and man about town, or boulevardier. His father was a wealthy businessman who owned a brandy business in Cognac.