White Line Woodcut

 
My first white line print - in progress.

My first white line print - in progress.

 

Just returned from our annual week-long vacation in Truro, MA, where I'd been thrilled to find a class in "White Line Woodcuts" being taught at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum during our stay. I immediately registered and I'm glad I did. The class was taught by artist Sally Brophy whose work includes white line woodcuts inspired by nature. You can see more of her prints here - my favorite is the one with mermaids, which coincidentally, I had purchased (in the form of a notecard at the Pilgrim Monument gift shop) several years previous to enrolling in her class. 

Highlights of the workshop included:

Learning the white line woodcut technique.

Seeing original white line prints from the PAAM collection by artist Blanche Lazelle and others.

Visiting the Bakker Gallery to see more prints, including an origianal Sally Brophy!

Watching the documentary "Packed in a Trunk" - which uncovers the story of artist Edith Lake Wilkinson (one of the originators of the white line technique), who was "committed to an asylum in 1924 and never heard from again". 

Working alongside classmates and seeing their work in progress.

All in all, a great experience - more white line woodcuts to come!

white_line_woodcut_rabkat.jpg
white_line_print_rabkat.jpg

Blockprint Quilt - Finished!

Here are pics of a quilt I recently finished and gave to my mom for her birthday. She loved it!

It's made of my old skinny jeans and squares of my hand-carved / hand-stamped fabric, so there's ALOT of love baked in... 

Read more about how I made it here.

Fish Hamsa; From Sketch to Print

A LOOK BACK: Abstract Watercolors

I worked on this series while living down by the Jersey shore one winter. The focus here was on abstract shapes, line and movement. When I look these over, I still like (and use in my current work), the bold shapes and repetitive lines. Also, I'm drawn towards the pieces with a limited color palette - 2, 3 or at most 4 colors. Over the years I've limited my palette even more, and find that one single color (along with the negative space it creates) has the most impact.

Medium: watercolor

Size: about 5"x7"

Date: mid to late 90's

Cut Paper Challah Cover

My latest challah cover design is inspired by an artwork I saw in a book entitled "Traditional Jewish Papercuts" by Joseph and Yehudit Shadur. It's a beautiful book, with highly informative text and descriptions. The papercut my illustration is based off of was a type of amulet called a "childbed letter". It was originally meant to hang on the nursery wall to thwart "the evil intents of the witch Lilith who carries off newborn infants"...  Where there were areas of text on the papercut, I substituted a sun, and in the rectangular shape flanked by lions, I inserted the word "Shabbat" in Hebrew.

Below you can see that I've experimented with three color combinations: red and yellow, purple and orange (with purple ball fringe), and the traditional blue and white. Do you have a preference?

In future variations, I may add facial features to the animals... Initially I thought that people might want to embroider these details in on their own to add their own personal touch, but either way, having them there can at least serve as a guide...

cut paper challah cover red and yellow
cut paper challah cover with ball fringe
rabkat-cut-paper-challah-cover-blue and white

From Block Print to Baby Quilt

IMG_0532.jpg

I recently made a baby quilt out of one of my block print illustrations. It's neat to think about all the stages involved in making something like this. I list them here so you can get a peek behind the process...

 1. It begins with an idea... 

2. ...which I then sketch out on tracing paper.

3. After refining the sketch to a point where I'm satisfied with every detail,

4. I transfer the final drawing onto a block of wood.

5. At this point, I carve the image.

6. Once the carving is complete, I ink the surface of the block... 

7. ...and print it onto paper.

8. When the ink on the paper is dry, I scan the block print image into my computer,

9. make refinements in Photoshop,

10. and save it as a JPEG file.

11. Over at my Spoonflower shop, I upload the JPEG,

12. select the amount and type of fabric I want the file to be printed on,

13. and purchase it.  

14. A short time later the fabric is shipped and arrives on my doorstep,

15. at which point I lay it over batting, which I lay over the backing cloth.

16. I pin the three layers together,

17. free motion quilt it on my sewing machine,

18. and bind the edges.

Done!

Below, my favorite thing about printmaking:

I love...

I love...

the anticipation...

the anticipation...

of pulling...

of pulling...

 
a print!

a print!

This one has been scanned, opened in Photoshop, and colored blue.

This one has been scanned, opened in Photoshop, and colored blue.

As an alternate, magenta.

As an alternate, magenta.

 

I go with the blue for my quilt top and have the image digitally printed onto KONA cotton at Spoonflower.

See the quilt making process in this blog post tutorial.

See finished quilt below!

 

Jewish Art Workshop - Leonard Baskin

This will have been my third art session in my new job as art teacher at the Glen Rock Jewish Center hebrew school. For the first lesson I made the obvious choice in teaching about Marc Chagall. The second lesson was around the time of Passover, so we learned about illuminated manuscripts with a focus on the haggadah. For the third lesson (and the last one of the school year since I began mid-year), I chose to focus on the artist Leonard Baskin. I've always liked his work and in addition, since I like to introduce new techniques, I liked the fact that he's primarily known for his woodcuts. 

Since I myself am a printmaker, it was great to be able to bring in my own carved woodblocks, prints and tools to pass around. Although the kids were slightly disappointed when they realized they'd be "carving" foam rather than wood, they still seemed to love the lesson, and the results.

Read More