Wednesday, May 20, 2015

karl marxhausen - print share

Photographer Karl Marxhausen held up a favorite woodcut at the Creative Cafe and shared the difficulty of the cutting and inking process. Double click on images to enlarge details.


"It began with my love for "a wisp." The way the thin graphite strokes described faint sunlight coming through the cloud."

"The thinnest lines in a woodcut are the darkest black. The whole design becomes something more than a gray scale drawing. After all the days it takes to cut a design onto the block, the inking and the proofing, it takes me just as long to embrace what I see with my eyes. A woodcut cannot hold soft lines like the light touch of graphite can."

"The tiptop of the trees are so skinny on the block, they hold a little amount of printer's ink. The hand-burnishing from the back side of the paper needs to be both gentle and deliberate. If that area is missed, then the details I want will be absent."

Six minute video showed inking a woodcut block with a brayer. Aligning the proof sheet with the inked block. Methodical burnishing by hand. Pulling a proof. And removing the water-based ink with a paper towel. (courtesy of the artist)

"There is a lot of guessing and planning that one works at. In my "Limb Over Snow Houses" I filled the sky with dashes, inspired by the work of C.A. Seward. It wasn't in the original drawing. It worked out amazingly well. I especially enjoy the graphic boldness and poetry of the tree trunk."

Hi, Karl, I wanted to send you a note thanking you for sharing your 2 prints today at the "show & tell." I was glad you passed them around so we could get a closer look at them. They were really quite wonderful! Keep up the good the work!
Ruthie Osa

Karl Marxhausen is a member of the Nelson Atkins Print Society. He takes photos for the Spotlight KC Print blog when he can. Members are encouraged to send their photos to along with their observations and comments related to all our events. See more of the plein air drawings from which his woodcuts were based at
Drop him an email to get his monthly newsletter. He keeps an art blog, the Moss Creek Journal  Cheers.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

print share - richard hamilton

At the Creative Cafe members shared stories about the print they brought with them from home. Double click on images to see details enlarged.

Six minutes.
"This one is interesting, from the standpoint of this presents I think one of the first use of plate toning," said Richard Hamilton during the Print Salon Share at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. "Which is where the artist wipes the plate.  Here he wiped the top but he did not wipe this bottom area to keep that dark and anchored. Of course this guy is with his mule, probably mule-horse, and I believe he is plowing somewhere on the outskirts of Paris."

 Drypoint by Jean Francoise Raffaelli.
It measured 4 5/8 by 6 inches.

One minute.
He made a total of 184 prints. Jean Francoise Raffaelli did not consider himself an impressionist. He considered himself to be a naturalist. And later a follower of Zola, who was an avant garde writer.

Richard Hamilton is a member of the Nelson Atkins Print Society.

print share - paula winchester

When 40 Nelson Atkins print society members got together to share a print that meant something to each of us,

STORIES opened up, and it got exciting in the Creative Cafe of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. 

Member Paula Winchester spoke about visiting her son in Portland and shared her wood engraving by Paul Gentry. Double click on images to enlarge.

Three minutes. 
Paula shared:
"This is a little bit that I know about this person. Paul Gentry. He lives in Portland, Oregon. My son also lives there and works at Nike World headquarters. So I tried to find him, but I was only traveling by mass transit and he was beyond where I could travel."

"But (Gentry) he calls himself a wood engraver. And he started in 2001, so he hasn't been doing this for very long. And wood engraving, this is for me to know as long as you don't know as well, is different from woodcuts, in that they are made on blocks of "end grain hardwood" rather than the face of a board. He also makes his own boards. So this harder surface allows one to cut a very fine design with engraving tools."

"He lives in the Willamette Valley, and he has become over time, basically he is a pictorial realistic division. And he loves the land, and that which he lives in. So his artwork is going to be things that appeal to me. And I like landscapes and things having to do with nature."

"To produce a print usually takes several weeks of work. He usually does not do much more than thirty-five prints. He fabricates these blocks themselves from pieces of eastern maple which are glued together and then carefully milled and sanded. And then the interesting thing is that when he does these prints he uses a "bamboo rice spoon" which he gets from the kitchen. The bamboo rice spoon is his burnishing tool to get it pressed into the print."


"That's about what I know. I know the American Legacy Gallery still has these things. And there was this rather nice one that I thought was really cool that had trees, cows, and horses. And (Gentry) he also did one that the American Legacy Gallery picked to be a part of the Print Crawl last year. One that he had that I thought was really cool, and that was not nature-oriented, but... if you have ever been to Portland, it has ridge after ridge after ridge after ridge, and it was like looking through ridges underneath the bridges and there was a person walking." 
John Mallery: That one was actually called "Shadows and Steel" and it is actually in the Nelson collection.
Marilyn Carbonell: The Nelson has three of them. Three Paul Gentries.
Steve Pruitt: And why, why do they have three Paul Gentries, Marilyn?
Marilyn Carbonell: Someone donated.

"Reflections At Ankeny" by Paul Gentry, wood engraving

Paula Winchester is a member of the Nelson Atkins Print Society. Her website is More on Winchester's experimenting with monoprints, click