December 4, 2012

Angie Lewin's Relief Prints

        A friend sent me the link to Angie Lewin's web site and I thought I'd feature her block printing today.  Lewin works in a variety of printmaking techniques, but of course I'm most interested in her linocuts and wood engravings.  Interestingly, she often does prints that combine those two techniques.  Her work always includes multiple blocks and multiple colors, and sometimes the different blocks are done with different techniques, for example in this dandelion.  I assume that the black is a wood engraving, while the blue and yellow blocks were carved in linoleum.  And when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense to do it that way when you're combining a very detailed block with blocks of very simple shapes.
        Among other things, Lewin is also a textile designer, and I think you can really see that in her aesthetic.  There's a definite flavor of 5o's Scandinavian design in much of her work, for example in this piece with Queen Anne's lace seed heads.  Both her shapes and colors evoke that retro Swedish cheerfulness.  Admittedly I don't always love the colors - after
all, this is a blog called "Black and White" - but I like what Lewin does with the patterns, and this tiny dandelion is an example of how effective the layering of different patterns in different colors can be.  Very pleasing.

        Perhaps my favorite is this little arrangement of plant material.  I love the shapes and textures of the different plants, the stylization without becoming divorced from nature, and the balance of black with the paler colors.  It has a lovely depth while still retaining its boldness.
        It's always fun to see how differently different artists can interpret the same themes and the same media, and each come up with something so distinctive and unique.




[Pictures: Dandelion III, wood engraving and linocut by Angie Lewin;
Blue Meadow, linocut by Lewin;
Dandelion IV, wood engraving by Lewin;
Teabowl and Bracken, wood engraving by Lewin.]
(And thanks to Nan Daly for the tip!)

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