May 5, 2017

Block Printmaker Taylor

        Charles William Taylor (UK, 1878-1960) was a watercolorist as well as a wood engraver, and in both media he was extremely competent and fairly conventional.  I might not have chosen him for my T printmaker, except that you can clearly see, if you note the other T printmakers below, that “Taylor” is obviously the single most important name in all of relief printmaking, and not to feature a Taylor would be a terrible omission.  As far as I know, none of these Taylors is related to any other, so it’s evidently the name itself that’s significant.
        To say that this particular Taylor was competent and conventional, though, is not intended as damning with faint praise.  I think his landscapes have a really nice sense of depth which draws the viewer in and makes the scenes feel quite spacious.  The empty white skies perhaps contribute to this feel, and large white areas are very unusual in wood engraving because the usual tools make very small lines rather than wide gouges.  But moreover there’s also a particular intensity in the foreground details.  These are not especially large blocks - the third, for example, is 8.5 by 6.25 inches - so to make them capture great depth and space is really quite an impressive feat.

        Here are the links to the Taylors and other previously-featured T printmakers:

[Pictures: Lamberhurst, woodcut or wood engraving by Charles William Taylor, before 1930 (Image from Thomas Shahan flickr);
Chanctonbury Ring, wood engraving by Taylor (Image from Modern Printmakers)
Somewhere in Wales, woodcut by Taylor, mid 1920s (Image from V&A).]

A-Z Challenge, all posts for the letter T

If you’re in the greater Boston area, come see my block prints and many other artists at Needham Open Studios tomorrow and/or Sunday!


  1. Love that first one. Makes me wish I was out in the country right now. Of course I mostly wish that anyway.