January 5, 2018

Snow Day!

        Every winter when we have a big snowstorm I share a few relief block prints of snowy scenes.  There are plenty to choose from because snowy scenes are a natural for black and white, so I think a lot of printmakers must be inspired by a snow-covered world.  So let’s begin with white snow under a black sky: the still, clear aftermath of the snowstorm.  That’s what I expect here tonight, when we’ll be experiencing frigid cold under clear skies.  I like the big branches in the foreground balanced with the details of the trees in the background, and the natural world of frozen trees and water balanced with the human fence and church.  I also like the touch of the shooting star for just a hint of movement in a still world.
        Here’s another snowy church among trees, but this time with four colors: not just black and white, but also grey and beige.  The golden beige along with the shadows on the snow in the foreground capture a low, slanting sunlight coming in under the edge of the heavy, grey skies.  There’s actually very little white in this block, considering that it’s a snowscape.

        There’s plenty of snow in the next piece, where simple, rounded snow is heaped on the hills and roofs like puffy bonnets.  It’s almost cartoonishly adorable.  I like the simple sawteeth of trees atop the hills of this winter wonderland.
        Finally, a second piece by Sue Cave, with a particularly interesting pattern.  It’s too cold here for icicles - no water is melting enough to start them, despite the sunny afternoon - but I love how Cave has distorted the wintry scene behind in order to evoke the wet, shiny ice.  This one makes me think of a window, and today is definitely a good day to be inside looking out through a window (preferably double-glazed and insulated!) at the beautiful snow.

[Pictures: Drift, wood engraving by Sue Cave, 2009;
Kostelík v Nudvojovicích u Turnova, wood block print with multiple blocks by Karel Vik, 1929 (Image from Galerie09);
Houses in Winter, wood block print by Carl Schaefer, 1930 (Image from Masters Gallery);
Icicle, wood engraving by Sue Cave, 2011 (Images from SueCave.com).]

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I especially like the log houses with the snow piled on the roofs.