July 12, 2021

Landscapes by Loughridge

         This little relief block print caught my eye this morning because although it is apparently intended as a winter holiday card, it seems to me more like the green and grey rain we’ve been having so much of recently here.  It’s labelled as a reduction print, but I don’t believe it.  For one thing, in a reduction print the pink could not go over the blues in some places, as it does, unless the blues were under the pink everywhere, which they are not.   (For a refresher on how a reduction print works, see here.)  But even more interesting is the lighter green, which is clearly not any sort of woodcut at all.  It is a piece of burlap or similar coarse fabric, inked and printed.  So I’m seeing 5 colors printed on the white paper, and while the two blues may be printed reduction style (light blue block carved and printed, then the same block carved down further and printed with darker blue), the pink, and the two greens are probably 
each separate.  However it was made, though, I’m enjoying the color scheme, and the textures that are
 not trying to be “realistic” depictions of trees or rocks, and that fabulous unexpected burlap texture in the middle.
        The artist is Leon Loughridge (USA, b. 1952) who lives in Colorado and is indeed known for his reduction woodblock prints of western landscapes, which is probably why the image above got labelled as such.  I’ve included just a couple of these reduction prints of his that I particularly like.  These are actually not Loughridge's most complex images, because I generally prefer the ones where the carving is not so detailed that it disappears.  Even so, it looks like these have about half a dozen colors each, which interact in interesting ways as they layer.  He tends to capture beautiful light.  
        What sorts of colors is your world these days?  Look for the beauty in them, whatever they are!

[Pictures: Title unknown, relief print by Leon Loughridge, late 20th century (Image from Beach Museum of Art);
Peak Study, reduction woodcut by Loughridge, 2016 (Image from Breckenridge Gallery);
Morning Glow, reduction woodblock by Loughridge (Image from Reuben Saunders Gallery).]

No comments: