November 22, 2023

Autumnal Block Prints

         It’s time for another collection of autumnal relief block prints, and as usual, views of autumn have to emphasize color.  First up is a piece by one of my favorites, Herschel C. Logan.  It’s quite small and simple, but includes three colors: dark brown, beige, and orange.  Typical of Logan’s work, its focus is on a rural homestead, but no people in sight.  (You can revisit more work by Logan here.)
        The next piece is by an artist who’s new to me, and it’s much more complex.  Nick Wroblewski works in the Japanese woodblock style, and often includes animals in his landscapes.  This one has wonderful details in the foreground, but is also wonderfully less detailed in the background, with its warm, muted autumn colors.  The beavers are delightful, but so are the 
details of the sticks and bark, and the gnawing-marks on the felled trunk.
        Also in the Japanese style, here’s a piece by Kawase Hasui (an artist you can search in the sidebar to see a few more pieces.)  The title is “Late Autumn in Ichikawa,” and I think it does somehow manage to capture that feeling of incoming winter chill in the air, despite the warm colors of the dried grasses.  Again, the grasses in the foreground show every blade, but then fade to a blur and the silhouettes of trees in the background.  (I definitely need to work on that transition from foreground to background in my own work!)
        As a contrast from these relatively predictable landscapes, here’s an unusual view by William Hays.  This one is a reduction linoleum block print with 6 colors.  It’s very impressive, and I’d love to be able to see it in person and get a sense for the ink on the 
paper.  On the computer screen it’s almost too good, because it reads more like a photograph with the “posterize” filter than like a hand carved block print.  It certainly does invite you to jump in the leaf pile, though!
        Finally, I had to include this wood block print by Kari Percival, because what is this season without pies?  This fun piece celebrates the sharing of good food and company.  (And see my prior post on Percival here.)
        I’m certainly very grateful for my own home and family, as well as for the land I’m lucky enough to live on, sharing it with its 
beautiful trees and animals.

[Pictures: Autumn, color woodcut by Herschel C. Logan, 1924 (Image from Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art);

Sturdy Branches, Leafy Tops, woodcut by Nick Wroblewski (Image from;

Late Autumn in Ichikawa, color woodblock print by Kawase Hasui, 1930 (Image from The Clark Museum);

Equinox, linocut print by William Hays (Image from artful home);

Pies, wood block print by Kari Percival (Image from]

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