January 22, 2024

Tiny Reduction Landscapes

         I treated myself to a belated Christmas gift: a miniature reduction block print by Dealey Dansby of Pink House Print Shop Co.  I myself have done a number of reduction prints, but mostly only a couple of layers, and all quite simple.  (Read here, if you need to know what a reduction print is.)  I’m always very impressed by people who do more complicated reduction designs, and today I’m celebrating my beautiful new addition to my art collection by sharing the work of two artists who not only do more complicated reduction prints, but who specifically do miniature reduction landscapes.
        I couldn’t resist my new piece “On the Water” because I love the subtlety of color and the glow of light.  You know I love black and white, so I always feel like there’s no point in doing color at all unless it’s going to do something that black and white really can’t do.  And in this case, that’s the pale, delicate light of a fading day.  This piece is only 2x2 inches, and uses 7 colors.  Here’s another piece by Dansby, this one with 9 colors.  In Dansby’s work the colors lie softly with each other, with gentle shapes and thickness of ink that make the shapes and colors almost blend in places, which is certainly different from my style of block prints.
        I’ve also been admiring the work of Molly Lemon, whose tiny reduction landscapes are done with wood engraving rather than linoleum blocks.  To put an even more impressive twist on these pieces, she carves and prints them plein air and without any sketching ahead of time!  I discovered her on Instagram where she posted little videos.  Honestly, I normally refuse to watch the reels on Instagram because you can’t skip forward or back, which is too annoyingly stupid.  Also, when it comes to art, I always prefer still photos so I can just look at things at my own pace.  But in this case, I did find it fascinating to watch Lemon’s process.  She certainly makes it look idyllic, but I think I’ll stick with working in my own room where I have a little more control and all my tools more easily accessible!
        I’ve picked two examples of Lemon’s work to share, and you can see that there are similarities and differences with the prints by Dansby.  The clearest difference is that wood engravings are composed of lots of tiny lines as opposed to larger solid shapes.  This first one is 4.2 cm square and uses 6 layers, some of them printed with a bit of color gradation.  The second appears to be 4 layers of ink.
        Both of these artists make other prints as well, larger ones, black and white ones, and so on.  For purposes of this post I was focussed on just one sort, but I do like the others very much and you should definitely check them out!

[Pictures: On the Water, reduction lino print by Dealey Dansby;

Siler Bald, reduction lino print by Dansby (Images from Dansby’s Etsy shop PinkHousePrintShopCo);

Miniature Landscape II, reduction wood engraving by Molly Lemon, 2022 (Image from Molly Lemon Art);

Prema, reduction wood engraving by Lemon, 2023 (Image from mollylemonart on Instagram).]

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petermorris said...
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