I love family history and genealogy, and one of the benefits of my affinity is that I’ve become the repository for old family photos that no one wants. I use them in my art pretty frequently, because they’re meaningful to me. I also think they’re beautiful – and familiar; facial features I recognize, carriage, gestures and some of the same body language I see in my family today. The reference for this figure was a 1928 snapshot of my paternal grandfather (without the buck – I added him in the background) the year he married my grandmother. I’ve painted him before, older. Though he’s young and lanky here – I still recognize the way he sat, the tilt of his head, and a palpable certainty about him. He was an immigrant (Italy) and an avid hunter, an inventor, a whittler, self employed, self made. He also loved puns and word play.
This linocut is a small edition of 10, printed with Akua Waterbased ink on Johannot paper and painted with watercolor.
After drawing on the block – carving begins
Alternating broad, medium and narrow gouge marks
Inking and proof printing the block
Seven prints of Stag, drying on my easel
Andrew Wyeth remembered an evening, one of the rare ones he had spent in New York, with a group of painters at Robert Beverly Hale’s. Jackson Pollock and Stuart Davis had been arguing about techniques. Finally, Edward Hopper tapped Davis on the shoulder and pointed from the penthouse window to the incredible light of the setting sun on the buildings. “Can you ignore that?”
Conversations with Artists – Selden Rodman & Alexander Eliott 1961