Woodcut & Watercolor: Artemis (Diana)

Artemis (Diana) 12×11 Woodcut with Watercolor
Available – in my Etsy Shop

I purchased Shane Weller’s book (Dover Publications) on German Expressionist Woodcuts in the mid-90’s, and it’s been an excellent source of inspiration when I feel pulled to make something impactful, unfussy – and most important to me – different from the style & subject of what I normally carve. The book features excellent, full page examples of woodcuts from Kollwitz, Beckmann, Zitzewitz and Kirchner, etc. Those images lead me to research other artists from the early 1900’s – all of them gouging prolific creative visions into planks of wood, and printing them to paper with dark passages of ink. With anywhere-access to research via the net, and a solid book collection, we artists have enormous opportunities for experimental interpretation, variations on methodologies, and whole continents of influence. The writer Justine Musk posted a blog entry in March on the journey of being a writer that applies – I believe – to artists as well:

You need to write past the point of self-consciousness. You need to quit trying to write: to be clever, witty, pretty, poetic. (Perhaps your true voice is none of these things.) You need to fall through the words into something else entirely.
(Blogging can be exceptionally good for this.)
We start by imitating the styles of others. That kind of mimicry – conscious or not – is like a trapdoor opening beneath you.
It drops you into yourself.
It’s when you lose yourself that your true voice starts to come out of the dark. It might be raw and naked. Or howling and slightly mad. Your soul is stamped all the way through it.
Finding your voice – what to say, how to say it, how to speak up in the world – is about making your truth manifest. When you’re moving in the grooves of that soulprint, you know it. And so do others.
This is art.

Art happens wherever your soul’s on the line.

(You can read the entire post here.)

The underline in the text above is mine – because I think that line is so true; mimicry is a trap door opening beneath you, dropping you into yourself. How many artists do you know that are in a perpetual search for their own style? Sometimes, a book on someone else’s art is just the right spark-plug for your art-making engine to get you moving forward again. Make something.
Artemis, framed


Artemis woodcut getting a little watercolor love


Artemis the print next to the inked block she was printed from


The block of plywood Artemis was carved from

Art Quote
The use of the term Expressionism to describe the artistic movement that flourished in Germany in the early years of the twentieth century seems to date from around 1911, although the movement was active earlier; Die Brucke (the Bridge), an association of artists espousing the Expressionist ideal, was established in 1905 and held annual exhibitions until 1913.

Expressionism was in part a reaction against Impressionisms emphasis of atmospherics and surface appearances, and against academic painting’s rigid technique,  stressing instead the emotional state of the artist and subject. To this, the viewer was to add his own emotions, creating an experience rich in drama that conveyed the inner realtiy of the subject matter.

A change occurred in Experssionism with World War I. The horror of the war left an indellible mark, and the chaotic years of the Weimar Republic (1919-33) introduced a sharply satirical tone in the work of many artists. The rise to the power of the Nazis, with their repressive artistic programs, put an end to the Expressionists’ period of greatest productivity, although many continued their work until well after World War II.
Shane Weller – German Expressionist Woodcuts

4 thoughts on “Woodcut & Watercolor: Artemis (Diana)”

  1. Love this. I also love the quote. I think my true self is not too deep, but I love it when other people are. Lucian Freud was somewhat expressionist.

    What I love about your work (aside from everything) is that you can manage so many different moods, and draw us in to anything you express.

    XOXOXOXO Barbara

Write something.... pretend we're neighbors, and we’re painting watercolors together in the garden....