Woodcut of Artemis

German Expressionist Woodcut Prints

I purchased Shane Weller’s book (a Dover Publication – you can check out here) on German Expressionist Woodcuts a few decades ago.

All this time on my studio bookshelves and Weller’s book is still an excellent source of inspiration to make something bold, or unfussy.

Do you ever get the urge to make art that is totally different from the style and subject of what normally spills from your hands? Me too.

wood block portrait of the greek goddess artemis
A block of wood, with cuts and and patterns gouged into a figure standing near a shape that resembles the trunk of a tree

Woodcut and Woodblock Print Reference Books

The German Expressionist Woodcuts book features excellent, full-page examples of woodcuts from Kollwitz, Beckmann and Kirchner, etc.

Those woodblock print images lead me to research artists from the early 1900s. Artists throughout history have gouged prolific creative visions from planks of wood and printed them to paper with ink.

I have a wonderful selection of woodcut books in my studio, and I thought I’d share a couple of them here, in case you’re looking for some inspiration in your block printing adventures.

Pulling the print from the woodblock
Here is a tower of excellent woodcut and relief print books in my studio. I found most of them on Amazon, so I’ve added a grid of them linked below.
woodcut print next to the block it was printed from, featuring a woman's face on three quarters view
The woodcut print next to the block it was pulled from

Relief Print Posts from the Archives

Here are some of the previous relief print posts from this blog:

Adding watercolor to woodblock prints on an artist's table
Adding watercolors to the block print after the ink has dried
a woodcut of the greek goddess Artemis (or Diana) painted with watercolor and framed
Artemis, painted with watercolors and framed, ready for a wall.

Getting Ideas for Woodcut Prints

Books are an excellent source of ideas for woodcuts, and I love that each author shares tips particular to their practice. There are a hundred ways to handle each step of art-making. When we read about the methods individual artists have used for their creations, we get to pick and choose the process that fits us best.

Relief printmaking can be done with wood, linoleum, collagraph, or letterpress. If you’re looking for a process to generate ideas for linocut print subjects, read this post. The same principles and process apply to woodcuts and collagraphs, so dive in and give it a go.

Happy woodcut adventures to you, and I’ll see you in the next post!

Belinda

P.S. Are you familiar with the dreamy woodblock prints of American printmaker Bertha Lum (1869-1954)

Woodcut of Artemis
Artemis (Diana) 12 x 11 Woodcut with watercolor, framed (available matted and framed in my Etsy Shop)

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

Save for later & Share!

6 thoughts on “Woodcut Print Hand Painted with Watercolor – Artemis (Diana)”

    1. Hello David, Thanks so much for your feedback. I think you’d enjoy Vollmer’s Japanese Woodblock Print Workshop, because the images may resonate with some of the prints you’re already making, and the history she covers is broad and wonderful. Also, if you don’t already have it, this one is great too: https://amzn.to/3pgbGhF

  1. Very interesting, a self portrait!? You are an inspiration! Have you seen Pastel Innovations” by Dawn Emerson? She has a chapter on monotypes and pastel. I am having a hard time pretending we are neighbors (wish we were) but it is 14 degrees and about there are 3 inches of snow here in Millstadt, IL so painting in the garden would be doable but really cold! LOL.

    1. Hi Susan, Not a deliberate self portrait, but they say we insert ourselves in every figurative piece we make. I have indeed seen Pastel Innovations, and it’s a great inspiration for dynamic pastel and printmaking. Her work is so energetic! I’m sending your Michigan thermometer a bit of California sunshine on a windy day. Blustery blue skies and white caps on the sea, so we’ll paint inside with tea and a podcast today, okay? And cookies. 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *