Woodcut and Watercolor Portrait: Two Boys

Two Boys 5.5×5 Woodcut with watercolor
The reference for this woodcut was a photo of my brothers, visiting me from Los Angeles, while I was in college at UMASS. As soon as I got the photo developed, I pinned it to the wall in my little apartment, knowing I wanted to draw it, or paint it, or do something art-related with it. Shortly after, I found a scrap piece of plywood in the parking lot outside the print lab on campus, with a partially carved abstract on one side. I sanded the back of the block, sketched my brothers with a sharpie marker, and printed a small edition of 6 woodcuts. I thought I’d sold them all, since that was a looong time ago, but I recently found this last Artist’s Proof in my flat files. It’s listed in my Etsy shop.
This weekend, I’ll be at the Sierra Madre Art Fair (California) with this woodcut and about 60 other pieces of art from my studio. I’ll be in booth #5 with both watercolors and printmaking, so if you’re in the area (222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. Sierra Madre CA 91024), please do stop by and say hello. Last weekend, I was at the San Diego Artwalk (see pics below), and I’m hopeful that the beautiful weather and enthused patrons we had down there will be on site here in LA too.
Two Boys, framed in red & black mats, with a pewter relief filet frame
The view from my booth: Little Italy & the Pacific Ocean
at the end of Beech Street
Beautiful blue sky reflections – we had great weather all weekend
Little Italy in San Diego
People (and cute dogs) in my booth

These two cute-niks visit us every day of the show,
and they’ve stopped by every year for the past five or six seasons.
It’s so good to get a little greyhound-love-fix. 🙂

Display panels and a road case of art – on the drive down to San Diego.

Part of my little tribe; my hubby & son keeping me company at the festival.
Photo Credit: @vickileigh (on instagram)

Art Quote
Visiting Paris in 1927, Ben Shahn (1898-1969) was at the opera, when a small incident occurred which left an indelible impression on him. A Frenchman in the next seat pointed out Henri Matisse sitting several rows further down the aisle. Shahn thought back ten years, to two passages in a book about a Brooklyn boy in Paris which made an overwhelming impression on him at the time – Ernest Poole’s The Harbor.

There was a little Hungarian Jew [the first passage went], an ardent follower of Matisse.  “Technique?” he cried. “It’s nothing. To grip your soul in your two hands and press it on your canvas – that is art, that is Matisse!”

And the second passage, a conversation between Bill, the hero, who has taken the Hungarian’s advise, and his friend Joe, who comments on the resulting pictures:
For God’s sake, Bill, get it out of your system, quit getting reverent over the past; you’re sitting here at the feet of the masters, fellahs who were alright in their day but are now – every one of ’em – out of date. And you’re so internally busy copying their technique… Why can’t you go to life for your stuff? Your religion is style, technique and form. For God’s sake lose it and use your own eyes, forget you’re an artist and be a reporter… Believe me, Bill, the nations of this planet are ready to do things you never dreamed of. I’m not talking of kings and governments, I’m talking of the people themselves. The place you need is the U.S.A. – and the work you need is a job on a paper!

Shahn thought of those passages, and at that moment, Matisse stood up facing the audience from way down in front, and, surveying it very deliberately over the top of his spectacles, proceeded to pick his nose. “What a supremely un-self-conscious gesture!” thought the young American.
Portrait of the Artist as an American: Ben Shahn  ~ Seldon Rodman

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