Mary Sweet's Woodblock Prints

I have been a painter all my life but have only been doing woodblock prints, Japanese style, since 1993. That year, after trying without much success to teach myself from books, I took my first  woodblock print workshop with Hiroki Morinoue at Anderson Ranch, Snowmass, Colorado. Ive since been back for more. Hiroki Morinoue is a noted artist from Hawaii who studied for three years in Japan with a master Japanese printmaker.

I found I love the Japanese style of woodblock printmaking, which is done with watercolors as ink and printed by hand with a baren. I use dampened Japanese paper and  kento registration marks.

Most of my woodblocks are done by reduction block rather than making a separate block for each color. Being a painter, I have trouble thinking like a printmaker as to how to separate out all the colors. Id rather start with one block, carve out the white areas so they wont print and then print the lightest color first. Then I carve out what is to remain that color on the paper and print the next lightest color and so forth until only the darkest areas to be printed are left on the block at the end. Or I can start with the sky and work top to bottom being careful  to print darker areas over lighter ones, not vice-versa. This method is easier to register since I am printing the same block over and over. It also allows some improvising as I go and allows many layers of color without having to carve a huge number of blocks. But I can only do small editions this way. 

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Quarai Ruins

Fresh Snow - Sandia Peak

From Sandia Peak, Fog Rising

The Gulch

Toward La Plata Peak

Ancient Message - Stone Sheep

Winter Snow Gilman

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