This Week's Post: Young Wolf-- Beginning of the Woodcuts

This weekly blog post and its host website cover a wide variety of Fred Montague's environmental commentaries, gardening topics, and wildlife/art activities.  Please browse the website and the blog archives for topics you are interested in. 


Young Wolf-- Beginning of the Woodcuts

The first woodcut I published is the "Young Wolf."  In 1997 I experimented with printing woodcut images on my 1913 Golding letterpress after having printed pages for my artists' books and letterpress prints.  

The woodcut images are in contrast to my previous drawings and prints.  Those incorporated much more fine-line detail.  The woodcuts, some of which are nearly silhouettes, emphasize shape, negative space, and hints of detail. 

A professor of visual psychology remarked to me at a recent art exhibit that my woodcuts were striking in their high-contrast (black/white) presentation and their subtle hint of important information.  In what I took for a compliment, he concluded by saying they conveyed important information-- just as a highway warning sign.

The "Young Wolf" print is a signed, limited edition of 88.  The image is 8" x 5.5" and I mat them in white for a 14" x 11" frame.  The edition is about half sold-out.

 

My latest woodcut, "Snowy Owl," featured in the July 20th blog post, is one of four in an owl series that I hope to complete in the next three months.

This Week's Post: New Woodcut--Snowy Owl

This weekly blog post and its host website cover a wide variety of Fred Montague's environmental commentaries, gardening topics, and wildlife/art activities.  Please browse the website and the blog archives for topics you are interested in. 


This Week's Post: New Woodcut--Snowy Owl

I completed the "Snowy Owl" woodcut in June 2016, and I have several other owl portraits on the drawing board for future prints.

The Snowy Owl occurs throughout the North American Arctic (Alaska and Canada). Occasionally it occurs in the lower 48 States, especially in the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes Region.

Regarding the bird's facial expression, Alan Eckert, in his 1974 volume, The Owls of North America, remarks that "the eyes are set slightly closer to the top of the head than in other species, and though they can be opened widely at will, more often then not they are partially lidded, tending to give the bird a sleepy or dreamy appearance...".

This particular owl has widely opened eyes.

Print is 14" x 11" matted.  $48.00, edition size 88.

This Week's Post: The Stories with the Images, Part 2

This weekly blog post and its host website cover a wide variety of Fred Montague's environmental commentaries, gardening topics, and wildlife/art activities.  Please browse the website and the blog archives for topics you are interested in. 


The Stories with the Images, Part 2

So far I have completed four woodcuts in the "Ancient Wisdom" series.  Last week I highlighted two in the series of four. Here are the stories associated the remaining two so far.

1.  "Wa-Maka-Skan"

Wa-Maka-Skan is a Lakota word for all the moving things of the Earth.  This woodcut print depicts four types-- the winged peoples, the crawling peoples, the four-legged peoples, and the two-leggeds.  The concept and the word reflects a more biocentricworldview, a more life-centered approach to viewing humans' place among other "moving things."


2.  "Storyteller's Circle"

In an earlier time, before the recorded word, cultural knowledge was passed from generation to generation through stories told by elders to children.  The advantage of the oral tradition is that the stories may be modified by those with experience and insight to fit the changing circumstances of the people.  The disadvantage of this mode of cultural coordination is that as the storytellers fade away or are displaced by the written word, both the language and the lessons fade away also.  The oral tradition is flexible, but it is extinction-prone.  The recorded word has the advantage of "permanence," but the disadvantage of archived error.

This Week's Post: The Stories with the Images, Part 1

This weekly blog post and its host website cover a wide variety of Fred Montague's environmental commentaries, gardening topics, and wildlife/art activities.  Please browse the website and the blog archives for topics you are interested in. 


The Stories with the Images, Part 1

So far I have completed four woodcuts in the "Ancient Wisdom" series.  Here are the stories associated with two of them.

1.  "Journey"
My understanding of the interpretation of Native American rock art is that images with a depiction of a hand reflect the personal experience of the artist.  A spiral represents a journey.  A spiral going "away" is an outbound trip.  A double spiral is a journey away and back.  What an ingenious way to represent a long trip in a small space (rock surface or tanned hide)-- coil the miles up.  If one were to accept all of this literally, the journey could be a vision quest. 

2.  "Stone Circle"
This simple woodcut depicts a circle of stones that can be found, often partially buried, throughout the plains of North America.  In earlier times, some Native Peoples anchored the sides of their hide or brush shelters with stones that they gathered, undoubtedly with considerable effort.  Since then the shelters have disappeared and the people who built them are gone, but the rings of stones remain.

From the Gallery: Fred's Woodcut, "Young Wolf"

"Young Wolf" is the first in the current series of thirty-three woodcut prints. To produce each woodcut, Fred carves away the negative space of the image on a maple block, leaving the surface to be inked. He then prints the edition on his 1913 letterpress. The bold silhouette of the woodcut prints present a striking contrast to the detailed pen-and-ink drawings that comprise another part of his work. 

A few of these prints are still available.

Bull Moose: A New Woodcut for Winter 2015

The "Bull Moose" woodcut depicts one of three new woodcuts featuring North America's big game species.  Watch for the other two new woodcuts in the next few weeks.  

The signed and numbered print is matted 14" x 12" inches and the image is 8" x 5.5."  The edition size is 88 and the price is $48.

Remember:  For our special friends who visit and shop from the website, when you purchase any three woodcuts, you may select a fourth one for free. To take advantage of this offer, purchase three woodcuts through the website shopping cart. Then please email us with the name of the woodcut you'd like as your free gift.


New Work Available: "Good Words" Woodcut

The "Peace Earth Wonder" woodcut is the first in a new series. This signed, deckle-edged print is 10.5" x 8.5" overall; the image is 8" x 5.5".

For a limited time, purchasers of Gardening: an Ecological Approach or any print, woodcut, or drawing in the gallery will receive this signed woodcut with my compliments.

 
Peace Earth Wonder  •  © Fred Montague  free with purchase  •  image 8 x 5.5  •  print 10.5 x 8.5  Edition size: 88  •  status: available

Peace Earth Wonder  •  © Fred Montague

free with purchase  •  image 8 x 5.5  •  print 10.5 x 8.5

Edition size: 88  •  status: available

 

Nature Art: New Botanical Woodcuts

Fred is currently carving and printing three new woodcuts and working on two new original drawings. One of the woodcuts is "Aspen Leaves."  It will be 8" by 5.5" with a 14" x 12" white mat. The preliminary sketch is shown here. The other two woodcuts are depictions of bigtooth maple leaves and Gambel oak leaves.

View Fred's other woodcuts. Our current promotion:  Buy three woodcut prints and receive a fourth free! 

Aspen leaves • © Fred Montague  sketch for woodcut  Edition size: 88 • status: available

Aspen leaves • © Fred Montague

sketch for woodcut

Edition size: 88 • status: available