When I started the Froggwell Biennale back in 2004, I knew several things. The first was that I really wanted to develop a show that focused on hand pulled printmaking methods. The other thing was that I didn’t want the show to get so large that I couldn’t manage it without getting so overwhelmed and annoyed that I wanted to rip people’s heads off. At the same time I knew that having the exact same artist roster year after year could get boring. So, I came up with the idea of having several guest artists each year, in addition to the “Froggwell regulars.” Several of the guest artists have become permanent members of the group, when some of the original people have moved away or moved on to other things, or just had a year when they have too much other things going on to do this show.
This year I’m really thrilled to have three great guest artists, two printmakers and one ceramic sculptor. One of our printmaking guest artists is Linnane Armstrong. Her linoleum and woodblock prints are cleanly graphic in execution. I’ll let her tell you in her own words how she arrived at her current body of work:
Linnane in her studio
“With a background in book arts and painting, my transition to relief printmaking began as a practical solution for the creation of artists’ books. After earning my Bachelor of Fine Art degree from Reed College, I moved back to Whidbey Island and found the style of my work evolving with my surroundings, becoming inspired by nature and manmade structures within it. In the beginning of 2010 I embarked on a project to make a small edition of and artists’ book of iconic structures on Whidbey. As I planned the project I considered creating a series of ink and watercolor paintings and having them digitally reproduced to be hand-bound into the books- but this would have removed some of the handmade quality of the book that is so important to me. I had done a little relief printmaking prior to this, and I decided it would be the perfect way for me to hand-print the images for each page. The bold linear style of relief printmaking fit with what I was trying to accomplish- capturing the interaction of structures and their natural surroundings, for what came to be titled as Nature & Structure; Landmarks of Whidbey Island. It includes 12 iconic structures, each printed on white paper (with dark brown ink) as well as on black paper (with silver ink), to show a day/night effect.
“Having been well recieved in several exhibitions, people started asking if any of the images from the book were available on their own as two-dimensional pieces. I began selling limited editions of the images from the Nature & Structure series, as well as creating other linocut pieces with two-dimensional intention. Some of these I began to hand-color using watercolor and gouache, like What the Day Might Bring, a triptych piece that is printed in one color from three blocks, then each print individually watercolored, so each print in the edition is a truly unique piece of art. Others, like Afternoon in the Orchard are just detailed with tiny bits of color in addition to the dark green of the ink- a little hand-applied red for the apples. And some are just monochrome, like Ebey’s Landing and Windswept Madrona.”
Here are a few images of some of Linnane’s work:
Linneane Armstrong "Nature and Structure" all rights reserved
Linnane Armstrong // Ebey's Landing // all rights reserved
Linnane Armstrong // What the Day Might Bring // all rights reserved
Linnane Armstrong // Wind swept Madrona // all rights reserved
I’m going to have another post on Linnane’s work next time, as she sent me some great images of a woodcut in process.
It’s hard to believe that summer is just around the corner, as right at the moment, it is pouring down rain so hard I can hardly hear the clickety clack of the keys. I hope looking at some good art makes you forget that winter is not letting us go easily. Either that, or these are those April showers that we hear so much about.