Featured Artist Sherrie York

Enjoy the stunning portfolio of printmaker Sherrie York. Visit her website to see more work from this talented artist.

 

Shower with a Friend

“Shower With a Friend” reduction linocut on Awagami kozo paper, 15″ x 15″

 

Thirty-something years ago I took a printmaking survey course that allowed students to study two of three techniques: relief, intaglio, and silkscreen. I chose to learn intaglio and silkscreen because “Everyone knows how to do relief prints. They’re like rubber stamps, right?”

 

Ditch

“Ditch” reduction linocut on Hosho paper, 9″ x 12″

 

I loved etching, but without access to a press my printmaking practice came to a screeching halt at the end of class.

 

Shavano Sunset

“Shavano Sunset” reduction linocut on Awagami kozo paper, 12″ x 18″

 

Ten years later I started dabbling in relief printing, because it was a process that required only simple carving tools, a brayer, and a spoon. Fast forward another ten years and my dabbling turned to something a little more earnest. Linoleum blocks became my primary medium as I became intrigued by unexpected challenges– such as suggesting subtle complexities in a naturally bold and graphic technique. So much for “everyone” knowing how to do them!

 

"Sunflower" showing the linocut process

“Sunflower” showing the linocut process

 

My multi-color prints are produced using the reduction method: If the image calls for white (paper color), I carve those areas out of my block, ink the block with the first color, and transfer the color to paper by rubbing with a spoon or baren. I print this first color on more sheets of paper than I want for my final edition because I know I will make mistakes along the way, and once I begin the next step I won’t be able to go back!

 

In Studio

Artist Sherrie York working in studio, demonstrates her technique

 

After I’ve printed the first color multiple times I clean off the block and carve into it again, this time removing areas where I want to preserve the color printed previously. I ink the block with the second color, print the second over the first on all prints, clean off the block… and carve some more. Carve, ink, rub, repeat for each color in the image– usually 10-20 passes per print.

 

Decay, Comma

“Decay, Comma” reduction linocut on Hosho paper, 12″ x 9″

 

Personal experiences inspire my work. I am fortunate to live in a mountain valley surrounded by high peaks and diverse forests and traversed by the Arkansas River. As I wander along the river edge or up a rocky trail I am particularly drawn to subjects that might be overlooked if I were moving too quickly through the landscape – a lone coot on an autumn pond, a tangle of decaying leaves.

 

Wave Runners

“Wave Runners” reduction linocut, 16″ x 12″

 

Such encounters suggest stories and lives we’re barely aware of in our self-absorbed rushing about. I hope that capturing these glimpses of the larger and smaller worlds around us will help viewers consider their own place in the community of living things.

 

Longing

“Longing” reduction linocut on Hosho paper, 12″ x 16″

 

Even when I’m not printing, natural and cultural history and conservation are an important focus for me. I’ve been privileged to participate in projects with the Netherlands-based Artists for Nature Foundation, as well as work as an illustrator and instructor for many environmental organizations and natural resource agencies. I am a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists and my work is included in museum, corporate, and private collections around the world.

 

Sherrie York invites you to follow her on Facebook and subscribe to her blog, Brush and Baren

Comments

  1. Your work is fabulous Sherrie!! My emphasis in college was printmaking but like you once it was over that was it!! SO, I greatly appreciate the amount of work that goes into each of your pieces!! Love your subject matter too!!

    • Thank you, Kathryn! From the first moment of pulling the wheel of an etching press I knew that I loved printmaking… it just took me an awfully long time to figure out how to do it without the equipment. The exciting news is that next week, for the first time in thirty years, I’m going to have my own press! Can’t wait!

  2. Wonderful work! Inspiring to this novice carver!

  3. Thank you, Emily! Good luck with your efforts! You’re always welcome to come by my blog and ask questions if something gives you trouble. I’m happy to help if I can.

  4. Sherrie,

    Great work! I have 2 questions:

    1. How do you print them without a press? Amazing job!

    2. I really like “Longing.” How do you create the gradations in the snow? Do you vary the ink on each pass? Loading up the roller more, then less?

    Keep up the good work. You’ll get that press soon enough!

  5. Hi Michael! Great questions!

    I hand rub prints using a baren (and sometimes a spoon, just like we did in grade school) and a hand-made registration jig. I have an explanation of my registration jig on my blog here: http://brushandbaren.blogspot.com/2008/12/linocut-jig.html

    For the blended or rainbow roll I use a wide roller. I put one color out on the inking slab (glass) and a second beside it, then roll them out in one direction so they blend together in the middle. (Does that make sense?) There’s a fairly good shot of how it looks on my blog here: http://brushandbaren.blogspot.com/2012/09/rollup-yer-sleeves-and-yer-ink.html

    I hope that’s helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions, I’m always happy to try and help. And YES! I just returned from picking up my new press. It’s still in the truck waiting for four stout bodies to move it in to the house (it weighs over 400 pounds), but it’s HERE!

    • Sherrie,

      Just visited your “Brush and Baren” post. What a great explanation of the process. Thank you! Your website details your printmaking processes nicely.
      I am signing up for updates.

      That’s really clever how you create gradations. Thank you for sharing so freely!

      P.S. Make sure your door frames don’t get nicked bringing in that new press!

  6. Thanks, Michael. Hopefully you’ve seen the post now about the arrival of the press… I wish I could post a photo here! Luckily no door frames were harmed in the process, but OOPH! Won’t be moving again any time soon.

    (For anyone else who wants to see the Epic of Presston: http://brushandbaren.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-epic-of-presston.html)

    Cheers! S

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