Featured Artist Bill Farran

Featured Artist Bill Farran uses linocut printmaking to capture the spirit and beauty of lost treasures; in particular, the wooden synagogues of Eastern Europe. To enjoy more of his work, please visit his website.

 

"Ulzany Elder" Linocut, 7" x 9" by artist Bill Farran. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Ulzany Elder” Linocut, 7″ x 9″

 

After retiring from teaching culinary arts and social studies in New York City, I began painting landscapes and portraits. In 2011, I began doing linocuts of wooden synagogues. I have combined my love of art, history and family genealogy.

 

"Lost Souls Over the Shtetl" Linocut, 17" x 11" by artist Bill Farran. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Lost Souls Over the Shtetl” Linocut, 17″ x 11″

 

Many wooden synagogues were destroyed by the end of the holocaust. I researched photographs taken before World War II in order to find images of these wooden synagogues. I then turn these old photos and drawings into linocut or woodcut images. I also researched the history of the towns in an effort to get a sense of the people who lived in these villages. I try to open a window in time with my art.

 

“Khodoriv, Ukraine” Linocut, 9" x 7" by artist Bill Farran. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Khodoriv, Ukraine” Linocut, 9″ x 7″

 

I am drawn to the architecture of wooden synagogues, which were usually huge log buildings. Equally, I am drawn to the people who lived during the time. I often feature people, especially musicians, in my prints.

 

“Sierpc, Poland with Klezmer Trio” Linocut, 9" x 7" by artist Bill Farran. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Sierpc, Poland with Klezmer Trio” Linocut, 9″ x 7″

 

I love the power of black and white. As an artist, I have to give the appearance of gray tones, while using only black and white. I also love adding color by printing more than one block.

 

“Novyy Yarychiv, Ukraine Sunset” Linocut, 9" x 7" by artist Bill Farran. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Novyy Yarychiv, Ukraine Sunset” Linocut, 9″ x 7″

 

Sometimes the history of a synagogue inspires me to recreate it in my prints. The town of Olkeniki, Lithuania, has a special story. The synagogue was newly built when Napoleon, on his way to fight against the Russians, paid the synagogue a visit.

 

"Olkieniki, Lithuania" Linocut, 9" x 7" by artist Bill Farran. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Olkieniki, Lithuania” Linocut, 9″ x 7″

 

He was so impressed that he gave them a piece of his horse’s blanket, which they turned into a curtain for the synagogue.

 

“Mahilyow, Belarus” Woodcut, 10" x 8" by artist Bill Farran. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Mahilyow, Belarus” Woodcut, 10″ x 8″

 

Every now and then I do a woodcut. Woodcuts take more time and effort and involve a lot of tool sharpening.  The grain in the wood, however, makes the picture interesting.

 

“Portrait of Elizabeth Schwartz, Singer” Linocut, 9" x 7" by artist Bill Farran. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Portrait of Elizabeth Schwartz, Singer” Linocut, 9″ x 7″

 

There are other topics that interest me such as portraiture. I am influenced by the woodcut arts of the German Expressionist of the 1930’s.

 

“City Scape” 3D Linocut, 44" x 17" by artist Bill Farran. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“City Scape” 3D Linocut, 44″ x 17″

 

"Cityscape at Sunrise” Linocut Collage, 44" x 17" by artist Bill Farran. See his portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Cityscape at Sunrise” Linocut Collage, 44″ x 17”

 

I hand print my linocuts usually working small, but occasionally I work in a larger format. I turned this linocut into 3D picture (paper tole) using five layers to form the picture. I then printed it as a collage using a colored background.

 

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Comments

  1. Renee Greer says:

    Very interesting to read Bill’s evolving story. Much of it new to me.

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