Friday, January 9, 2009

Woodcut Print: Catch of the Day

This is one of my early woodcuts. I believe I was living in Newport, Rhode Island when I did this, although it might have been a bit later. With a Dad in the Navy, I spent a lot of my formative years around water, and even though I love the desert, I miss the ocean!
I have always been fascinated by the relief printing process - the oldest and most direct process for producing multiple prints. I started with a simple pine plank, and carved away everything that was not part of the image. The resulting carved plate is then inked with a rubber roller or "brayer", and paper is applied face down on the block. The back of the paper is burnished to transfer the inked image onto the paper.

The prints produced in this fashion are true "prints" - really multiple originals produced by the artist's hand. In today's world of ink-jet reproductions, artists are fortunate to have such a versatile process for reproducing their work ... but those reproductions are not accurately called "prints", although that term has become commonplace. They are "reproductions", and while there's nothing inherently wrong with them, they should not be confused with prints made by hand in any of the various methods for that. Since the original run of prints from this block only numbered 4, I may decide one day to issue some reproductions of the image by the Giclee process if I see the demand. If you would like to give me some feedback, I'd appreciate your dropping an email to me at David (at) StewartArt (dot) com.... or you can call me anytime at the studio, at (505) 296-1400!
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Painting: Evening Caucus

This painting, titled "Evening Caucus", is done in acrylic on a handmade 24" X 48" linen canvas. The edges are "gallery-wrapped", meaning that there are no staples showing, and it's designed to be hung without a frame.
Just what is it that Ravens discuss in the late hours of the evening before the sun sets? Whatever it is, it's evidently more important than we assume. This heated discussion isn't likely to be resolved before twilight settles in.

The background pattern was achieved by painting the pattern in rather bold colors & contrasts. This field was then glazed with a translucent mixture or pearlescent & color glaze, to lightly cover the pattern and make it more subtle, and a lighter value that would ensure some drama born of the contrast of dark branches against a light sky.

The original has been sold, but I am publishing giclee reproductions, both on gallery-wrapped canvas and on art paper as well. Current offerings on canvas are at full-size and 3/4 size. The giclees are hand-retouched to include some of the luminous pearlescent & metal-leaf accents on each print.

I originally conceived of this painting to be done as a part of a pair of artworks - the painting in the background with a sculpture in the foreground. The Sculpture came first, and was titled, "Ravensong":

The sculpture was crafted in carved wood, with the light background on the body done in the same way as described for the background in the painting: colorful patterns covered with a translucent glaze. The groove in the chest was carved & painted to accent the piece of spiderweb turquoise I used to symbolize the heart of the spirit. The face was carved wood, covered with metal leaf, and accents on the body were handcrafted brass.

Well, as fate would have it, the sculpture sold before I even started the painting! However, I couldn't leave the concept of the painting alone ... the image haunted me, until I finally took the time to finish it.

Before I delivered the painting, I got lots of feedback from people wanting giclee reproductions, so I had it professionally photographed and printed by Bruce Shortz of 10000 Cranes studio. Please contact me with your inquiries about sizes & prices available at my studio: (505) 296-1400, or email me at David (at)


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Jewelry art: Collar Choker

I've done quite a few variations on this choker over the years. This one shows three stones - green turquoise, spiderweb chalcosiderite (once called "New Landers"), and blue turquoise - but I've also made it with one large stone, or with a small stone stacked on a larger stone, or with a laminated mosaic stone.
I find asymmetry in design to be much more captivating than symmetry. This one has a unique hanging system as well: Either of the two hooks on the sides will come undone to release the choker, and a small "S" hook in the back can gather up a length of chain to shorten it, making its hanging length adjustable.

If you have a preference for stones, contact me - we'll discuss prices and delivery time! You can reach me at the studio at (505) 296-1400, or email me at David (at) StewartArt (dot) com.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Painting: Raven Moon

This painting was done in acrylic on a "gallery-wrapped" 8' X 10" linen canvas, meaning that no staples show on the edges, and therefore it can be hung without a frame.
Raven Moon - 8" X 10"
(click to enlarge)
The original sold right away, but I offer giclee reproductions either on stretched gallery-wrapped canvas, or high-quality art paper. Please contact me at the studio at (505) 296-1400 or by Email at David (at) for details!