With a sharp blade, the artist removes wood from the surface of a smooth wooden plank, paring away what is not needed. What is left is a raised design that will carry the ink to the paper. The process of working from dark to light (through cutting) forces the artist to make bold, black-or-white choices. It requires directness in both cutting the block and in editing the message that one is trying to convey.
A wide variety of woodcuts crosses Andrea’s desk in the McLean Conservation Department, and she is continually inspired by their immediacy, the clarity of their intent, and their hand-hewn charm. The work commands attention, even 200 years later, and speaks clearly in a timeless and universal visual language. As an artist and printmaker who makes her own woodcuts, Andrea feels connected with the anonymous makers who came before. A recent series of original woodcuts, inspired by an artist’s residency in Iceland, expresses the power of the Icelandic landscape and the history embedded in it.