Monday, April 14, 2014

Would Stuart Davis Be Pleased?

Blackpoll Warblers and Swamp Dogwood. Five-color Woodcut Proof by Ken Januski.

Well I hope so! During my many years as an abstract artist the American artist Stuart Davis was at the top of my artistic pantheon for many years. There was something so vibrant and alive about his work, though he never really reached the heights of fame and appreciation that I think his work deserved.

I wasn't really thinking of him with this woodcut or the last one. But when I pulled this proof a short while ago, black on top of four other colors my first reaction was: Stuart Davis! Right now I'm very happy with this print. In the cold light of day however it may no longer look so good, nor so much like Stuart Davis. But my guess is that I'm going to remain happy with it.

At that point I'll need to decide whether to overprint the yellow block, the very first one, as I've thought about doing. Right now my inclination is not to, though I may just have to try it on a proof, just to see what it looks like. If I don't then I'll print the black on good paper and be done. All the other colors have already been printed on the Shin Torinoko paper.

In my long artistic journey as a bird/ wildlife/nature artist I've continually sought to be honest to birds and nature while still making art that doesn't look like its from 200 years ago. Right now I feel like this is close to accomplishing that. Then again, there is the cold light of day lingering around the corner.


Gabrielle said...

Love it!!!

Ken Januski said...

Thanks Gabrielle!

I've been so busy, with unexpected home repairs, that I never got around to publishing the final print. But it's about 95% identical to this state.

I'm very happy that you like it. I do feel that I found the direction that I'll continue in, one that at least for me combines abstraction and some hard-earned knowledge of the natural world.

It would be nice if others liked it as well but sometimes you just have to go your own way, and then hope that some others will also like your work. You are one of the first!