is a Los Angeles based woodcut & linocut artist. He's been
carving original block images for nine years. He is inspired
by classical noir imagery as found in 40's noir cinema and black
& white photography of old Los Angeles.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
My interest in woodcuts
began in the 80's when I attended a German Expressionist art
show at LA County Museum. I encountered the woodcut prints and
paintings of George Grosz, Kathe Kollwitz and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.
I was mesmerized. I loved the stark lines and bold
imagery. I was also blown away by the dark subject matter. Characters
expressed emotional angst and internal conflict not typically
seen in fine art of the period. I was writing screenplays in
those days and I never envisioned attempting woodcut carving
myself. But the images remained in my subconscious and whenever
I saw a woodcut print I felt a sense of excitement.
In 2007, my wife
surprised me with a woodcutting set for my birthday. I checked
out a few online tutorial videos and I dove in, head first.
The carving process was difficult at first. I cut myself often,
the blocks were ragtag and I felt like a kid with his first
set of finger-paints. Before long I got the hang of it.
I've always been
attracted to vintage film noir classics like Sunset Boulevard
and Double Indemnity. I fell in love with the black and white
photography, the ominous dark alleys sinister shadows. I soon
realized film noir imagery was a perfect match for the carved
lines of a woodcut. We needed art for our walls at home so I
began carving block print images of my favourite noir personalities
like Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Next thing I knew, a
vintage theater in Hollywood asked to display my prints. This
was my first art show and I was off and running.
The woodcut process
begins when I find an old photo or image I'm attracted to. From
this image I make an initial pencil sketch which I transfer
to a wood or linoleum block. I use standard woodcutting blades
and gouges and other odd tools (awls, dental implements, sewing
Once the image
is carved I clean the block, apply a thin layer of ink and hand
press the image on archival paper using a Japanese baren (a
bamboo tool that look kind of like an air-hockey paddle). The
entire process takes 40-50 hours depending on the size and complexity
of the image. If I make a major mistake I have to start over.
Minor mistakes I live with; they add to the organic nature of
In the past few
years, I've turned to creating block image portraits of friends
and modern-day personalities whom I admire. I love portraiture
carving but I also enjoy carving an image from scratch.
The process is
slow and meditative. I'll put on music, immerse myself in the
carving and hours will go by in a flash. In these days when
everything is moving so fast it's nice to have an activity that
forces me to relax. I guess woodcutting has become my own personal