March 20, 2011

West Print / East Print

First, the west. 

I'm in between prints, roughly translated as: I was indulging a lazy streak last week and didn't start working on another print after finishing the last one. And, with no printing to do today, Roland and I went to the Burnaby Art Gallery to see their current Sybil Andrews exhibit. 

I saw a couple of her prints in a relief print show at the same gallery a couple of years ago and couldn't resist going back to see more.  I absolutely love her work and find it incredibly inspiring.  She was born in England but lived in Canada from 1947 until her death in 1992 and is considered to be one of Canada's most notable printmakers.  Standing in front of her linocuts today, trying to figure out how exactly she created her textures, it was pretty clear why. She has a fantastic sense of composition and rhythm and her images are so powerful and dynamic you can't help being pulled in.  

You can see more of her work here, although I find it puzzling that she reportedly remained active and productive right until her death yet there seems to be so little evidence (at least online) of any work from the last decades of her life.  I wonder if she just stopped making prints eventually and only devoted her time to teaching and mentoring or if there's a treasure trove of later prints somewhere? 

Anyway, now the East.

Yesterday we stopped at a local thrift store to look for a small wall mirror for my office at work.  While there, we were also checking for good, and cheap, frames I could recycle for my own prints when Roland found this:

At first glance he only saw the frame; it's a good one and in really good shape. But as soon as he pointed it out to me, we both noticed the print inside the frame.  Clearly an original woodblock, bearing a chop and signed and numbered (?)'s in oriental characters so I can't tell what it the artist. 

It's really lovely though, hand-torn Japanese paper and nicely matted:

And the image is quite intricate:

I'm don't know enough about oriental printmaking (or art for that matter) to tell if this is Chinese or Japanese.  Both the dragon and bird seem to have a Chinese feel to me but what do I know.  However, at $5.00, which is what this was priced at, I thought it was both a steal and a shame.  Clearly, the folks who sort through the donations at the Value Village don't know beans about art.  Yet I can't help feeling sad that something like this, that someone obviously put quite a bit of work into, should become a thrift store item.  But maybe I'll just consider it my gain and leave it at that. 


1 comment:

Libby Fife said...

I think it was there waiting for the right person to appreciate it. What a find and now it has a good home.

I worry on occasion about what will happen to my art work when I am gone:)