Fine Arts and Crafts from the Pacific Northwest

302 First Street - P.O. Box 458
Langley, WA 98260 - 360-221-2978

Brackenwood Gallery > About the Artists > Francy Blumhagen

Francy Blumhagen

Artist’s Statement

For this group of prints, I’ve had the opportunity to use a wonderful press generously made available to other artists by Buffy Cribbs and Bruce Morrow at their beautiful new printmaking studio, Flicker Feather. My first explorations on the big press center around botanical collographs, a fascination I first experienced while taking printmaking classes at Pratt Art Center in Seattle in 2010. At the simplest level these collographs involve plants, ink and paper and the two I’ve included in this show are “Snowberry” and “Spikegrass”.Francy

The other two pieces I framed for the show are combinations of botanical collograph and other printmaking techniques I’ve used in the past which don’t involve a press but are printed by hand. This hand relief printmaking uses a carved block for  “Dragonflies” and a cut cardboard plate for “Avocet”.  Combining several printmaking techniques in one piece appeals to the collage artist in me because of the ability to layer images, tone and color.

All pieces submitted for this show are monoprints, that is, one-of-a-kind.

Prints

I spend most of my time as an artist making relief prints. Some are the small ones used on the notecards we market as Salmonberry Studio. The others are larger but both are created the same way: the image is carved in a plate made of vinyl, wood or cardboard, the carving is inked and a rubbing is made from this raised image. I don’t use a press—the rubbings are done with my hands and the back of a wooden spoon. Sometimes I use a Japanese tool called a baren. I like the fact that my process is so low tech and so portable.

All of my prints, large and small, use the same materials: inks, paint and several varieties of rice paper but there the similarities end. In the small notecard prints the images are still very handmade but the colors do not vary much from piece to piece. For the larger prints I indulge my love of experimentation. While the plate remains a constant, I vary the color in the bigger pieces and often will add more painting and/or collage to the print. For this reason my bigger pieces have more in common with monoprints and although I limit the edition for each image to no more than 50, since each is different I do not number each print.

I really enjoy the entire process. In fact, I would have to say that I find the carving just as much fun as pulling the print, embellishing it and seeing the final result. All in all, it’s a great way to spend my time as an artist.

Background
Born 1949, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; moved to Washington State in 1964 and to Whidbey Island in 1986

Education
1982 B.F.A. in Painting, University of Washington

Selected Exhibits and Awards

2012 Print Show, Brackenwood Gallery

2011 Mixed Media Show, Brackenwood Gallery

2002-2006 annually, Gaskill/Olson Gallery, Langley WA
1987-2001 annually, Childers/Proctor Gallery, Langley WA
2002-2005 annually, Gallery Blue, Missoula Montana
1993-2001 annually, Sutton West Gallery, Missoula Montana
1995 Anglers on the River solo show, Parks Reese Gallery, Livingston, MT
1995 Birds and Mobiles 2 person show, Ricciardi Gallery, Astoria OR
1994 award Coupeville Art Festival, Coupeville WA
1991-1994 solo shows, San Juan Community Theater, Friday Harbor WA
1991 The Water Show, Sunbird Gallery, Bend OR
1991 Eastside Annual, Kirkland WA
1990 Richland Allied Arts Exhibit, Richland WA
1990 award Edmonds Art Festival, Edmonds WA
1989 and 1987 awards Choochokam, Langley WA
1988 award Anacortes Art Festival, Anacortes WA

Commissions and Other Special Projects
Artist for Unicef, 2002-present
“Peace on Earth” music CD cover, Tingstadt and Rumbel 2004
Portrait of Tom and Nedra Pautler’s greyhound Big Mouth 2003
“Air & Water” cover for the annual report of the Center for the Rocky
West, University of Montana 2002
“Oystercatcher” painting and notecard design, Oystercatcher restaurant,
Coupeville WA, 2002
Poster design, Pacific Challenge 2001
Poster design, Coupeville Art Festival 2000
“A Passionate Pilgrimage” cassette cover, David Whyte 2000
“Migration” music CD cover, Stanley Sitnik 1999
“Water Birds” triptych, collection of Carrilou and Wendell Hurlbut 1998
“Wetlands” triptych, collection of Bill and Victoria McCurley 1993
Poster design, Bend Oregon Summer Festival 1992
“Front Street Coupeville”, collection of Nora Tibbetts 1989

Teaching Experience
Daniel Smith Inc., relief printmaking 1997-1998
La Conner Art Workshops, collage/printmaking without a press 2000-2001
Coupeville Art Center, relief printmaking 1996-present

Brackenwood Gallery is located in Langley Washington and features a variety of painters, sculptors, graphic artists, glass workers and other local artisans.

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