Lawrence H. Pinto

Japanese-Style Woodblock Prints (moku hanga)

I make landscape prints of the eastern shore of Lake Superior where there is a wilderness area centered on Lake Superior Provincial Park. The goal of my work is to bring attention to this special area that is under visited and under appreciated and to encourage its conservation.

Why make woodblock prints instead of a watercolor painting? My reason is that once the woodblock is printed you can modify the colors and gradients of colors to give various impressions of the scene, such as daylight vs twilight. The other reason is that the colors that are achievable with woodblock printing have their own special character and they can be printed in large areas with gradients. Finally, woodblock printing can be combined with monotype methods to give a combination of “painting” (on a blank piece of wood) and printing from wood with carved-in shapes.

I became attracted to classical watercolor woodcuts of landscapes while on sabbatical in Okazaki, Japan in the 1980s. When I retired, I returned to Japan to learn how to design and make them. I took courses in Fuji-Kawaguchi-ko, Tokyo and Kyoto with masters who were very kind and patient.

My favorite contemporary printer is Eva Pietzcker in Berlin and I have studied with her remotely and once during an extended visit. I exhibited my work at the 2018 International Moku Hanga Congress in Tokyo.

Email: larry-pinto@northwestern.edu

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