Take a Look: Paper Pulp Woodblock Prints by Artist Josh Monroe

Josh Monroe, artist, paper pulp woodblock prints

Josh Monroe, Staccato Prints: Green/Blue Woodblock and handmade paper, 3.5″ by 3.5″, 2015

It’s a wild, wide world of potential for hand papermaking, especially when paired with other art-making mediums. Paper pulp itself has a huge variety of capabilities, including a remarkable memory suited for casting.

Let’s take a quick look at work by Josh Monroe, an artist who combines printmaking (relief woodcuts) and papermaking.

Josh Monroe, Staccato Prints: Purple/Yellow, Woodblock and handmade paper, 3.5" by 3.5", 2015

Josh Monroe, Staccato Prints: Purple/Yellow, Woodblock and handmade paper, 3.5″ by 3.5″, 2015

Josh Monroe, Staccato Prints: Orange/Cream, Woodblock and handmade paper, 3.5" by 3.5", 2015

Josh Monroe, Staccato Prints: Orange/Cream, Woodblock and handmade paper, 3.5″ by 3.5″, 2015

Josh Monroe, Staccato Prints: Turquoise/Purple, Woodblock and handmade paper, 3.5" by 3.5", 2015

Josh Monroe, Staccato Prints: Turquoise/Purple, Woodblock and handmade paper, 3.5″ by 3.5″, 2015

Pulp, a carved woodblock, and ink. These are simple ingredients, but when combined in Josh’s work, result in a poetic landscape of dimension, carved shape, color layers, and texture.

To give you a brief idea of the process, Josh first carves a woodblock. It is then inked, and wet pulp is applied and pressed into the block. The pulp dries on the woodblock, which results in a casting and highly detailed print.

Overall, the materiality of the woodblock is strongly emphasized in the final print. The pulp gives us a literal cast of the marks and block, layered with ink. This is further bolstered by the irregularity of the paper cast’s edge in the two series, Staccato Prints and Fragments of a Desired State.

Josh Monroe, papermaking, Handmade Paper, woodblock printmaking

Josh Monroe, Fragments of a Desired State: Fragment 1, Gouache, Handmade Paper, 6.25″ by 3″, 2015

Josh Monroe, handmade paper artist, casting

Josh Monroe, Fragments of a Desired State: Fragment 4, Gouache, Handmade Paper, 6.25″ by 3″, 2015

Josh Monroe, handmade paper art

Josh Monroe, Fragments of a Desired State: Fragment 2, Gouache, Handmade Paper, 6.25″ by 3″, 2015

An artist statement from Josh Monroe:

My work focuses on using handmade paper and carved wood blocks to produce cast pulp prints. Instead of creating my images using only the raised surface of the block, I place pulp on and into the block in order to draw out information from the negative space. Movement and direction occur from the channels, cuts, and gouges dug out of the wood’s surface, as well as the direction of grain revealed from tearing pieces of wood away. Using this technique I explore the relationships between color, texture, and movement while allowing my own interior, fundamental landscape to resonate within the work.

About the artist:

Josh Monroe was born in Dallas, Texas on October 2nd, 1975. He studied Printmaking at Webster University in St. Louis, MO. While there he studied under Tom Lang, Michael Snyder, and Katherine Fields, giving him a diverse range of instruction and experience. Studies have taken him back to Dallas, TX where he has studied under Juergen Strunck and is currently working on a Masters of Fine Arts in Printmaking under Steven Foutch. His work revolves around an interplay between paper making and printmaking, and the relationship between eminence and transcendence. He uses these ideas and mediums to investigate the inherent worth of simplistic materials and the transformational effect that happens when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Josh Monroe, paper pulp woodblock casting art

Josh Monroe, Night Walk 1, Handmade Paper, Sumi Ink, Etching Ink, 3″ by 11.5″, 2015

Josh Monroe, paper pulp woodblock casting art

Josh Monroe, Night Walk 11, Handmade Paper, Sumi Ink, Etching Ink, 3″ by 11.5″, 2015

 

Visit http://cargocollective.com/joshmonroe to view more of Josh’s artwork.

 

4 thoughts on “Take a Look: Paper Pulp Woodblock Prints by Artist Josh Monroe

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