Rebecca Woodhouse

I have been working with words, creating colorful, abstract fields for 15 years. I create linocuts, but with the background of a painter. It is textured; gritty and smooth, calm and energetic.  I carve words into linoleum and rubber. I hand press my work, layering colors with different size blocks to create an abstract print. To create texture and to blend colors, I work wet into wet more than wet onto dry. I sometimes paint on the prints and etch into them as well, blurring the lines between printmaking and painting.

Since I carve each plate at a different time, every print combines thoughts from different moments. As a result, the text wouldn’t make sense as a narrative. The words are a medium to create color and line. What is legible or illegible is less important; for the most part, I intend the words to be a visual element rather than communicative.

So what do they say?  Some are lyrics from my favorite bands, but most are about life—art, news, self, people, and time.  I have been reluctant to state that my family and my role as a parent inspire a lot of my work.  Frankly, it shouldn’t matter, but in part of the art world, there is a bias against parents, similar to the waning bias against women. I am working against it.  People can justify it: we may have little time, energy, and focus, but we have inspiration, possibly an extra drive to be in the studio, and the pure need to release the chaos of our lives.  Family can be a distraction, as can be daytime jobs and nights with friends and lovers, but it can also be fuel, just as everything else can be.

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