I have been making woodblock prints using the traditional Japanese hanga method here in Lyme, NH since 1993. Hanga is color woodblock printing with multiple blocks (one for each color) using water. Highest quality artist pigments, rice paste, and Rives Heavyweight 100% rag paper are my printing materials. Brushes and a hand-held baren are my printing tools.
Here I am using my baren. Each Matt Brown print is hand-rubbed, often from 10 or more separate carved blocks.
My printmaking work is motivated by a desire to develop my visual understanding and open my eyes. I love how making and looking at art can change the way we see our world. I hope in some way this effort enhances the lives of others.
My imagery is mostly from places here in New England, particularly Vermont and New Hampshire: from up in the mountains, from over on the coast, from around home. My technique is inspired by the example of the ukiyo-e and shin hanga prints of Japan. I love the process of making these prints: the way pictorial simplicity is encouraged, the way an image is separated into parts and put back together, the way the translucent colors blend and juxtapose, the way the wood interacts with the paper. I am fascinated by the philosophy and aesthetic sense I imagine underlying the business of making woodblock prints, particularly those of the ukiyo-e tradtition.
A few (somewhat recent) highlights from the Blog: