Aline Feldman studied art at Washington University in St. Louis, where among her notable teachers were Werner Drewes, Fred Becker, and a visiting Stanley William Hayter. During graduate school at Indiana University, Bloomington, Feldman studied Seong Moy.
All of these artists are great printmakers in addition to their work in other media. For Feldman, prints, it seems, were an inevitability. But an early desire to focus on painting led the artist to a unique solution: white-line woodcuts applied with brushes and watercolor allowing for a range of colors, shapes and forms. Together these elements allow the artist to convey the energy, movement, and life that are the heart of her art.
From her schooling, Feldman gained proficiency in Western methods of woodcut. But her mature style takes a bit of the Western method adds a bit of Japanese methodology, and a bit of white -line woodcutting to a body of work that explores nature in all its glory, in all kinds of weather and times of day.
In the early 1960s Feldman and her husband, Arnold, moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where she met Japanese master printmaker Unichi Hiratsuka at a Georgetown gallery specializing in 20th century Japanese woodblock prints. With him Feldman learned the art of multiple block printing in colors. Finding this technique limiting, Feldman added the white-line method of woodcuts, which had been popularized by the Provincetown printmakers at the beginning of the 20th century.
A voracious visual person, Feldman has lots of images floating around in her mind. She also has an extensive archive of sketchbooks and photographs taken from above in hired Cessna. Sometimes ideas percolate for a year or more before she makes a large-scale preliminary drawing, working out the composition. Tracing the image on a piece of thin tissue paper, Feldman glues it to a piece of wood, carves the design, and washes off the tissue. Laying a piece of Okawara paper over the image, Feldman anchors the sheet using river rocks. Flipping the paper back, watercolor paint is brushed onto one section of the woodblock at a time. The paper is laid down over the colored area and Feldman uses a baren to burnish the back of the paper causing the color to transfer from the wood to the paper. The step is repeated several times to get the density of the color desired.
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