Gordon Mortensen is a reduction wood print artist who has been working in the medium for over 35 years. He is best known for his detailed and intricate prints, which often incorporate elements of nature and the human form.
Mortensen’s esteemed work is highly sought after by collectors. And it has been featured in numerous exhibitions throughout the United States. His prints are in the permanent collections of several museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Working on a painting is like having a serious talk with a good friend. One never knows where it’s going to go but someone has to begin. Sometimes it’s easy and everything flows smoothly. Then again, sometimes you fight and argue but you keep talking because you care. If you stay the course there’s a good chance everybody wins…or not. In the latter case, it might be time to take a break and/or start a new relationship.Gordon Mortensen
Mortensen’s prints are characterized by their rich colors and textures, which are achieved through a painstaking process of carving and printing multiple layers of color onto a single piece of wood. This technique allows him to create unique, one-of-a-kind prints that are highly prized by collectors.
What is reductive woodcut art
Reduction woodcut is a type of relief printing in which successive layers of wood are carved away, leaving the final image in relief. This type of printmaking is also known as reductive woodcut or subtractive woodcut.
Gordon Mortensen reductive woodcut art
The first step in creating a reduction woodcut is to transfer the image onto the block of wood. The artist then carves away the areas that will be white or light-colored in the final print.
Then the next layer of wood is carved away, revealing the areas that will be a mid-tone in the final print. This process is repeated until the final layer of wood is carved away, revealing the areas that will be the darkest in the final print.
The advantage of reduction woodcut over other types of relief printing is that it allows the artist to create a gradation of tones within the same block of wood. This results in a more subtle and nuanced print than would be possible with other methods.
The disadvantage of reduction woodcut is that it is a very time-consuming process, and it is not possible to make any changes once the carving has begun. This means that the artist must be sure of their design before they start carving.