LIFE OF LEISURE | DEEP BLUE SEA | SINGLES | BONFIRE | AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL | WOODLAND CREATURES
FULL COLOR WOODCUT, 2009. SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW ALL.
"AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL"
24" x 32" Color Woodcut Print on Heavyweight Ivory Somerset Paper (Paper size 26" x 34")
Paul Roden + Valerie Lueth, 2009.
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LIMITED EDITION OF 200 PRINTS.
CLOSE-UPS / WOODCUT PRINT DETAILS
(ABOVE) Detail of "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" top, right of print featuring the USA's National Bird, the Bald Eagle, flying over the Northeastern city stretches, the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, the Erie Canal, and MORE! (BELOW) Detail of 'America' print bottom, center showing the Alamo, the St. Louis Arch, the Smokey Mountains, the Grand Canyan, Lincoln's log cabin, the Fountain of Youth, and MORE!
ABOUT THIS PRINT
"AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" was conceived after Tugboat Printshop received a personal invitation to show in MANIFEST HOPE: DC, an art exhibition celebrating the inauguration of our 44th President. MANIFEST HOPE: DC was an event put on by the Obama Campaign, the Evolutionary Media Group (Shepard Fairey's crew), the SEIU and others for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration.
Paul & Valerie completed their "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" woodcut print (in black & white) during a 2 week window before the opening of the show in Washington DC on January 16. MANIFEST HOPE: DC ran from January 17-19, 2009. (We worked day and night, in shifts around the clock, to finish 'AMERICA' in time for the exhibition!)
Our idea for this large scale, full color woodcut print was to capture a really positive spirit of America after the election. People seemed united, happy, and patriotic. We chose to make a topographical image of the United States in an effort to represent all of America as a unified land, omitting state boundaries but focusing on cities, monuments, and general regional characteristics. In a sense, our 'AMERICA' woodblock reads as a simultaneous narrative--tucked into the complex patterning of the US landscape are subtle references to American history and our growth as an adaptable, pioneering country and people.
Pretty soon, we'll be putting a 'key' together explaining many of the little things tucked into our "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" woodcut print. For example, there are exactly 50 stars in the bunting across the top, with 13 original colonies represented by the stars in the middle banner. Also, you'll notice, Old Glory never touches the ground.
"AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" is NOT a digitally reproduced print. Five woodblocks were hand-drawn, hand-carved, and hand-printed together to make the image of 'AMERICA' above. You can view additional photos of our work drawing, carving, and printing the woodblocks for "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" and the MANIFEST HOPE: DC exhibition on our FLICKR!
"AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" is a limited edition of 200 color woodcut prints. Each print in the edition is signed, titled and numbered. A very limited number of Black & White copies of 'AMERICA' are available as well--please CONTACT US if you are interested.
*Copy #44 of this editioned print now hangs in the Old Executive Office Building at 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington DC! You can also find an image of "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" in ART FOR OBAMA: DESIGNING THE CAMPAIGN FOR CHANGE, now available at all major bookstores!
UPDATE! "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" IN RE:FORM SCHOOL NYC & DIY: A REVOLUTION IN HANDICRAFTS!
(ABOVE) "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" as displayed in 2010 RE:FORM SCHOOL NYC. SEE MORE PHOTOS OF THIS EXHIBITION!
"AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" was also recently featured in the Society for Contemporary Craft's DIY: A REVOLUTION IN HANDICRAFTS Exhibition. The show also included source material from the making of 'America' and all 5 color blocks. SEE MORE PHOTOS OF THIS EXHIBITION!
THE MAKING OF "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" WOODBLOCK PRINT
(ABOVE, L) Valerie draws directly onto the key wood block for "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" The image is drawn in reverse so that it will print in the correct orientation. (ABOVE, R) Our woodcut images start as detailed, original drawings on blocks birch plywood. "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" in progress.
(ABOVE, L) Close-up of Hawaiian Islands in "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" (ABOVE, R) The scale of the key block--5 hand-drawn, hand-cut, hand-printed blocks this size make the finished image of "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL."
(ABOVE, L) Detail of Nashville (center) & the Smokey Mountains circled in misty rings. (ABOVE, R) Close-up of American Eagle holding the title banner.
(ABOVE) "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" black/key block almost completely carved out. We had this block finished & printed just in time for the MANIFEST HOPE: DC exhibition, where we displayed the first Black & White proof!
THE MANIFEST HOPE:DC EXHIBITION
(ABOVE) Streetview of the MANIFEST HOPE: DC exhibition January 17-19, 2009. The event was located in bustling Georgetown at 3333 M. Street NW.
(ABOVE, L) Crowds were enormous to view the free exhibition--here you can see the line wrapping around the block! (ABOVE, R) "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" @ the show! View all of our photos from the exhibition HERE.
(ABOVE) "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" hanging in the MANIFEST HOPE: DC show January 17-19, 2009. We have a limited number of Black & White copies available by request ~ E-MAIL US or call 412-621-0663 if you are interested!
MAKING COLOR WOODBLOCKS & PRINTING AMERICA!
(ABOVE) Here the printed paper is pulled up from the inked black block after the final run through the press for "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL." This is the finished color woodcut print!
(ABOVE, L) All blocks printed on 'AMERICA' except for the key block black (Red, Yellow, Light Blue, and Dark Blue). (ABOVE, R) "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" Woodcut Print being pulled up off the inked Dark Blue block after a run through the printing press.
(ABOVE, L & R) Red and Yellow wood blocks carved and ready to print for "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" NOTE: There are two additional color wood blocks for 'AMERICA' (Light Blue & Dark Blue) not pictured here.
VIEWING OPTIONS | SELECTION IN PINK BELOW IS CURRENTLY DISPLAYED ABOVE