Our idea for this large scale, full color woodcut print was to capture a positive spirit of America after the election. 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, national monuments, and general regional characteristics. "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" reads as a simultaneous narrative--tucked into the complex patterning of the landscape are subtle references to American history and our growth as an adaptable, pioneering country and people. Other small details of note? There are exactly 50 stars in the bunting across the top (with 13 original colonies represented by the stars in the central banner). Also, notice that Old Glory never touches the ground.
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.
THE MAKING OF OUR "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."
(BELOW) "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.
MAKING COLOR WOODBLOCKS & PRINTING AMERICA!
(ABOVE) Red & Yellow blocks carved and ready to print for "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL". Two additional color blocks (Light Blue & Dark Blue) not pictured here.
(ABOVE, L) "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" is pulled up off the inked Dark Blue block after a run through the printing press. All blocks printed on 'AMERICA' except for the black/key (Red, Yellow, Light Blue, and Dark Blue).
(ABOVE) Here the printed paper is pulled up from the inked black block after the final run through the press. This is the finished color woodcut print!
Additional photos of our work drawing, carving, and printing the woodblocks for "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" and the MANIFEST HOPE: DC exhibition can be viewed on our FLICKR.
((( VIEW "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" LARGE )))
EDITION OF 200 PRINTS.