I am lucky to have some friends who like to get together to try various art projects for fun. Yesterday we played with reduction printing. I think being a printmaker would be the most wonderful occupation (along with being a weaver or potter). I do not have a press nor do I have room for one but it doesn’t mean I don’t really really want one. I want it to go beside my dreamt-about-frequently-but-not-yet-purchased-loom in the dreamt-about-frequently-and-totally-organized-studio. (I haven’t even broached the idea of a kiln. Yet.) We had to use a spoon to print our masterpieces. To be honest, mine didn’t turn out to be a masterpiece but I kept on going after the ladies left and, using Ludwig Hohlwein’s roses as inspiration, I did this -
I was pleased enough with this to share with you.
You may not know much about Ludwig Hohlwein, I didn’t until I saw and bought the poster with the roses that inspired these. (Really, I’ve copied the stylized roses, just not the arrangement. I can’t find a good picture on the internet to link you to the originals) Hohlwein lived in Germany in the early 20th century and was an established graphic artist by the time the Nazi party took control of Germany. He joined the Nazi party at some point and even did some art work for them. (I read he was offered the opportunity to leave Germany in the early 30′s but chose to stay.) This knowledge created conflict in me, should I enjoy the art of someone who had such poor judgement (hopefully that rather than just being an evil man)? I still have the poster hanging and I still like the episode of Bugs Bunny that plays Richard Wagner’s opera despite the controversy of Wagner’s racism. The past is flawed as is the present and I am sure the future will be, also. I recently read In the Garden of Beasts about the American Ambassador and his family at the beginning of Hitler’s regime. It was a fascinating book. Hitler’s control crept up on the German people at that time. If just a few had had the courage to speak up… I feel another book about this time in Germany is a must-read book, Stones from the River. Most excellent book. I think the world would be a better place if everyone read this book.
Goodness, I’ve expounded a bit tonight, haven’ t I?