Debby Neely

I do woodcuts because I love the strong graphic design and opportunity to make the play of positive and negative spaces a very important design element. I like to do linework and combine it with large graphic shapes. A common design element I depend on is a circle usually representing the moon.

 

My subject matter is birds and animals with a strong emphasis on the NW salmon species. I try to include some educational information in the design, i.e. the moon with a salmon species is to show that the full moon rises the tide levels higher so the fish can get into their birth waters and return to spawn. 

I like woodcuts better than all other media that I do and am always trying to learn new techniques or trying to stretch my ability and limits. A woodcut is done by carving a flat piece of woodcut with the grain. Any areas that you want to remain the color of the paper are cut away. I use only a small knife and a few gouges for this step. Waterbase ink is then rolled on the surface of the wood. Handmade Oriental papers are put on top of the inked plate and hand-rubbed to get the ink to transfer to the paper. Any ink that gets into the carved parts of the plate will not print because the plate prints only from the high parts of the plate.

I sign my name with the red chops. The left chop is my name in Chinese. The right chop says I draw birds and animals.

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