My first woodcut was 1970, a primitive looking black and white family portrait on a piece of scrap oak, hard as a ... hardwood. I wasn't much of a painter then, but liked to draw, and the vigor of the wood carving and the hand printing was appealing. I realized later that the connection to the letterpress printshop from my high school newspaper days made sense to me.
Cutting an image into the wood is a commitment; it's hard to go back. The direct and bold look of woodcuts, is, I think, partly a result of the way they are made. It is a bold act to cut for hours with sharp tools, a backwards picture, onto a slab of wood and believe it will be pleasing, or meaningful, when it is printed.
Here's a photo essay by Phil Bowen about a Valentine print ...
Betsy Bowen StudioGrand Marais, MN - Hours & Special Events
Open daily mid-May through mid-October.
Holiday hours 11-5 most days from November 29 - December 27.
Open Winter hours Friday & Saturday, 11-5, January through April.
Betsy Bowen Studio is the best place to find rare and exclusive woodcuts by Betsy, signed books, original calendars, cards, local pottery and lots more.
We are also the home of Stephan Hoglund Borderlands Gallery, where you will find art jewelry made from local gemstones, as well as portrait and wedding photography.
Betsy's newest book is The Lost Forest, by Phyllis Root, illustrations by Betsy, published April 2019, by University of Minnesota Press.
Congratulations to One North Star, Winner of the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for Children's Literature as well as winner of the 2017 Riverby Award, given by the John Burroughs Association for exceptional natural history writing for young readers. Hamline University's online journal, Bookology spoke with Betsy, Phyllis Root and Beckie Prange, about their collaboration on the award-winning children's book.