Black Oak – Yosemite (March 2016, 24″ x 18″, linocut)
This faintly Japanesque print is another departure from my usual style. This close-up representation of the iconic and beloved Black Oak that blankets the Valley floor uses a bold, white-line technique, which I’ve rarely used. I mixed up more ink than I’ve ever dared at one time – a giant, scary pool of it! I wasn’t sure it was really going to work until I pulled the first print… But work it does. Is it one of my favorite prints to date because I still mourn the loss of my own giant, twin Black Oak that went down in a snowstorm 5 years ago? Or, perhaps the graceful arching branches speak to me of cool, shaded afternoons on the banks of the Merced, where the gently playing leaves seem to brush away anxieties and replace them with soft sighs of contentment.