Original Linoleum Cut Art Prints by Peggy Woods
Original Linoleum Cut Art Prints—a.k.a. linocuts—are forms of relief printing or printing from a raised surface. Woodcuts, wood engravings and collagraphs are other examples of this medium.
The Chinese first produced woodcuts in the ninth century. Printmaking in this form came to Europe as it emerged from the Middle Ages and began the Renaissance in the early 1400s. Linoleum—a softer carving medium—was invented in England in 1863.
To create a linocut the artist must decide upon the subject matter and then draw the image onto a piece of linoleum which is often attached to a wooden block. This becomes the template for the final piece of art. For visual accuracy consideration must be given while drawing the original because images are reversed when printed.
The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.— Winston Churchill
Process of Creating a Linocut
With sharp gouging tools the artist carefully carves into the linoleum removing what will ultimately become the white of the image. What is left untouched becomes the black or colored part of the image.
A slip during this process creates a line and the part removed becomes a permanent element in the final product. If too much is removed the only recourse is to start over with a new piece of linoleum and hope for a steadier hand.
Several artist proofs are produced during the carving process to see how the image is progressing and determine whether additional carving is needed. When satisfied the artist can proceed to the final printing of the edition.
An angel can illuminate the thought and mind of man by strengthening the power of vision.— St. Thomas Aquinas
Printing a Linocut
To print a linoleum block a roller is used to apply a thin and even coat of ink to the surface. If too much ink is applied the thin lines and crevices fill in and cannot be seen in the piece of art. If too little ink is applied too much of the paper shows through the final product. Waste of paper and ink is unavoidable.
After inking and pressing the acid free paper onto the linoleum the print must be allowed to dry. This can take days depending upon whether water, rubber or oil based ink is used.
There are subtle and sometimes noticeable differences in each print as it is nearly impossible to always ink, press and get the exact same results from copy to copy. This is what makes each print an original.
The method of pressing the paper onto the linoleum can be as simple as using the back of a wooden spoon or a brayer to roll and imprint the paper with the inked surface. I have been fortunate to be able to use a 100+ year old printing press at the Printing Museum in Houston to print the majority of my linocuts.
Only acceptable prints are signed and numbered by the artist. A Documentation sheet attesting to the authenticity accompanies all Original Linoleum Cut Art Prints by Peggy Woods.
Galveston Linocut ImagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Documentation Sheet Descriptions of Galveston Images
- Trube House is viewed at the top of this page. "Noted architect Alfred Muller designed many buildings in Galveston, Texas and one of the most important houses that survived the famous hurricane of 1900 is the Trube House built in 1890. It is an interesting blend of Gothic and Moorish styling and adds significantly to the historic structures in this city known for distinctive edifices."
- Historic Galveston Church "This is the second reincarnation of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church on this site in Galveston, Texas. It was built in 1904 and the Onion Dome added in 1912. The first church was destroyed along with much of the city in the Great Storm of 1900. Its Moorish design is modeled after the Grand Synagogue of Toledo, Spain."
- Eaton Memorial Chapel "This beautiful chapel was designed by architect Nicholas Clayton in a Gothic Revival Style and was dedicated in 1882 as a memorial to the founding rector, Reverend Benjamin Eaton. A native of Ireland, Nicholas Clayton opened his own architectural firm in Galveston, Texas in the 1870s and became a major influence in the distinctive style of that city's historic structures."
- St. Patrick Church "Named after the Patron Saint of Ireland by its mostly Irish congregation, this Gothic structure, completed in 1877, was designed by noted architect and church member Nicholas Clayton. After the "Storm of the Century" in 1900 the building was raised five feet higher to meet new criteria for Galveston mandated by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. St. Patrick Catholic Church is listed by the Texas Historical Commission and continues its role as an active parish."
- Trueheart-Adriance Building "This historic structure in the Strand area of Galveston was designed by noted architect Nicholas J. Clayton; built in 1882 and housed the first chartered Realty Firm in Texas. The "Neo Renaissance, High Victorian" styled building is now occupied by the Junior League of Galveston."
- Elissa's Figurehead "Galveston, Texas provides a home berth to the Elissa, a tall sailing ship, which began its life in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1877. the Elissa carried cargoes around the world for over 90 years. Preserved and operated by the Galveston Historical Foundation with the help of numerous volunteers, she has been named a National Historic Landmark and can be seen at the Texas Seaport Museum. I chose to focus attention on Elissa's figurehead with the creation of this particular print."
- Old Red "UTMB, the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, is graced with this beautiful landmark building completed in 1890. Noted architect Nicholas Clayton designed it in a Romanesque Revival style. Old Red, on the National Register of Historic Places, derives its name from the Texas red granite, sandstone and red pressed brick utilized in constructing this oldest medical building in Texas. With the exception of its original roof, the main structure survived the devastating hurricane of 1900. Old Red continues to serve medical students, faculty, staff and visitors with an architectural grandeur in a city filled with numerous historic and notable structures."
- Bishop's Palace "Designed by noted architect Nicholas J. Clayton for the family of Walter Gresham, a former Confederate colonel, attorney and legislator, this castle was completed in 1893 at a cost of $250,000 and is ranked among the top 100 homes in the nation for its architectural significance. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
Constructed from native Texas granite, white limestone and red sandstone, its interior features rare rosewood, satinwood and white mahogany. The ornate wooden staircase took 7 years of work by 61 craftsmen to complete. Fireplaces from all over the world are showcased and the mantle in the ballroom won 1st place at the Philadelphia's World's Fair in 1876.
Purchased by the Catholic diocese of Galveston-Houston in 1923 to serve as a home for bishops of the archdiocese, the mansion is now open to the public. It is located at 1402 Broadway in Galveston, Texas on a boulevard lined with numerous other opulent and important structures."
Which Galveston Linocut is Your Favorite?
San Antonio Linocut ImagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Documentation Sheet Descriptions of Places in San Antonio
- The Alamo "The Alamo...memorialized in legend, glamorized in film and glorified in song and verse...was established in 1718 as the Mission San Antonio de Valero. In 1836 the building became a fortress for the Texas army leading to a famous 13 day siege by overwhelming Mexican forces. Today it is known as the "Shrine of Texas Liberty" and is the most visited tourist site in the state."
- Los Patios "This delightful place is located in San Antonio, Texas. It is situated along the Salado Creek in the northeast part of the city. Originally started as a gardening nursery, the beautiful oak tree adorned grounds now have restaurants and shops to interest a variety of tastes. White and black swans glide down the waterway and the verdant surroundings are also festooned with the sightings and sounds of peacocks as well as other birds. This particular print originates from a picture that I took of The Galleria with its historic window that was once the entrance to the Old Katy Railroad Depot in San Antonio. It was moved to its present location in 1968."
- Angels on High "Angels adorn the steeple high atop the chapel at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio, Texas. One can imagine them trumpeting the announcement of numerous gatherings and events. The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word originally went to San Antonio in 1869 to assist with a cholera epidemic. They stayed to help homeless children, establish the city's first hospital and teach. In 1881 a charter to establish schools was received from the State of Texas. The Academy of the Incarnate Word added college classes in 1909 and was recognized as a fully accredited university in 1996." (A few hand colored 1/1 limited edition Angels on High linocuts have also been created.)
- Classically Adorned "Stylized columns such as these are indicative of elegant homes around the world where beauty is combined with the function of structural support. This original linocut was inspired by viewing an attractive home near the historic King William District of San Antonio, Texas."
Which San Antonio Linocut is Your Favorite?
Linocuts from Places in GermanyClick thumbnail to view full-size
Documentation Sheet Descriptions of Places in Germany
- Herrenberg, Germany "This is a street scene in the old medieval town of Herrenberg in the southern region of Germany. This happens to be the birthplace of an old friend of mine dating from our former working days as operating room nurses at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. The baroque domed building in the background is the Collegiate Church that Martha attends and it is over 700 years old. It houses an important bell collection in its tower. The town is ancient by our standards and so very charming to experience."
- St. Blasien "In 1997 I traveled to Germany to visit a long-time friend of mine. We met each other when we were fellow operating room nurses at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Martha was able to show me many beautiful sights including the town of St. Blasien. A huge domed former Benedictine Abbey dominates the landscape of this small town in the southern region of Germany. This building with the winged creature atop its roof drew my interest."
- Fortress Marienberg Passageway "While visiting Wurzburg, Germany with an old friend of mine, we took a bus ride over the Main River and up the hill to the Fortress Marienberg. It was a fortified retreat around 1000 B.C. and has since served various purposes such as a church, fortified castle and Renaissance palace. Now it dominates the landscape and serves as a museum with collections of art, an armory, etc. I thought that this passageway between buildings was interesting subject matter for my camera and now my linoleum block art prints."
Which Linocut from Germany is Your Favorite?
The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.— Galileo
Grape Print Documentation Sheets
For my linocut documentation sheets I used appropriate quotes for my grape prints. Each of my On the Vine linocuts I chose to hand color. In some cases I also hand colored some of the smaller grape images.
The juice of the grape is the liquid quintessence of concentrated sunbeams.— Thomas Love Peacock
Which do you like better?
My Linocuts of Birds and AnimalsClick thumbnail to view full-size
I have had some fun creating images of birds and animals. Some of the linocut images were inspired by family pets. In the poll below the linocut of "Ben" is the second image at the top of this page.
Which of My Bird or Animal Prints is Your Favorite?
Linocuts of Places in TexasClick thumbnail to view full-size
Which Linocut of Places in Texas is Your Favorite?
My Other LinocutsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Video of Relief Printmaking which Applies to Woodcuts as well as Linocuts
Questions & Answers
Is the linoleum cut print process much different from just using wooden blocks to carve as prints? Do the prints come out looking qualitatively different?
That is an excellent question. Depending upon the wood used there may or may not be much of a difference in the final product. If the wood is heavily grained that could potentially become a part of the image when printed. Wood is a harder surface than linoleum so the actual carving process might also take a bit more effort.
© 2018 Peggy Woods