In 1987 Brown established his own business doing work with wood: post and beam barns, new house construction, renovations, additions, lots of kitchen cabinetry. Cabinet work led to the construction of a shop which is where he now makes his woodblock prints. Brown’s print-making career owes much to his carpentry years. Learning to work with wood, to line things up and judge by eye, to draw up plans and implement them into 3 dimensions, this was in many ways his printmaking apprenticeship.
I make color woodblock prints using the Japanese hanga method. My imagery explores the development of pictorial space using the inherently flat medium of the carved and printed wood-block. By using techniques which build on intimate aspects of the Japanese approach affecting texture and tone (variations in printing pressure, fades in the brushing of the pigments) I try to achieve happy resolutions of the tension between flat printed shapes and an illusion of a depicted place.
Hanga is printing with brushes and a hand-held baren using rice paste, pigments and water from multiple hand-carved wood blocks. It is the technique used to make the ukiyo-e prints of Hokusai, Hiroshige, and others that had so much impact on Western artists, especially the Impressionists, in the latter part of the 19th century.