by Linda Beeman
Dimensions: 17″x 34″
Media: Japanese Woodblock Brink
For more information: 517-999-1040
Inspiration for Meadow Quench
Meadow Quench is one of the prints in the 12 Views of Shiawassee River suite of Japanese woodblock prints or moku hanga, which means wood print.
This view is in Davisburg and shows a wet meadow of native plants that previously had been strangled out by brush. It is now a protected property held by the North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy.
Just like our human body, the river takes what is put into it and lives off it. If pollutants are released into the river it affects the life of everything that lives in it for the rest of its journey and eventually affects the health of the largest fresh water source on earth – the Great Lakes.
Housing developments, industrial complexes, parking lot and farm run-off is all dumped into the waters of the river. All the litter, the chemicals, the sewage, the erosion changes the delicate balance necessary for every living thing that calls the river home, be it in the water or along its banks. Its importance cannot be understated. Its preservation is imperative.
I am, without apology, a Michigan artist. Not just that I was born here and live here, but my work is of Michigan landscapes and waterscapes. I feel it is an honor and privilege to live in Michigan and have the 4 seasons of imagery at my disposal. The obligation to protect Michigan’s waters and wilderness and promote its responsible, recreational possibilities is something I feel deeply about.
I work exclusively as a printmaker and especially the Japanese art of moku hanga. This medium gives me subtleties of color and tone unavailable in other mediums. It is especially suited to our unique Michigan beauty and light.
Moku is the Japanese word for wood, and Hanga means print. Separate wood blocks are carved for each color. Prints may take 2 to 12 or more separate carved blocks. I use rice paste and watercolor paint. Colors are painted on to the woodblock with brushes and then it is transferred to the paper using handheld burnisher called a baren. It is an extremely physical, yet non toxic method of creating prints and practiced by only a few hundred people worldwide.
It is my artistic mission to showcase Michigan’s beauty, diversity and ecological value thru my prints. They will, more often than not, have water in them. They will show a destination, a secret place that the viewer can experience and will want to know personally.