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Print natural forms inspired by Donald Martin

Print natural forms inspired by Donald Martin

October 17, 2016 // by Stephanie Jackson

Donald Martin's artwork reveals the abstract forms found in nature. Inspired by his exhibition Leaves: Recent Prints and Sculpture by Donald Martin in the UNF Gallery at MOCA Jacksonville, guests create block prints at Art Fusion during Downtown Art Walk on November 2.

Donald Martin Grasses #1 Linoleum Block Print
© Donald Martin, Grasses #1, 2015. Linoleum block print, 24 x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Martin is a St. Augustine artist and a professor at Flagler College. His works have been displayed throughout Northeast Florida, including the Jacksonville International Airport. His prints offer intimate views of various animal and plant forms, such as grasses, palmettos, and eggs. By focusing on details, Martin creates works that are both abstract and recognizable. He draws inspiration from art history, particularly botanical and biological illustrations from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

At Art Fusion, you receive a piece of foam board and a pencil. A MOCA educator provides some instructions, then you decide what to include in your nature-themed artwork: your own experiences, Martin's artworks, or images provided by the educator. Then draw your image on the foam paper, creating a clear outline indented in the foam. Then you will use various printmaking tools to make a block print.

Art Fusion Donald Martin 1
Image courtesy of Stephanie Jackson.
Art Fusion Donald Martin 2
Image courtesy of Stephanie Jackson.
Art Fusion Donald Martin 4
Image courtesy of Stephanie Jackson.
Art Fusion Donald Martin 5
Image courtesy of Stephanie Jackson.
Art Fusion Donald Martin 6
Image courtesy of Stephanie Jackson.

Apply a small amount of ink onto the foam board, using a rolling brayer. Make sure the ink is spread across the whole foam board but does not seep into the indented lines. Then flip the foam board over and use the baren to press the inked side to another piece of paper. Once the foam board is lifted, you will see a block print.

The beauty of a block print is in the details. The ink always spreads differently, leaving some spots with less color than others. But this inconsistency makes each block print unique. You can create two prints using your one foam board to see how changes happen with each print. No two are exactly alike!

Art Fusion Donald Martin 7
Image courtesy of Stephanie Jackson.

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