Wednesday, 11 January 2012

P is for .. Animal Woodblock ABC

P is for ... Polar Bear

I know there are some stunning woodblock prints of Peacocks and that would have been the easy choice. However, as I have already used quite a few birds, I thought I would try mammal - Polar Bears. These are striking angular animals that lend themselves to being caricatured and hopefully for the same reason used as the subject of linocut and woodblock prints. Although I don't expect to find many.

C L Yonge
coloured woodcut of a Polar Bear - see
The Auckland Art Gallery have another print by this artist and they list them as being British.

After a quick reference to a few book, I was able to confirm that this artist was British. Actually one Miss C L Yonge who is recorded as a Linocut artist and painter who exhibited from 1929 until 1937. She exhibited quite widely including at; Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham (5 works), Cooling and Sons Gallery (7), Walker Gallery (1), Royal Cambrian Academy (8), Refern Gallery (5), Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (2) and at the Royal Scottish Academy (2). Quite some success, I am surprised I have not seen her work before ?

Fritz Lang (1877-1961)
"Knut" the Eisbär

Norbetine Bresslern Roth

Disappointingly, I only seen a very few old relief print featuring Polar Bears. There are many sites and blog devoted to these appealing animal, but printmakers seem to have by passed them. I have found a few contemporary artists who have created some interesting images. Including;-

Taeeum Yoo
An American artist and illustrator who studied at the School of Visual Arts Illustration whose work has featured in books published by Dial Books for Young Readers, Greenwillow Books, Simon & Schuster, Square Fish, Feiwel&Friends, Cricket Magazine, Spider Magazine, Ladybug Magazine.

See her Etsy shop - Link

Steven Noble
American artist and illustrator - Link

Very sorry - but I have found this animal very difficult and ask any readers for suggestion of prints the should be included. I prefer woodblock prints, woodcuts, wood engravings and linocuts.

Too include other printed works, I have sort out one of my favourite etchers of animals; Herbert Dicksee (1862-1942) and here are two of his Polar Bear subjects. If you like big cats, dogs and other large animals have a search his works. The besy place to start is

Also I would like to include some commerical and graphic art of these bears. They have been used to advertise a wide and varied selections of goods, Including; Coca Cola, Zoos, Mustard, Drinks and Gloves !

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