Thursday, January 7, 2010

viva vermont

Mary Azarian is a Vermont woodcut artist who has become relatively famous for her beautiful pastoral prints and charming depiction of Vermont country life. I would love to own an oversized version of one of her prints someday...

When I tuned into VPR on my lunch break today (I was driving to the post office to get a stamp for the electric bill), I heard this interview with the artist and instantly thought of the alphabet prints that had lined the walls of my Kindergarten classroom. Even though I didn't know her by name, I knew exactly who she was (which is usually how I know things--I'm so bad with names!) and decided that I had to mention her work. The scenes are so quintessentially Vermont, and the images are like little anchors laid down throughout my childhood--little barbs that pull me back to a time & place in the quasi-distant past when my youthful eyes first recognized these rural scenes as something significant.

I love the rough imperfection of a woodcut print. At first I thought I preferred the stark simplicity of black and white, but the splash of color in the Winter print might be even better--that's how winter feels around here: monocromatic, with a dash of color in coats and the lights in windows. The image (and especially the accompanying Thoreau quote) makes me smile--it reminds me of my father & all other hardy Vermont men up in the woods who really do have something to be proud of when they heat their homes with wood split by their own hands.

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