This is the first part of an ongoing series we'll be doing to introduce you to our artists. Deb DeCicco is printmaker who lives in Jaffrey, NH and creates floral woodblock prints using the Japanese 'hanga' method of printing without a mechanical press. A little background here is I used to work at the Sharon Arts Center in Peterborough, NH where Deb ran the school program. When I opened my gallery here in Newburyport, I originally sold beautiful bags that Deb made. She is a multi-talented person and I excited to share more of her art with you.
Q: What medium are you working in and for how long?
I’ve been making woodblock prints for 13 years and have been drawing for over 45 years.
Q: What mediums did you work in before (if any)?
I’ve worked in drawing, watercolor, collage, fiber art, book arts, and printmaking.
Q: Why this subject matter?
I draw flowers and plants because I am constantly amazed and inspired by the infinite beauty, and the infinite shapes of the natural world. I’m also interested in the way the flowers and plants reflect the circle of life and our human condition. On just one iris plant you can see one flower in full bloom, one curled and dying, one bud just coming out of the leaf and one bud that you know will burst open tomorrow. You see the strength of the leaves holding everything together at the base and you know that the roots are there, soaking up the water and nutrients. You can see flowers reaching out, turning away, bending over, struggling for enough light, happily blooming, clustered together or beautifully alone.
Q: Describe your workspace and how you get into the mindset:
The drawing is done any time and any place where there’s a plant or flower that I want to draw. I can ignore whatever’s going on around me because I’m totally absorbed in describing the shapes of the plant on the paper. The prints are done in a small studio in my apartment. The variety of processes involved, drawing, prepping the blocks and paper, carving, proofing and printing, framing and of course the administrative, marketing parts, are usually all going on at once with different images. This prevents boredom and gives me purposeful activity no matter how much time I have at the moment. The morning is my best time for critical decisions on composition, value, fine tuning the carving and color. The evenings seem better for printing when I’m slowing down and can be more careful.
Q: What hangs on your walls and/or what fine craft do you enjoy at home?
My home is filled with paintings, prints, drawings, pottery, books of poetry and jewelry made by my friends.