Penticton Art Gallery
presents

"Let There Be Light"

July 27th - Sept 9th 2001

Exhibition of Woodblock Prints
Graham A. Scholes

This exhibition marks a milestone as it is a
celebration of the Lighthouse series’ completion,
which is an eight year project creating 37 woodblock prints.

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

At the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in 1999 Graham Scholes was honoured with a duel exhibition with Walter .J. Phillips, 1884/1963

“The Art of the Colour Woodblock Print”. “Phillips was an international authority in the art of colour woodcut prints Indeed, in the medium of colour woodcut he is truly an international standard to which any artist might aspire. In the pairing of Phillips with contemporary artist Graham A. Scholes, we see that the former’s legacy is alive and well. Scholes has mastered this challenging medium like few others today”. Nicholas Tuele former Chief Curator Victoria Art Gallery

Since persuing the Hanga medium, Graham has created a worthy body of work, totalling 52 woodblock images in just over 8 years of dedicated work. His prints often employ as many as 12 blocks ranging from 8 to 32 colours and they are run in exceedingly small editions of 7 to 95 prints. The small variations that accrue from print to print, as a result of the “hand made” process, ensures that each is subtly unique even though a multiple. It is this highly important distinction that separates these artist prints from the ubiquitous photo-mechanical prints that have dominated the market over the last number of years”.

ABOUT GRAHAM

Graham A. Scholes, a resident of Sidney B.C., was born in Toronto on December 28th, 1933. He is a well-known artist, author, and educator with a reputation for both his work in watercolours and Japanese woodblock print-making. Scholes graduated from a 4 year Arts course at Western Technical School in Toronto and subsequently designed stage sets for the Erskine Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society for 6 years. He worked in the commercial art field in Toronto and Montreal until 1977 when he turned fulltime to the creation of fine art. Scholes’ international reputation was established with the publication of his book “Watercolor and How”, published by Watson-Guptill, New York, which was distributed world wide. In 1993 at the age of 60, Scholes took a course with master printmaker, Noboru Sawai on woodblock printmaking. This new medium was an instant inspiration and catalyst. In the fall of 1993, Scholes started a series of prints depicting the lighthouses along the rugged coast of British Columbia.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Graham's compelling desire started 8 years ago, when he decided to capture these little niches of British Columbia's history. He is recording them, using the Hanga medium, (Japanese Woodblock Printmaking). He is intrigued with the process of creating his own prints from start to finish. Scholes stresses the authenticity and legitimacy of original prints, created by the artist's hand.

Making arrangements with the Canadian Coast Guard, he was able to visit the lighthouses so he can, as he puts it, "continue with his portraits of the lights". Graham likes to “touch his subjects”, as it is a way of interpreting and getting in close contact with the stations, experiencing the ambience of each locality. This Exhibition is the culmination of as he says... “8 hours a day, 8 days a week and 8 years to complete the series”.

ABOUT THE TECHNIQUE

Records show that woodblock printing on fabrics had been practised by the Egyptians at least two thousand years before the Christian era. It was about the 7th century that printing on paper became more widely used. It was in the 8th century that woodblock printing was introduced into Japan from China and until the mid-17th century, the colour was achieved by hand painting the print. About the mid 1600’s a new school of painting was beginning to emerge under the name “ukiyo-e” in the city of Edo (now Tokyo) which was responsible for the development of coloured woodblock prints.

Hosho paper is used for woodblocks and is made from the inner bark of the mulberry tree. The resulting fibre is Kozo, and is today, made by families that have been making paper for generations. Hosho paper is one of the most expensive and highly renowned traditional papers. The term “rice paper” used to describe Japanese papers is misleading and is now generally obsolete. The pigments used are watercolours, (colourants and/or powdered pigments) with rice paste used as a binder. Any type of wood can be used, however the finer grained wood like Cherry and Basswood are preferred.

The woodblock printing process involves many stages. Graham creates a line drawing of the image which is transferred to wooden blocks. He carves one block for each colour, creating the printing plates, on which the pigments are applied. He uses only the finest of hand made Japanese Hosho paper which is placed on the carved plate, and hand burnishs with a Baren, a traditional Japanese printing tool to get a transfer of colour to the paper. This is repeated with each plate until the final colour, completing the print. By virtue of the hand operation, no two prints are the same resulting in Original Prints. It takes Scholes about 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the complexity of an image, to see the first few prints of the edition.

Exhibition Contents

Graham A. Scholes ... 37 works

Title, date, number of plates/number of colours,
image size in centimeters, width X height

Autocratic Automation
1998
17/17, 44.5 x 26

Active Pass
1997
8/20, 46 x 33

Addenbroke
2001
4/8, 30.5 x 14

Ballenas
1996
8/20, 28.5 x 18.5

Bonilla Island
2000
6/13, 27.7 x 20.2

Boat Bluff
2001
7/20

Cape Beale
1995
6/20, 18 x 28

Cape Mudge
1994
5/5, 12.8 x 19

Cape Mudge Light
1997
10/20, 61 x 30.5

Cape Scott
1994
5/11, 30.5 x 20.4

Carmanah
1995
6/16, 28 x 43.2

Chatham Point
1998
4/12, 42.5 x 20.3

Chrome Island
1997
5/16, 20.3 x 30.5

Langara Light
2001
5/10, 27.7 x 20.2

Lennard
1995
8/14, 35.8 x 17

Merry Island
1995
5/10, 20 x 29.5

Discovery
1996
6/11, 43.2 x 18

Dryad Island
2000
6/14, 27.7 x 20.2

East Point
1998
7/12, 29.8 x 20.3

Egg Island
2001
4/8, 30.5 x 14

Entrance
1996
6/14, 45.7 x 24.2

Estevan
1995
6/25, 43.2 x 23.2

Green Island
2001
8/23, 59.5 x 45

Ivory
2001
4/8, 30.5 x 14

Kains
1994
6/15, 28.2 x 19.7

McInnis Island
2000
4/11, 27.7 x 20.2

Nootka
1994
8/9, 46 x 18

Pachena
1994
6/14, 26.7 x 19

Pine Island
1998
6/14, 46 x 33

Point Atkinson
1996
7/15, 61 x 20.3

Porlier Light
1996
6/9, 34.3 x 12.8

Pulteney Point
1998
7/18, 47.6 x 13.9

Race Rocks
1994
6/14, 36.8 x 21.5

Scarlet
1998
7/14, 42.5 x 20.5

Sisters Islet
1996
4/8, 34.3 x 12.8

Trial Island
1995
6 /15, 45.7 x 26.7

Triple Island
2000
5/12, 27.7 x 20.2

To Graham's Curriculum Vitae

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