Blue Butterfield

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On Woodblock Carving

Drawing never quite worked for me.  The infinite possibilities were exhausting, does the line go here, or here?  Wood necessitates commitment.  Once you carve it, the line will forever be there, motionless and unchanging.   It requires your complete attention, no corner of the woodblock can remain unaddressed.  The printing process of taking a carved block and transferring it to paper remains, even after 20 years of printmaking, delightful in its surprise.  I'm never entirely sure how it's going to turn out.    Woodblock prints, by their very nature, are bold and graphic, something I could never capture with pen and ink.  The surety of the lines made by stainless steel tools are so different from my own shaky pencil strokes.  Regardless of where the prints find themselves, I keep the sturdy blocks as reminders of the their transformation to paper and a diary of sorts of my experiences with the natural world.

Brief Bio

Blue Butterfield is a woodblock print artist who grew up in Bar Harbor and currently resides in Portland, Maine.  She graduated from Bowdoin College and received her Masters in Health Professions from Northeastern University.   She is known for her woodblock calendar "A Year in Maine" which is currently in its 9th year of annual production.  She has works in permanent collections in institutions across Maine.  Her first illustration project, A Christmas in Maine by Robert Tristram Coffin, will be out in the fall of 2015. 

When she's not carving wood she practices medicine as a physician assistant at Maine Medical Center.  Her other devotions and hankerings include Masters Track and Field, absurd athletic competitions, vegan cooking, and making Portland-inspired woodblock t-shirts for her husband and two sons.