Incredible woodcut prints by John Roome

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Love at first sight – these are just SO beautiful to me. These prints by John Roome is available from StateoftheArt Gallery (whose newsletter is where I was introduced to his work!). His artist statement:

“My work is grounded in my experience of the world around me. I use drawing as a way of understanding, interpreting, and expressing my response to people, places, and things I come into contact with on a daily basis. Drawing provides a direct and immediate interface with the world. Drawing is not only a vehicle for recording the visual stimuli I encounter, but it is also a way of processing and expressing my thoughts and emotions. 

I also favour the printmaking process, particularly relief printing. Whereas drawing is immediate and direct, prints are the result of an indirect process. I am fascinated by the element of surprise when, after a lengthy and time consuming process, the print finally rolls off the press. I am fascinated by the way the printmaking process can transform and often strengthen the original idea. 

My subject matter ranges from cityscapes to portraits. My aim is not to provide a photographic replica, but rather to explore and express my psychological and emotional response to ‘reality’. 
In the words of one of my favourite artists, Max Beckman : 

My heart beats more for a rougher, commoner, more vulgar art…one that offers direct access to the terrible, the crude, the magnificent, the ordinary, the grotesque and the banal in life. An art that can always be right there for us, in the realest things of life.”

– John Roome

He says about his technique:

“I use a technique called Reduction Cut to make my colour relief prints. It is sometimes called suicide printing because once you start printing the first colour there is no going back as the printing surface is cut away with each successive layer. From a collector’s point of view a reduction cut print is limited to the edition size decided on at the start. No more prints can be made as the block is effectively reduced by the end of the process. Also, because of the process, each print in the edition is similar but never identical. Therefore each print in my relatively small editions is entirely unique.”

– John Roome