Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Rain, (Blue) by George Johanson

  • Title: Rain, (Blue)
  • Artist: George Johanson
  • Medium: Reduction linocut
  • Size: 12"h x 18"w
  • Creation date: 2015
  • Added to collection: 2016
  • Donor: Purchased by Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus
  • Campus: Rock Creek
  • Location: B5/2 Study room 235

Several bathers and dogs caught in a rainstorm form a theatrical tableau that is stylized, playful, and mysterious. The print is a reduction woodcut (a technique developed by Pablo Picasso) in which one block is carved, inked and printed, re-carved, re-inked in a new color, and reprinted over the earlier print. This process can be repeated numerous times in numerous colors until there is very little left on the block that has not been carved away. The order of colors appears to have been: light blue, blue, red, dark blue, dark red, green, and black – seven passes through the press with each block needing to be printed cleanly in exact alignment (registration)  with the other blocks. White is created by the paper. One must also be able to visualize in advance the interaction of all the different colors because once each color has been printed there is no turning back with the block being continually re-carved. Johanson is a master of this difficult form, which has been compared to playing chess several moves in advance.