Red-Winged Blackbirds and Talking Trees by Lori Biwer-Stewart

Lori Biwer-Stewart

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This is an original linocut by Lori Biwer-Stewart of Osage, Iowa.

"Red Winged Blackbirds and Talking Trees" is an original linocut print of red winged blackbirds flying over a field as the wind blows through the leaves. This print is full of movement.

The inspiration for this image came from my childhood on the farm. My grandparents lived next door to us and my grandmother was always available to take a walk down the gravel road with me. Along the way there were poplar trees that grew wild in the ditch. As the breeze blew through the leaves making a quiet rustle she would say "listen to our talking trees". It really did sound like they were talking. There were also a lot of red winged blackbirds that were protecting their nests and would swoop down above our heads as we walked.

This is an 8 color print. The first plate was cut into 3 parts, inked and reassembled to print. The colors for the red winged blackbirds were layered over the first print as a reduction print.

Image size: 14.25" x 9.25"

Edition size: 22

Frame size: 20.25" x 16.25"

Unframed piece is mounted on a piece of archival foamboard and packaged in a plastic sleeve.

Signed and titled in pencil below the print.

Linocut is a type of relief print. Relief printing is a technique where a piece of paper is “stamped” by the top surface of the plate painted in ink. A design is cut into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife and chisels.

My education is in graphic design and that has been a big advantage to me as an artist. Knowing how to compose an image so it has movement and a focal point is really important.

I discovered printmaking over 15 years ago and believe it’s the perfect medium for me. Everything I know about printmaking is self taught and learned by taking classes, talking with other printmakers, reading books or just experimenting with materials.

The process of Linocut printmaking is very therapeutic for me. I’ve found that I’m able to communicate much better through images than words and the actual process of any kind of art focuses my mind like nothing else can. I’m generally a very quiet person who is more than happy to sit and sketch or just observe things that go on around me.

I love the flowing lines and the movement of linocut printmaking. Although I begin each work with a very rough sketch, I choose to let the subject evolve as I cut, so the artwork is in a continuous state of change. 

My focus is on the human figure; the sharp contrast of linocut adds strength to the bold images of the subjects.  The addition of symbolic elements such as birds, keys and doors encourage the viewer to really study the piece and apply their own personal experiences and connections. 

As my work evolves I find myself using more color - sometimes covering the work as a whole, other times adding color elements only elements to lead the eye to key areas in the piece. 

My work has a strong, authentic voice that makes an honest statement about how we look at ourselves, and interact with others and our environment. 


Find more of Lori's work here.

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