Skagit Valley in Color – Woodcut Prints by Gene Jaress
April 13 – July 7, 2023
My primary focus has become woodcut printmaking since moving to Skagit County in 2007. Printmaking affords me a balance between technical expertise and artistry. It allows production of unique pieces, resulting in affordable art of high quality.
The pieces in this show are from three series:
Skagit Landscapes, which document iconic places in Skagit County
Summer of Smoke, landscape impressions during times of wildfire smoke
Street Portraits, from images sketched over 30 years on scraps of paper, backs of business cards, whatever was handy in the moment
I’ve been an artist all my life. The extensive high school shop and art instruction in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Spokane, Washington educated me in the basics of woodblock printing, silkscreen, jewelry, wood sculpture and leatherwork. I was able to start selling my work at that point.
Art studies continued through combat in Vietnam with photography and drawing.
Later, I was accepted to the Cornish School of the Allied Arts and studied with Paul Heald, William Cummings, Charles Stokes, Dale Owen, Stephen Hazel, Anne Praczukowski and Gordon Anderson. I studied environmental design in construction through an Antioch College affiliated degree program at Cold Mountain Institute on Cortes Island B.C. Moving to Vancouver, I continued to study art, and made a living as a jeweler, learning a lot in that very international community. Eventually back in Seattle, I was hired as a professional jeweler, collaborating with jewelers from all over the world. After years of work, I became a master jeweler. Over the past 15 years, I worked in oils and sculpture before settling on printmaking as a means of expression.