Virginia S Ingram on

I've put together an Etsy store for the alphabet series my aunt, Virginia S Ingram (VSI) did in the early 90's. She's an amazing artist who specializes in Japanese-style woodblock prints. She did each letter of the alphabet as a big print 20x20 and then reduced them to place on blank notecards. 

My favorite letters are the V and the I, but I imagine that is because I am biased. My aunt's favorite letter is the C because the second level makes a heart. 

The cards (as well as the larger prints) are stunning. She sells the cards as individual cards, in sets of three or as a set of 26. Check it out. 


About the work, and her process

Overlapping layers and the geometry in her work is obvious. VSI believes every aspect of her life has informed her art and that her most significant influences have come as unexpected gifts. A foundling cat and her four kittens became models for numerous works. Book design led to woodcuts based on the alphabet (which are available in the store).

The technique used for the alphabet series is the Japanese style of printing with woodblocks. VSI begins with a line drawing which is carved into the surface of a wood block, producing an image in high relief. Color is then applied with a flat brush to the raised portions of the carved surface. The impression is made by placing dampened paper on the block and rubbing the back of the print with a Japanese baren (a small disk of coiled bamboo covered with a bamboo sheaf). The wood grain texture observed in the print depends on the block’s ability to carry a well-marked grain and on the amount of pressure applied while printing. 

VSI enjoys the technical process, which is done by hand. She finds that cutting a block is focused and meditative. She begins with one block and prints it, and a separate block is carved for each color. The process is a continuation and a collaboration. There is special relationship between the artist and her material. The artist’s openness is expressed by allowing the truth of the wood grain to emerge.

(Many thanks to Rick Mashburn for the words describing VSI's process. Rick wrote the biography for Virginia S Ingram in the 2004 catalog for the Sawtooth Center of the Arts Artist of the Year designation.) 

Virginia S Ingram on Esty. 

Virginia S Ingram on Esty. 


Read more about Ginny.