I’m currently on hiatus from The Domestic Front. While I am gone, I am republishing posts which originally appeared on my companion blog, Savour Home. This post was originally published in July 2010.
I discovered Frances Gearhart last year when the Pasadena Museum of California Arts featured an exhibition of her work. Although she also painted watercolors, Gearhart is famous for these breathtakingly gorgeous woodblock prints of California landscapes. I’ve always loved woodblock prints, with their combination of bold lines and delicate colors, but Gearhart’s took my breath away. Born in Illinois in 1869, Frances Gearhart spent most of her adult life in Pasadena, and her pictures reflect a true California aesthetic.
I love the way she uses shadows and negative space to create such amazing depth, and her colors, although delicate, are vibrant. I would give my eyeteeth to own some of her prints, and if said eye teeth were worth more on the open market, I could. Although Gearhart is well-regarded, it’s still possible to buy her prints if you’re not a millionaire or a museum. John Moran Antiques in Pasadena listed a couple of her works in the catalog of their most recent auction, and as you can see, they’re fairly reasonable in their estimates, though still, sadly, out of my budget.
In the meantime, if your budget doesn’t spring for Gearhart but you like the style, here are a few listings on Etsy for woodcuts.
Mabou Coal Mines Beach, from Magprint
Little Bay de Noc from Studioegk
Nyala Farm by Williamholt
Breaking Waves from WingedLion