I came across an artist on etsy.com recently whose work I really connected with. I think this was particularly so in light of my own recent work about an imagined frozen landscape. The artist is Karinna Gomez from Fairbanks, Alaska in the United States. She makes small series of prints – mezzotints, woodcuts and etchings, sometimes handcoloured with watercolours as with the print above. This piece is called Persimmons in the Snow. Persimmons are an orange red fruit that grow on the Ebony tree. These trees can tolerate and adapt to a wide range of climates including harsh Northern weather. I love the striking contrast between the white hills and snow covered valley and the dark central group of trees that are lit by by these red speckles, a kind of earth bound constellation. I love too the vastness and silence that is suggested by the empty retreating hills and the dark sky beyond them. The only colour in the piece and the only sign of growth and life is this tiny little fruit. My second favourite piece (below) is like the first. This one is called Land of Weather .
The features of the previous piece are here, light versus dark and a grouping of dark fruit lit trees. There is more sky here though and an icy breeze seems to move across in a flurry of cloud. The central grove is bowl shaped and is cradled by the expansive landscape on all sides. They stand like a resilient group of survivors struggling against the elements.
The last piece I have included here is a mezzotint called Icelandic Water below. This is a slightly different printing technique which allows half tones of colour to be produced.
Darkness dominates this piece, punctuated only by white streaks and lights. The snow capped mountain in the background makes way for the night sky dotted with a few tiny stars. The title suggests that the large expanse in front might be water. It is broken up with bright uniform shapes that look like something man made or are they reflections or perhaps both? When I wrote to Karinna, she told me that she is drawn to the histories of polar exploration and aspects of Northern life such as self sufficiency, independence and solitude. Also the weather, land and geography of the North. Her work is an attempt to make imagery that expresses these primary interests.
If you like what you have seen here, check out Karinna’s work in her etsy shop. Her beautiful limited edition prints are very reasonably priced.