November 23, 2016—Lake County’s Main Library in Lakeview is currently hosting a beautiful set of nine artworks by local artist Bill Witherspoon. These monoprints record something of the life of organisms that live between the bark and the wood of trees - in some cases while the tree is alive and in others after the tree has fallen.
To make the prints, Witherspoon collects and cleans suitable wood and then applies water and/or oil soluble, wax-based pigments to the wood. Next, water soaked paper is applied and the paper is burnished into the wood by agate tools. After removal of the paper, gold leaf and/or watercolor is applied to complete the print. Several different prints are typically made from each piece of wood.
“Anyone who handles wood from our forests will recognize the patterns in Bill’s prints,” says Amy Hutchinson, Library Director. “It’s exciting to see how he takes those patterns and calls our attention to them with color and gold leaf.”
Since working as a Forest Service fire lookout throughout Lake County in the 1960s, Bill Witherspoon has been a regular visitor to southeast Oregon's high desert. He studied art in Portland and in Amsterdam, Holland. Over the years he has frequently returned to paint skies, earth shadow, and engage in large-scale earth works and sculpture. These prints reflect his interest in exploring biological systems and their underlying patterns.
The library staff plan to have artwork in the new building rotated regularly. If you are an artist, crafter, or other maker and would like to display your work, please contact Library Director Amy Hutchinson at 541-947-6019 or email@example.com.