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The Lamb, color woodcut   32.5" x 44.5"   2015

I'm a member of the Boston Printmakers, and recently, we were asked to submit proposals for works in response to prints in the collection of the Duxbury Art Complex Museum, in Duxbury, Massachusetts, for a show at that museum scheduled for the spring of 2015. From a list of 42 etchings, lithographs, drypoints and woodcuts I chose a tiny engraving, measuring a mere 1.5" x 3", created in 1828 by Edward Calvert, entitled The Sheep of His Pasture: 
Those sheep were so appealing! At first I was simply charmed by this idyllic pastoral scene, but I wanted to honor the original impulse of the artist, and enhance his theme of connection between god and nature. So, I searched for a poem or prayer that might illuminate the message, so that I could cut the words of it into the texture of a woodcut sheep's fleecy coat. A poet friend offered several sheep-related poems, both ancient and modern, and from that selection, I chose Songs of Innocence: The Lamb, by William Blake:

Little Lamb who made thee
     Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed
By the stream & o'er the mead
Gave thee clothing of delight
Softest clothing, wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice!
     Little Lamb who made thee
     Dost thou know who made thee

     Little Lamb I'll tell thee
     Little Lamb I'll tell thee
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee.

It wasn't until after I had fully cut the text into the sheep's fleece, when I had to find something to say for my artist's statement for the show, that I discovered that Calvert was one of only a few artists who were directly influenced by William Blake. In fact, his little engraving was created a year after Blake's death, as an act of homage. Stranger still, Calvert's print is a copy of one of William Blake's wood engravings, an illustration he created for Thornton's Virgil:

 
So, in a sense, things have come full circle! Coincidence? Or synchronicity?
 


Comments

08/31/2015 10:39pm

Amazing how you both referred to William Blake! One cliche might be a good description: "Great minds think alike."

William Blake's poem so beautiful--no doubt both of you were inspired. It's words are simple. It's tone loving, and it's rhythm smooth. I liked how you engraved its words into the sheep's fleece--very intricate. Awesome workmanship!

Reply
Kate
11/05/2015 2:55pm

Thank you, buy essays cheap!

Reply
Evan
08/29/2016 6:11pm

I came across The Lamb a few days ago, and shared it with my wife. We both have been touched by it and are continuing to enjoy it.
Have you made prints of it available for purchase? We appreciate you in the midst of your work. Thank you!

Reply
Kate
08/31/2016 9:38am

Evan, yes, prints are available. Please email me at the address at the top of my resume page for pricing info. I'm not posting it here, to avoid spam robots.Thank you for your kind remarks and your interest!
Kate

Reply
01/26/2017 5:20pm

Am very impressed to see the engraved print and the poetry related to the theme of the picture. And the theme is " connection between god and nature." The details of the event are very interesting. Superb artwork, thanks for sharing.

Reply
Sarah Dukes
03/07/2017 2:24pm

Thank you for illuminating your process for this piece. What wonderful history! When I was getting my art degree, I always felt like the 'read' of the piece belonged just as much with the viewer as the artist's intent. But nowadays I really love hearing the art statement behind pieces... it's so enlightening to hear and be surprised with such rich thoughts that I would have never connected myself.

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