Dec 12-Jan 5, Searle Gallery
Opening Reception Dec 14, 5:00-7:00pm
Slogging through swamps, wading through weeds and getting off the beaten path, Doctrow sketches native habitats and makes environmental woodcuts. These printed woodcuts are portraits of plants and plant communities, some endemic, rare and endangered.
About the Art
This art reflects Doctrow’s captivation with swampy jungles, exotic plants and diverse habitats. A dominant theme is the drama of the moment, a personal interaction with a particular place.
Through this artwork I connect to the natural world and hope to bring attention to these fragile environments.
Her recent work has focused on Central and South Florida, Big Cypress and the Everglades. The work is influenced by the Western landscape art tradition, representing natural forms accurately and expressively, as well as Oriental art. Working mostly in black and white, Doctrow explores complex forms and aims to simplify composition. Her artistic goal is to achieve a balance between black and white areas, carved and uncarved areas of the woodcut block, positive and negative.
She begins with field sketches of natural places, transfers them to woodblocks and then completes the final image with carving. “The carving demands spontaneity, letting go, and following the movement or feeling for the form.” The carved marks become visual shorthand – a way of simplifying complex images, expressing rhythm, texture, form and space.
The carved blocks are printed with water-based ink on Japanese kozo paper, each print hand-pulled in the artist’s studio using an etching press.
Doctrow is Curator Emerita at South Florida State College Museum of Florida Art & Culture in Avon Park, Florida. Her work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions, and she has lectured widely and conducts workshops on woodcut art. Doctrow has held art residencies at Big Cypress National Preserve, Everglades National Park and Archbold Biological Station. These residencies provided access to remote and pristine areas in Florida, inspiring much of her recent work.