“Slogging through swamps, wading through weeds, and getting off the beaten path inspire my woodcut prints and environmental projects. The woodcuts are portraits of plants and plant communities, some endemic, rare, and endangered. Much of my recent work draws inspiration from working with scientists and others during residencies at Everglades National Park, Big Cypress Preserve, and Archbold Biological Station.
My 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, I explore complex forms and aim to simplify the composition. My artistic goal is to achieve a balance between black and white areas, carved and uncarved areas of the woodcut block, positive and negative.
Beginning with field sketches of natural places, the drawings are transferred to wood and carved with small gouges. The carving demands spontaneity, letting go, and following the movement or feeling for the form. The marks become visual shorthand – a way of simplifying complex images.
The carved blocks are printed on Japanese kozo paper, each print hand-pulled in my studio using an etching press.”
Mollie Doctrow holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts degree in Printmaking, California State University, Northridge, and is Curator at South Florida State College Museum of Florida Art and Culture in Avon Park. She has participated in many solo and group exhibitions, and has lectured widely and conducts workshops on woodcut art. She 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.