July 2021 Art News from Evy Okerstrom

Hello, Friends and Family! Happy 4th of July! Thank you for reading my latest art news. I discovered the artwork of Gustave Baumann (1881-1971) when I visited the Santa Fe History Museum in 2019. He was an American printmaker and painter, and a leading figure in the early twentieth century Arts and Crafts Movement. One print called “The Procession” (1930) is of a group of people under an Almond tree walking in the procession for the Feast of Corpus Christi. I liked the colors and textures in the tree and used it as a reference to paint my version of it. Here is an image of the Baumann print and my picture of “The Tree” I have also put together a biography of him for you to read. The reference material I used is in my “Thought of the Day” at the end of the blog.

Born in Germany, his family moved to Chicago when he was seven. He always had an interest in woodworking. At 16, he left school to support his family. He worked in the printing industry, and went to the Chicago Institute of Art at night to learn more about drawing.

 In 1905 he returned to Germany to study illustrative printmaking using wood engraving. Returning to Chicago as a skilled woodcut illustrator, he worked in the commercial art industry. He did well, and many of his woodcuts appeared in publications around 1909.

  In 1910 Baumann went on a vacation to Nashville, Indiana, (Brown County) and discovered an isolated town that had become an artist colony. He stayed for six years. During this time he had a studio and started creating prints that illustrated America before industrialization. In this period he used only a few colors for his printing process. He was entering his work in various exhibits and getting recognition. 

In 1917 his work was being shown at the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, NM. He stopped there to see it, and the local arts group offered him a studio. He stayed there; married had a family, and began to experiment with more colors. His colorful prints became a historical way to record the landscapes, Native American Indians and the rituals of northern New Mexico. His process: He always worked alone; the prints began with drawings and paintings done in gouache or watercolor. Tracing the drawings on to a piece of cedar he would carve out a block for each color. He would mix his own inks, and used a stiff ink so that some of the color stayed on the block and would mix with the next color. This technique gave the final print a luminescent quality and produced blended hues. His goal was to produce a print that everyone would want in their home.

 “Flowering Tree”  12′ x 16″, acrylic unframed, price on request.

Other News: Save the Dates:
“Sprezzatura” The Hub Members Show is July 3rd through August 1st, 2021. The Hub Members Preview Night is going Italiano! Friday, July 2nd/5:30 to 7 pm.

Fall Classes: September 9, 2021, “Sketching with Watercolor, Pen & Ink Classes will resume at the Hub on Canal. We will meet on Thursdays from 11 am to 2 pm. The class will go for 4 weeks and then begin another 4 week series. The class is open to all levels. The cost is $20 per week or $80 for 4 weeks. I will send out a reminder email to everyone in August.

“Procession”  a 1930 woodcut engraved print by Gustave Baumann.

“The Hub Courtyard” my entry into the Hub Members Show, 12′ x 15″ framed, watercolor


Here is my thought of the day: Some books on Gustave Baumann:
“Gustave Baumann’s Southwest” by Joseph Traugott, New Mexico Museum of Art
“Gustave Baumann, Nearer to Art” by Martin F. Krause, Madeline Carol Yurtseven and David Acton
“The Autobiography of Gustave Baumann” Edited by Martin Krause

To view my artwork please visit the Gallery. Visit Gallery