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John Carruthers

John Carruthers




With a master’s degree from the New York Academy of Art, and five years of printmaking study at Pratt Graphic Center and Hunter College, I have been creating and selling woodcuts for over 25 years. I am currently the Visual Arts Dept. Chair at The Storm King School in Cornwall, NY, where I teach drawing, painting, and sculpture. During the summers, I teach at the Artists Association of Nantucket, where I won the Randy Goldberger Teaching Award in 2014, and the Mixed Media Award in 2013. I also teach a woodcut workshop once a year at The Arts Student’s League of New York. I have taught art in public and private schools in New York, and art history at Mercy College. My work is represented by The Gallery on Four India Street on Nantucket, MA and at the Artists Association of Nantucket.


Artist Statement- Woodcuts are my passion.

The intricate craftsmanship of knife and wood, the dance of negative space, and the

sense of narrative are all inspirations for these pieces.

I choose a piece of wood- an old, worn shelf from a discarded bookcase works the best

because the wood is dry, stable and has its own character and integrity.

Then I choose an image that will fit with that particular piece of wood. I have a small

library of sketches, photographs, and compositional ideas that I consider based on the

shape and size of the wood. Sometimes I cut the wood to a specific size, but I prefer

working with the wood as is because its like meeting someone halfway in a

conversation or a debate.

I usually keep the pencil sketch on the wood so I can make changes as I cut, or

improvise the composition if there’s a knot in the wood, or a broad, clear area.

I carve the image with a few trusted tools- a line cutter, v-gauge, and u-gauge.

Once the image is carved, I roll ink onto the surface, and place rice paper on the block. I

rub the back of the paper with a spoon (I’ve only ever used one soup spoon I stole from

my parents 25 years ago-please don’t tell them.)

My images document where I live or what I see on a daily basis- NYC streets in the

winter, Nantucket Harbor in the summer, or the historic woods in the Hudson Valley, NY.

I hope you enjoy the images and feel the passion I put into them.


Technical Notes-

All the images are cut into a piece of wood and printed by hand one at a time. Each print (depending on the size) takes about 1-3 hours to print. I roll separate colors where I need them with my small rollers. I also hand paint some of the details and colors. The work is printed on archival rice paper or drawing paper, and framed with glass. I date them as I print them, as I consider each printing to be it’s own separate, new image (I sometimes print in different colors, or add different details to older blocks). All prints are coded “A/P” (“Artist’s Proof”). This means that I don’t print editions. I make individual prints as I need them. No block has been printed more than 7-10 times, even some of my most popular prints (Pink Door, Johnny Cash, Old Mill) have never been printed beyond a dozen times. If you have any questions about how these works were created please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank You,

John Carruthers

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