We’re feeling extra full right now—full of love from family and friends, full of holiday joy, and straight-up full from feasting! With all this plenitude, we figured it was prime time to present our newest edition Abundance, a 20x200 debut from printmaker Amanda Michelle. Abundance is an original woodblock print, handmade by the artist in her Austin, Texas studio. And while the title may imply plenty, there are only 40 prints in this limited edition, so don’t sleep on this stunner.
Though abstract in style, Abundance tells a story. Cultural folklore and spiritual connections to the earth drive much of Amanda’s work. When creating, she taps into her subconscious to let color and form pilot her design until a narrative or purpose is revealed—a practice akin to that of Hilma af Klint. Amanda also invites others to discover their own experiences of her work, likening the process to a Rorschach Test.
From Amanda's personal POV, Abundance is about harmony. Against a rich blue background peppered with celestial and swirling shapes, a central black form envelops two vibrant red dots with five more left stacked to the right. This “little dude”—as Amanda affectionately introduced him to us—forages for berries, taking only what they need. Abundance is about the richness of life available to us when we are open to receiving and reciprocating.
Amanda’s work embodies this philosophy in more ways than one. Compositionally, Abundance is balanced and visually cohesive. And in terms of technique, Amanda draws from a process with a storied history stretching all the way back to ancient China and makes it her own.
From book printing to textile design, to works of fine art, woodblock printing has been adapted for countless uses over thousands of years. 18th and 19th-century ukiyo-e prints from Japanese artists like Utagawa Hiroshige and Uehara Konen are some of the most well-known examples of this technique. Ukiyo-e was typically characterized by delicate lines and precise details, and often produced with the help of a team of woodcarvers, printers, and publishers in addition to the original artist.
Amanda on the other hand is a one-woman show. She digs deep into this craft, producing her woodblock prints herself from start to finish. Starting with a sketch, Amanda embarks on the “wild ride” that is wood carving. Rather than aiming for precision, her designs are bold and varied. Changing course several times as she moves through her process, she rarely ends with her original design. But from beginning to end, we’re here for this ride in all its Abundance.