Bill Ritchie Work in Washington State
in the

David Prentice Collection

Left: Block for Nesch Homage (Prentice);
right, print from the block (Ritchie)

Homage to Nesch

Assemblage of wood, hardboard, staples, screen, hole reinforcers. Black, brown, red on ochre backing. 14 in. X 10 in. mounted on 16 1/4 in. X 12 in. background painted puzzle. Frame 20 in. X 16 in. Signed lower right. ep050220rit (Note - Prentice has the block only).

Artist's comment: The theme in the Baren 2005 exchange portfolio was "homage to an influential person," and I chose Rolf Nesch, with whom I worked in 1969. Composing the plates I was mindful of his collage technique he called metal grafik. I used woods and screen. The resulting block was interesting, so I framed it. Learn about Rolf Nesch in Wikipedia and in the article about his museum online.


Faux Lithograph Stone for Jacob Lawrence

2009. Plaster object. Cast reinforced plaster, painted edges to look like an old lithograph stone, surface has laser print transfered from Jacob Lawrence art. 14 1/2 X 11 3/4 X 2 3/8 in. Signed by B.Ritchie - 2009 on the verso. ep090218rit. (Note: Presentation has been changed to a framed mounting in shadow box with engraved brass label)

Artist's comment: I met David in 2010 we talked about focusing on the Jake Lawrence story for his entry into art collecting. In 1970 Jacob Lawrence and I collaborated to make his first and only hand-drawn lithograph on Bavarian limestone. I printed an edition of 30, plus 3 trial proofs. Thirty-four years later I found the three trial proofs I kept. In 2004, as an homage to Jake, I added a debossed addition, Emeralda, in the margins. This fake copy of the stone is for my video defining stone lithography and how it figured in his unique lithograph.

Click to see a video related to this work on YouTube

Sweet Target Hearts No. 6

1976 Lithograph, intaglio, relief, chine-colle. Gray, brown, orange, black, ochre, yellow. Image(s) 19 1/2 X 14 3/4 in. each on 29 1/2 X 42 in. Arches Cover. Signed lower right, "A/P To Nellie" Collections also of Sam Lynda Ritchie, Jane Bryan, Sam Davidson, The Evergreen State College and others.  Exhibited at Northwest Printmakers, Anacortes and Everett Art Festivals.

Artist's Comment: One of the best-documented prints I did in terms of keeping notes--available on the Web--because it bridge the time in 1975-1976 that I made my first trip from Seattle to Japan and back. This trip--or bridge--served me in ways similar to my old heroes of the Northwest School, the painters Graves, Toby and their kind. The name comes from a strange source--cartoons and pop music!

Two drawings on lithograph stones that started out to be a continuation of the Target Heart Series (I had one about five before) but then I got something like "writer's block." I was in a dilemma as to what to do until I went to Japan and discovered it is "all right" to repeat myself in my art and craft. I wrote an essay about, too. C. T. Chew helped me through it.

It was hard to list this as a "lithograph" when I wrote down the methods I used to make this print. I settled on the drawings on stone because they got the thing started. Then I added and added and added to my plates--even got C. T. Chew to add his collagraphs! -- until they came together as you see them now. The making of the Sweet Target Heart suite of prints spans almost a year in which one of my biggest dilemmas seemed to reach resolution. That was what I call the dilemma of redundant art. Then again, I am not sure. You can contact Lynda for similar prints at† Also, an essay, "On Sweet Target Hearts," on the resolution of my dilemma is available on-line in the Perfect Press 'Zine located at Perfect Press.

The Last Umbrella

(Facsimile image of the impression in the Prentice collection)

Specifications: Print. 1967. Engraving, aquatint, relief and stencil print. Image 12 X 18 in printed on 16 3/4 X 23 in Rives BFK White paper. State IV, Number within this state not available. Signed lower right.

Artist's comment: Engraving, for me, is a slow process. I love detail, and the distinct smart lines. I started the plate in San Jose in 1966. The cat-like image is based on an old cat we had named Tristan. Months later I resumed the engraving in Seattle and I added a zinc plate for the upturned umbrella and the trees. With etching, I used aquatint and in the last states, relief "rainbow rolling" and a metal stencil. I can see now--writing about it over 40 years later--the print has autobiographical elements. Oh, the stories it tells me now!

See another Last Umbrella in other collections - click Dr. Raye Lyle's page. and Dennis Evans &†Nancy Mee.

Little C-Square

(Facsimile image of the impression in the Prentice collection)

Specifications: Print. Intaglio, relief. Black, ochre, blue, orange. Intaglio ink and watercolor on Japanese papers chine colle'd on Van Gelder Zonen. 6 3/4 X 5 in. on 12 X 9 in. 61/98 VI. Signed lower right.

Artist's Commentary: The C-squares series used the architect and engineer's instrument, warped, bent and twisted. It was the year of the Great Wave Square at Bumbershoot, and other works on this theme. Sosaku-hanga is similar to watercolor and I could get a variety of colors in the foreground (bottom) area of the print. No two are alike - but almost. The bent 'C' form of the C-square is debossed.I used a pierced, cut-out area in the thin copper that I used for the etching and a ribbon of wood veneer carried the ochre.

T-Square Diptych

Specifications: Monoprints. Collagraphs printed intaglio. Black, orange, cinnabar and violet. Image 20 1/2 X 7 1/2 in. Paper is 26 X 11 1/2 in. white Arches Satine. Signed lower right. Moment number on verso of left image is pp0604191442. Image on left is Ritchie catalog No. mo060419a. Image on right is Ritchie Catalog No. mo060426a.

Artist's Commentary: After I finished a project for Nick Dellos (right image from "Totem") which used three printing plates to make, I went back into them to try a technique I had not used for a long time--carborundum for texture in a collagraph. This is the second such plate. I also used wood tape and paper.

Screen of the Rolling Sorcerer

Specifications: Screen. Five folding wings made of wood and paper. Unfolded they measure 76 X 60 in. Five narrow panels hand-cut, drilled, painted on stretched Asian papers, string and collage. Signed on wood and paper. Number 6 of six screens. Ritchie Catalog number mi232B6R

Artist's Commentary: The Northwest Chamber Orchestra commissioned my staging for the Imagination Series, 1980. I mixed video with screens made of Baltic birch lattice-like frameworks, hand cut around my Loci series with appliqued paper collage and string. We made a videotape during the paper-stretching stage with W. O. Smith on clarinet and my hand stapler as a percussion. The panels were cut by friends, the Mexican Magicians: Dennis Evans, Keith Beckley and Charles Luce.

To see another screen, click to see the Erica & Bob Williams Collection and Anne Johnson Estate.

Placeholder until actual impression can be photographed

Origami Jagged Door 20

Specifications: 1985. Intaglio printed from zinc plate, lithograph from stone & monotype. Black, orange, gray, white. Image 26 1/2 X 15 in. on 36 X 25 in. Copperplate. Over layer in cyanotype, collage, and relief blended roll. See another example from this series in the Centrum Foundation Collection.

Artist's commentary: I made a series of 25 monotypes during a residency at Centrum, a continuation of the Sheraton Jagged Door. I wanted to work in paper folding, imagining a door that opened like origami. Other people who played roles in making Origami Jagged Doors a success for me: Dwight Coburn printed the white-on-white lithograph version, and C. T. Chew came to PT and documented me working one day. Later I worked the image in cyanotype and relief printing from the Dreamer series and placed a version over this.

The Locus and the Sea Squares)

Provenance: 1982. Intaglio and relief, vermillion, black, gray, blue, and yellow on 21 1/2 X 15 in. papers, 29 X 20 1/2 in. Japanese and buff Dutch Van Gelder Zonen. TP/100, variable edition 141. Signed lower right.

Similar impressions in collections of Karl Beckley, Presha Sparling and Keith Beckley, David Bethlahmey, Tom Blue, Mark Bouffiou, Marnie Briggs, Billie and Eric Bryan, Fran Calhoun, Carl T. Chew, King County Northwest Artists Collection, Gilkey Collection, Lynda Ritchie, Rockford College, Microsoft Corporation, Sean Elwood, Laurie and John Fairman, Darcie and John Furlan, Banci Giacomo, S. Maria Guaita Estate, Karen Guzak, Laura Jackson, Davis, Wright and Jones, Inc., William Kelly, Dennis and Dick Kerr, Laurie and Michi Kosuage, Dan Lipkie, David Lotz, Kent Lovelace Estate, Wayne Ludvigsen, Jeffrey Martin, Emeline Mathews Estate, Paul Matsumura, Dennis Evans and Nancy Mee, Portland Art Museum, Camilla Nowinski, Buzz Pearson, Tommer Peterson, Deborah Poletti, Casey and Douglas Rosenberg, Ken Ross, Robert Sarkis, D. G. Smith, Nellie and Michael Sunderland, George and Kim Suyama, David and Sandra Taylor.

Artist's Comment: This print is from a series of 141 trial proofs and artist's proofs in "cycles" of approximately 15 each of different palettes. They are proofs using processes of cyanotype, woodcut, and intaglio techniques. The images are: (1) A map of the Colorado River, at the Crossing of the Fathers; (2) the leaf-like shape I call locus (I drew these as data for my use in a computer program), and (3) the Great Wave after the famous print by Hokusai. I made a collectorís video of making the last print in the series.

Click here to see the vintage video of printing this print.

Download free Transcript

Painted Elephant for Earth Day 2009

Specifications: 2009. Mixed media. Blue, black, yellow, green, pink. Carved wood, colored wax encaustic. 6 3/4 X 9 3/4 inches. Signed with handwritten description.

Artist's commentary: For the April 22 Earth Day in 2009 I made a commemorative print in the format of a stamp. I transferred a drawing of an elephant by our 10-year old granddaughter, Matilda, to wood and carved a woodcut to begin.When I finished printing with it, I applied encaustic and added a narrative statement around the perimeter, the story of the making of the Earth Day Commemorative stamp.

Kite II

Specifications: 2003. Print. Relief printed from 3 linoleum blocks. Blue, purple, gray, red, yellow. Image 10 1/2 in. X 9 in. on 14 in. X 10 1/2 in. recycled white Arches cover paper. T/P. Signed lower right.

Artist's Commentary: I did a reduction-printed series of monoprints after I had done a series of monotypes. Hunter Lu, a friend from Shanghai, wrote the calligraphy for me to cut into the lino block. They represent the six elements of my design: Time, clouds, lake, mountains, flower and wind. I made small variations throughout the printing as I was getting my ideas in order for an editioned kite.

See a variation of this print in the Steve Gold Collection

Rocking Horse (de-accessoned, purchased by Robin Abel)

Specifications: Print. Woodcut. Black, yellow. Image 16 3/4 X 19 5/8 in. on 18 X 21 in. soft vegetable fiber paper or fabric. No. 4 Studio Proof. Signed lower right.

Artist's commentary: Professor David Burt introduced me to the short story, "Rocking Horse Winner" in his literature class. At one time I lived in my parent's basement on my father's new farm, I set this image of a rocking horse under the old furnace hot air ducts. I cut the wood fast, and thought about that short story. We believe the print may be in the collection of Robin Abel, as she found the print in the Goodwill Store - possibly in Renton. It has not been confirmed.

Handmade Dogs

Specifications: 1988. Digital Print. Thermo. Red, yellow, blue, black. Printed on a wax-transfer printer in the late 1980s. 11 X 8 1/2 in. Signed lower right.

Artist's Commentary: I was working on a way to help floor covering designers show variations on designs, but after hours I was free to work with my own handmade dog images and print them on the thermoprinter connected to the computer. Dennis Mashek was my sponsor, paying me to come up with dozens of color variations on rug patterns. My only claim to fame was that with Mashek's computer I designed the stair carpets for Seattle's flagship Macy's.

ArtsPort Stamp St V-2

Specifications: 2008. Print. Intaglio. Sanguine and green from two etched copper plates, with gray paper chine-colle'd, a 7 X 5 Image on 7 3/4 X 6 in. white Fabriano. St. V-2, signed lower right.

Artist's Commentary:†The first island you come to in Emeralda, my imaginary world, is ArtSport--the domain of expertise in cyber art navigation. Every island has its own official artist's stamp, and this design is one for ArtsPort. This print has only the image without the lettering and numbers. It was the first time I made a real (not digital) version of it.

See the Patron's List for more peoples' collections - click here