Nick Wroblewski, a former Twin Cities artist now based in Viroqua, WI, specializes in hand-cut wood block prints. Nick studied art at Bennington College (VT) and later taught himself relief printmaking. Majoring in painting and sculpture, he combined elements of the two and has been busy creating new images with woodblocks since 1996.
In his childhood, Nick traveled with a touring circus that took its show down the Mississippi River and performed in every state from Minnesota to Louisiana. This early experience greatly influenced his desire to work within the arts. From his travels to Baja, Mexico, the Amazon rainforest and Northwest Territories in Canada, Nick has established a commitment to producing woodcut prints that are inspired by the many facets of the natural world. His award-winning prints have been featured in magazine illustrations, galleries, and art shows across the country.
In 2015, Nick illustrated and published his first children’s book, “Wake Up, Island” with Mary Casanova, filled with original woodblock scenes from the North Shore and its animal residents.
What Nick says about his work and technique:
Woodblock printmaking is an activity that requires the reduction of a material (wood) and the addition of another (ink), to print an account of the transformation upon a surface. Carving an image in a block of wood is a commitment; once engaged, it is difficult to go backwards. This commitment and interaction with a once-living material captures an energy that represents an honest, hand-hewn record of a physical process.
I am particularly interested by the interplay between positive and negative space within nature. The forms created by shapes devoid of objects become as important in composing a woodcut as the subjects themselves. Space is literally “translated” through the tactile process of cutting imagery into a block of wood… Printmaking has become a pure, visceral means for me to investigate and appreciate the solutions our natural world utilizes for its survival.