Cloud Dragon (Golden Hills) is a multi-block color woodcut, created in 2016 by American artist Micah Schwaberow. It is pencil signed Micah, titled, dated, and editioned 18/169. Cloud Dragon (Golden Hills) was printed by the artist on ivory Arches wove paper and the image measures 5-1/2 11-7/8 inches.
Cloud Dragon (Golden Hills) was Schwaberow’s first color woodcut for 2016. In this small format woodcut, he created an expansive vista by using a vivid aquamarine sky as contrast to the gold and rusty hues of the rolling hills. Dark cypress and oaks dot the horizon and, in the distance, a light purple mountain range suggests the vastness of the landscape. Above, a cloud formation stretches across the expanse like the mythical, serpentine body of a dragon. Schwaberow often focuses on the landscapes of central coastal California, highlighting the region’s varying climates as they change with the seasons. Here his imagery is depicting inland Monterey County near Carmel, where the Santa Cruz mountains begin to melt into the soft hills. His technique shows the sensitive, painterly hallmarks of Japanese printmaker Toshi Yoshida, his teacher and mentor.
Micah Schwaberow, printmaker, painter and sculptor, was born in Eugene, Oregon in 1948. He studied painting with Maurice Lapp and printmaking with Elizabeth Quandt at the Santa Rosa Junior College in California. In 1981, he spent a month in Miasa, Japan studying traditional woodblock printing and, in 1982, he spent most of the year in Nagai, Japan studying with the Japanese master, Toshi Yoshida, and his master carvers and printers. In September of that year, he was an assistant for his teacher during a three-week woodblock course for foreigners.
Schwaberow has given woodcut demonstrations at the University of California Berkeley and at Mills College in Oakland. He produced a number of boxed suites of color woodcuts, including Tuolumne, Book I, which won first prize in a national competition to commemorate Yosemite National Park. In addition to his prints, Schwaberow has included a sculptural element to his list of aesthetic endeavors, creating gourd vessels echoing the figures of birds and landscapes. His work is represented in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. His color woodcut, Morning Mist, Heath Township, was the 2009 Presentation Print of the Cleveland Print Club.