Red Tailed Hawk is a wood-engraving created in 2020 by American printmaker Richard Wagener (born 1944). It is pencil signed, dated and editioned 9/32 on the recto and titled in pencil on the verso. Red Tail Hawk was printed by the artist on a sheet of ivory Zerkall wove paper and the image measures 7-7/16 x 4-7/16 inches. Of note in regards to his wood-engraving technique is his exclusive use of single-line as opposed to multiple-line carving tools, meaning that each line is carved individually.
Red Tailed Hawk is one of twenty-six wood-engravings Wagener produced for the 2021 book Cascadia. According to the Nawakum Press website, Cascadia is a contemplative exploration and celebration of wild places in the Pacific Northwest. This book is a remembrance of what was lost, an appreciation of what is left, and a celebration of what could be. Forests are not eternal. For all their solemn stillness, they constantly change, evolve, die, and regrow. But they are persistent, and they always strive to return to an intricacy that is both evocative and instructive. William Dietrich wrote a prose mediation The Lost Forest and Christopher Herold contributed thirty haiku poems.
Richard Wagener was born in Texicana, Arkansas in 1944. He grew up in southern California, spending time with his grandfather in remote parts of the desert and up in the Sierra mountain range. Early art classes introduced him to Maynard Dixon and Edgar Payne and his after-school activities included selling the evening newspapers at the Disney studios, where he met many of the illustrators and animators. Wagener studied biology at the University of San Diego and earned an M.F.A. in painting from Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.
In 2006, Wagener established the imprint Mixolydian Editions for his own fine press projects. He collaborated with David Pascoe of Nawakum Press, Santa Rosa, California, co-publishing three fine press books, one of which, Loom, earned the 2016 Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design. Wagener has also produced a number of engraved bookplates that have been collected internationally. He designed the logo for the XXVII FISAE Congress held in Boston in 2000. His bookplates have been featured in Print Magazine; “Contemporary Ex-Libris Artists,” an article by James Keenan, that was published in Portugal in 2003; California Bookplates by Robert Dickover, published by the Book Club of California in 2006; and Three Centuries of the American Bookplate by James Goode, the catalog accompanying a show of bookplates at the University of Virginia from 2010.
A notable American wood engraver, Wagener's works are held in over 100 public collections in the United States and England. He was awarded the Oscar Lewis Award for contributions to the book arts.