Bird in the Wind [Vera Hall], hand-painted block print
Brotherly Love [Eric Bibb], hand-painted block print
Cotton Fields (Back Home) [Robert Johnson], hand-painted block print
Get on Your Knees and Pray [Keb Mo], hand-painted block print
Hard Times [Skip James], block print
Saints and Sinners, hand-painted block print
Shine on, Blind Willie, block print hand-painted in watercolors over ink
Sings with Angels [Washington Phillips], block print
Note: Kreg Yingst created the artwork shown here between 2019 and 2021. His limited-edition block prints are hand-carved, -pulled, and -painted, sometimes with watercolors. Additional information about his process is found in the Artist Statement below.
I first became interested in the block print 20 years ago, when I stumbled upon the woodcut novels of Lynd Ward and Frans Masereel — wordless books that transcend language with one image per page, sans text, presented in stark black and white. The strong contrasting graphic aesthetic appealed to me for various reasons, and it was at this time that I began to dabble with the medium along with painting.
There is a slow, meditative process to printmaking that appeals to my temperament. Typically, I conceive and fully work out in my mind my ideas and images before transferring them to uncarved blocks. And, although I draw inspiration from different sources, my recent ideas stem from music, lyrics and poetry. Unlike Ward and Masereel, I often combine text and imagery, using letters and words for both their visual shape and meaning.
My process is simply to sketch out my ideas, transfer them backwards to the block, carve away the negative space, ink the surface, and then, after choosing a paper, hand-pull both through my antique Showcard sign press. I apply the various colors through multiple carved blocks, or via reduction block method, where the same block is carved and printed multiple times, or through hand-tinting with transparent watercolor pigments over oil-based inks.
About the Artist
Both a painter and a self-taught printmaker, Kreg Yingst received his bachelor’s degree in studio art from Trinity University, in San Antonio, Texas, in 1983. While teaching, he finished his master’s degree in painting, awarded by Eastern Illinois University. Eventually, Kreg Yingst transitioned into making a living solely from sales of his work.
Kreg Yingst’s art can be found in numerous private and public collections, including those of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana; The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, South Carolina; College of Lake County, Grayslake, Illinois; Pensacola State College, Pensacola, Florida; and Janus Corporation, Denver, Colorado. His striking images of Mother Mary illustrate Christine Valters Paintner’s Birthing the Holy: Wisdom from Mary to Nurture Creativity and Renewal (Sorin Books, April 2022).