Leon Loughridge is a woodblock artist from Denver, Colorado, and he is featured on this week’s episode of Beyond the Gallery. Leon loves printmaking for the contrast that appears between the spontaneity in his watercolors and the methodical nature in creating his prints.
Raised in the open ranch land of Northern New Mexico, Leon developed an affinity for the Southwestern landscape. He was greatly influenced by his grandmother’s involvement in Northern New Mexico art circles. Later study at the Colorado Institute of Art along with private study reinforced his abilities. Stationed in Germany while in the army, he was able to travel extensively throughout Europe, visiting museums and maintaining sketching journals. In addition, he studied painting techniques of the old masters for two years, finishing by copying a Franz Hals at the Stuttgart Stattsgalerie Art Museum. Long having an interest in pen and ink, etching took on a special meaning from the museum’s collection of etchings.
On his return to Colorado, Leon began to study the intaglio techniques and selling the prints in mountain galleries. In 1998, Leon purchased his first letterpress and received immediate success with the woodblock prints he produced. The layering of color in the woodblock process allowed him to better capture the atmospheric qualities of the Southwestern Landscape that have such a strong meaning for him.
Leon has continued to develop his printmaking skills and currently owns a publishing company, producing his Reduction Style Woodblocks as well as limited edition books. His woodblocks are exhibited nationally and collected by numerous museums. He and his wife also own a gilding studio, producing and restoring hand carved gold leaf frames for museums and collectors.
This episode of Beyond the Gallery is brought to you by the Great Southwest, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Great Southwest offers jewelry, arts and furniture, classic to contemporary. Learn more about Leon Loughridge and view some of his work at www.greatsouthwestart.com.