Leon Loughridge – The Graveyard Shift
Leon grew up on a Northern New Mexico ranch, exploring the mountain sides with his older brother in search of adventures. At an early age, his grandmother’s involvement in Northern New Mexico art circles exposed him to the arts. Later, study at the Colorado Institute of Art along with private study reinforced his abilities. While in the army, stationed in Germany as an illustrator, he was able to travel extensively throughout Europe, visiting museums and maintaining sketch journals. In addition, he studied the painting techniques of the old masters for two years culminating with on-site study at the Stuttgart Stattsgalerie Art Museum. Long having had an interest in pen and ink, etching took on a special meaning after seeing the museum’s collection of prints. 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. In 2005, he started printing using the Japanese method of printmaking. The versatile layering of color in the woodblock process allowed him to better capture the atmospheric qualities of the Southwestern landscape that has such a strong meaning for him. Leon has continued to develop his printmaking skills and currently owns a publishing company, producing his reduction style woodblock prints as well as limited edition books. His woodblocks are exhibited nationally and collected by numerous museums.