Images of the California Landscape

Killion poster

Works by artist Tom Killion

Illustrating the multi-block wood and linocut print process

McHenry Library, UCSC

January 10 - March 12, 2003

Tom Killion is a master woodblock printer; his images are produced using a combination of traditional Japanese and European woodcut printmaking techniques, Killion's graphics, including his use of line and color are clearly influenced by the Japanese master woodcut landscape printers, including Hokusai and Hiroshige. These 19th century masters employed skilled block carvers and printers who produced prints by hand. Killion uses the same traditional Japanese woodcarving and registration techniques, creating as many as eleven different hand-carved blocks to achieve each brilliant illustration. The actual printmaking process is quite complex, involving the reversal of Killion's original sketch onto the first, or key, block. The key block image is then transfered to the color blocks so they can be carved to register perfectly in the final printing. Once the blocks are carved, Killion begins printing with the lightest colors first and ending with the key block. Killion often employs the technique of reduction cutting, in which one block is printed and carved away several times, destroying the block in the process. All of Killion's original work is printed on handmade Japanese koso papers.

For more information and to contact Tom Killion:
P.O Box 1028 Pt. Reyes Station, CA 94956
visit his website at:

Books On Display:

Walls: Travels Across Three Continents
The Quail Press, Santa Cruz
hand printed by artist, 1990

The Coast of California: Pt. Reyes to Pt. Sur
original hand printed edition
Quail Press, Santa Cruz 1979

Twenty-eight Views of Mount Tamalpais
Killion’s first book.
hand printed on UCSC’s Cowell Press, 1975 (one of 90 copies)

The High Sierra of California
Quail Press, 2000
Handprinted by artist at his Quail Press Studio in Santa Cruz.

Trade edition of The High Sierra of California
Heyday Press, 2002
and French edition of Mountains and Rivers Without End, 2002