Mary Azarian

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Mary Azarian is one of the best loved and most acclaimed illustrators working today. She has been creating art with woodcuts for 30 years and in 1999 earned the most coveted award in the field of children’s books when she received the Caldecott Award for her illustrations in Snowflake Bentley.

Mary Azarian moved to a small hill farm in northern Vermont in 1963. She and her partner farmed with horses and oxen, kept chickens, a milk cow and sheep, made maple syrup and raised three sons as well as a large vegetable and flower garden. These years on the farm became the basis for the subjects she has chosen to depict in her woodcut prints.

In 1969, she started Farmhouse Press and began producing woodcut prints, first printing by hand and eventually printing on a 19th century Vandercook proof press. Her initial prints were done in black and white, but she soon began experimenting with adding color. Trained as a painter as well as a printmaker, she developed a non-traditional technique of adding the color with water based paints rather than with individual color blocks.