Artist Joan Dix Blair works in woodcut and etching, using traditional techniques. Her interest lies with mark-making that is in tune with her material - whether it be copper or wood. The artist's vocabulary includes abstraction, simplification, and storytelling. Printmaking is her written language. Variant unique prints occur from the same plate.
The artist's subject is the landscape. The series of etchings involving salamanders and their habitat occupied the artist for several years. The series includes long etchings presented as scrolls and a ceramic installation.
In 2018, Blair began a new series of etchings based on the typology of oak leaves, and one of these etchings has been included in the Southern Graphics Council's Traveling Exhibit 2019-21. Blair's drypoint renderings of oak leaves are presented as a boxed portfolio.
She titled a recent exhibit "Leaves" with a dual meaning: they are drypoint portraits of individual leaves and the prints are evidence of the the artist's life. About plants, Blair quotes neurologist Oliver Sacks: "ferns are survivors." Also Painter Luchita Huetado: "Trees are our closest relatives because they breathe out and we breathe in."
The most important influence on her technical process was gained from the Master Printers at Kathan Brown's Crown Point Press in San Francisco, CA.