Born in Pampa, Texas, Andis Applewhite lives and works in Houston. She received her education in Graphic Arts from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX and soon found her voice in printmaking.
Her interest in screen-prints came from observing a demonstration during a Japanese tea ceremony at a local department store and her curiosity of woodblocks began with furniture making she did with her father. Her prints are found in the collections of the Library of Congress, Capital One Financial Services, Plano, TX, St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD, and The Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX. Andis is the current board president and a founding member of PrintMatters Houston, formed in 2009, to help raise the awareness and value of original prints. Applewhite visited her grandparents, frequently throughout her life, on their farm north of Lubbock, TX and currently commutes between her home/studio in Houston to that same farm where she is learning how to grow wine grapes and lavender.
My work is a means and expression of my understanding of life. My screen and woodblock prints tend toward the abstract expressionist or minimalist styles. The subject matter is an exploration of abstract symbolism and the dualities in life. Through the use of intuitive gesture and intentional control, I seek a balanced expression of the opposites. For example, my Obtuse Writing series probe communications that are both known and hidden within myself. These writings originate from using my dominate hand to ask questions and my non-dominate hand to answer. Surprisingly, this process unearths long forgotten and sometimes unknown, unconscious ruins. By printing the answers backward, the archetypal, symbolic nature of the now-known memories visually match the power of the communications.
For the last eight years I have concentrated on translating my work into the medium of woodblock prints. It began with my interest as a woodworker working with my dad building furniture. I started bringing leftover scraps of mesquite, mahogany and pecan wood to my studio from the woodshop to see if I could translate what I had been doing, for many years, in my screen-prints into woodcuts. Carving the wood has brought me a greater awareness of its static quality and a deeper focus and awareness of the meaning of my work.
– Andis Applewhite