The Trippe Gallery
Philip Brynes McMartin
Philip McMartin, a native New Yorker, was a small town newspaper reporter, photographer and filmmaker, and broadcast news anchorman. His work took him to Washington, DC in 1963, and he chose to live in Annapolis to pursue his lifelong passion, sailing.
In 1963, Annapolis was still essentially a waterman's town. The Annapolis City Dock was teeming with skipjacks, workboats and watermen. Philip began photographing scenes and producing a series of large format black and white prints. By the late 60's, he turned his efforts to woodcut printing.
The series of woodcuts were done over approximately a 5 year period. He produced a total of about 20 woodcuts beginning in 1968 which he sold with some success through an Annapolis gallery.
All the woodcuts are done on white pine blocks approximately 11/2 " thick. He would sketch with pencil from photographs directly onto the wood surface then use a craft knife and 3 or 4 small carving tools to produce the relief carvings. As the number of blocks progress, they show more detail and refinement although they all retain the stylized elongation and curvature present in the early images.
The woodcuts themselves were placed in storage after his death. In 2012, Master Printer Kevin Garber spied the blocks in the workshop of McMartin's Master Craftsman son, Jim, in his furniture shop in Wittman, Md. They collaborated to bring the woodcuts back to life. The collection "McMartin Rediscovered" was shown at The Academy Art Museum in Easton and the Maryland Hall of Creative Arts in Annapolis. Only 20 of each print has been printed. Only a few of the prints remain available today.