Arts and Entertainment

Block print artist draws strength from art to fight cancer

Sequim artists Randy and Sallie Radock wanted to be a part of the 2010 Sequim Arts Studio Tour but simply couldn't.

Randy Radock, undergoing his seventh out of eight rounds of chemotherapy for a tumor discovered during a routine colonoscopy a little more than six months ago, tires easily and couldn't dedicate himself to the long hours required to participate. Instead, the husband-and-wife pair decided to open their home studio - RandStar Images and Blockprint Studio - to the public separately from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Saturday, July 16-17.

"We welcome the public to enjoy our artwork and studio Friday and Saturday and then we will rest on Sunday," Radock said.

Sequim artist Randy Radock carves an eagle into a block while working in his home studio.    Submitted photos

The couple isn't trying to compete with the tour, Radock assured; they simply want to participate in the weekend's festivities.

Assured by his oncologist that all of the cancerous tumor and lymph nodes were removed, Radock was given the choice to undergo traditional or nontraditional methods of chemotherapy. He chose to have treatments orally because it was the least invasive and he still could travel - which he did - to Croatia, Montenegro, Albania and then Crete.

Upon his return, Radock helped launch the Art in the Library program, has spent hundreds of hours in the studio, entered two juried shows (he was accepted into both), and worked in the Landings Art Gallery in Port Angeles.

Being on the move, Radock said, helps keep his mind off the constant battle his body fights day and night against cancer.

"My symptoms from the treatment seem to be minimal and I still get out to play golf (nine holes) on Fridays," Radock said. "I am looking forward to the end of the treatment, getting back my energy and playing 18 holes of golf."

The Radocks moved to Washington from Illinois via Wisconsin in the mid-1960s. After raising their children and retiring from careers in engineering and nursing, they moved from Woodinville to the Olympic Peninsula.

In 1999, they enrolled in art classes and tried several media before finding "relief printing," which appealed to their creative natures because of its versatility.

Relief printing, Radock explained, encompasses creating - then while thinking of the results in reverse - carving a design into a block and inking the block with a variety of tools.

Blocks can be made from wood, linoleum or clay-based material. Handmade paper, papyrus or tapa cloth is placed on the inked block and hand pressed to transfer the image to the chosen material. Because the carved areas are lower than the surface of the block, they remain ink-free and allow the color and texture of the paper to become an element of the image.

With so many variables, Radock said, each print is a unique piece of art.

Before they knew it, their hobby flourished into a new career. Individually, they've received awards in juried and open art shows and have work exhibited in galleries, art centers, restaurants, boutiques, bookstores, hotels and lodges throughout the U.S. and Canada, Crete, Croatia, England, Kenya, Chile, New Zealand, the Philippines and the South Pacific.

The studio, located at 1021 N. Littlejohn Way in the Sherwood Village, usually is open only by appointment.

For more information, go online to www.randstar, stop by during the open studio hours or call 681-0382.

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