Printing making is an ancient process of transferring an image from a base using ink or paint. This is used to create multiple images that are, for most part, identical. There are many different styles and techniques for printmaking, and many different material used depending on your chosen process. Some of the most common are: woodcuts, where an image is carved into wood and then transferred to paper or fabric; linocuts, which use linoleum instead of wood; etching, where the artist carves into waxed coat metal and then dips the plate in acid, and Lithography, where the drawing goes on a flat surface with an oil based paint and then coated with a water based liquid.
These many processes have been extremely important in the spread of literacy, art and religion, as well as connectivity. Prints and printing presses enabled the early mass production of books, which made them less expensive and more accessible to the lower class. With more books and writings out, more people were able to learn to read. These was also used to showcase art, which also spread culture and ideas. Prints also enabled the first magazines to be created, which aided in the spread of news and current events. People could learn about what was happening across their state, country, and even continents more rapidly than they could be spoken mouth. These two things were also used as apparatuses for the spread of religion, as religious ideas could be conveyed in a simplified format aided by pictures to a wider audience.
The above image is a woodcut print titled "Prowling Cat" by Eileen Mayo. (source) This pictures a short hair, solid colored cat "prowling" around in deep grass. It also seems to be passing a leafy plant. As for specifics, the cat has no visible pupils and has its right front paw raised, mid step. However, I notice that most of the movement of this piece is not in the step. Starting from the nose-- as the eye is drawn to the most intense empty space of the print-- the viewer is almost pulled up through the face and into the bend of the grass, guided back down into the back-- as all the grass seems to point in that direction-- and then ushered down the tail. It is rather incredible how Mayo is able to guide the eye around the piece with organic shapes, which does not push us to travel too fast. The tiny flecks of white around the cat's fur to show difference almost require time to for us to see the muscle and build of the feline. this print is extremely well done, as it suggests so much movement, not only in the cat, but in our own eyes. The simplicity of the cat and it's empty eyes also leave the viewer space to interpret what the cat is actually doing. We may wonder, what are its motives? Is it hunting? Or just enjoying a warm day?