A love affair with lino
It was a little strange how it happened. I can’t remember the exact moment. I think I saw somebody else’s work and felt inspired. Actually I think it was Lou Tonkin’s work. I fell in love with the line work and wanted to explore some more.
I rushed in. I had some cheap tools already and carved away, fast and furious. The results were satisfying, simple.
I learned a lot from the Linocut friends group on FB an was blown away by the images people were showing. I saw the fine lines and details that people could create and I knew I needed to upgrade my tools.
The lure of multi colour prints was also really seductive. The simplicity of black and white is very attractive, but being able to layer colours was intriguing.
For an art form that a lot of people associate with their school days, it is actually surprisingly complex and mentally stimulating. You have to think in terms of positive and negative and remember that you are creating an image reverse.
In order to do a reduction print, you have to carve away at the same block in order to create different layers of colour. This means you need to print on a finite amount of paper, allowing for mistakes to be made.
You then carve away again and print again with another colour. This is challenging in terms of lining up the image correctly - registration - and also that there is no going back. Each mistake reduces the amount of prints in the edition.
This is what makes limited edition reduction prints more expensive. I managed to create 17 prints of my bird image and each one is quite different.
It was an exciting process. I kept things fairly simple so that I could practice lining things up and see how colours worked together. Things didn’t always work out. Some prints didn’t make it.
I like things that have imperfections, but they have to be the right sort of imperfections if you know what I mean. It’s part of the charm of lino printing. Slight differences that are revealed due to varying levels of ink and pressure. It is a very hands on process and an afternoon of printing certainly feels pretty active.
It’s a lot of fun. I still feel like I have a lot more to explore and experiment with and I think this affair might last!
I’d love it if you could come to my joint exhibition - you can see all my new work!