Thursday, 8 December 2016

Lino Print Artists UK

Though this blog is devoted to my own lino prints. I thought I'd draw attention to the fact that IMHO there are many great landscape lino print artists around in the UK right now.

This post departs from my usual short 'succinct' format. An exception I hope you'll not mind.

The abundance of lino print artists working on landscape subjects in the UK right now means there's no end of reference for an artist who constantly reviews their own art in the way I do.
Two of my own lino prints
Creativity is fed - nourished - by encountering the creativity of other artists. Sometimes another artist's linocuts prompt ideas for ways of cutting the lino, or for new textures for example. I'm quite happy stealing ideas and techniques from others, and fashioning them into something of my own. Often, I find that seeing how another artist has solved a way of describing something, helps me think up a different way of describing it.

You can see my lino prints here: lynneroebuck.co.uk/original-prints


Lino Print Artists Loving UK Landscapes

I can see this blog post will end up 'Part I'. The list of lino prints artists working in the UK who I admire in some way is very long. Here are just four whose prints I regularly have a look at.

Ann Lewis

Two lino prints by Ann Lewis
I've been aware of Ann's linocuts for quite a few years now, and have always admired her ability to take a complex landscape and create from it a bold, beautiful composition.

Ann's compositions have a drama and clarity which makes the intricate scenes in her lino prints simply beautiful. Her talent with subtle tones and colours in combination with a bold use of contrast always has me looking twice at her distinctive original prints. I'm also a little jealous that she is surrounded by breathtaking Welsh scenery, resulting in a prolific portfolio of limited editions. Ann's background is similar to my own - she has worked as a designer too and I can see this expertise informing her work, as I hope my experience does with my own linocuts.

See more of Ann's lino prints on her website here: annlewis.co.uk


Ian Phillips

Another lino print artist in Wales. I became aware of Ian's art almost as soon as it appeared.
Ian Phillips linocuts
I'm always interested in how Ian creates texture and fluidity in his linocuts. Lino does not lend itself to these two things easily. He's bravely experimental and I greatly admire this. His muted colour palettes, like Ann's, are a delight too. I've had the great pleasure of appreciating one of his prints in the Biscuit Factory gallery in Newcastle recently, and it was lovely to come face-to-face with his art.

He works on a very different scale to me. His prints are usually about A2 size (594 x 420mm) which means he does not use a printmakers press, but hand burnishes his prints using a baren. Though the size gives him a lot more scope to create his textures than the size of my lino prints (so far) allows me, there are many practical challenges he faces that I don't. His editions are very small, often only 4, largely I suspect because of the practical challenges of working with large sheets of lino and paper. I think this is why he offers prints of his prints! That is: giclée reproductions of his original linocut prints as well as the original prints themselves.

Ian is another lino print artist with a similar background to mine. Ian worked as a freelance illustrator initially before discovering printmaking - as did I! I'm hoping to find the time to pick his brains on how he manages such large multicoloured lino prints by asking for one of his one-to-ones someday.

Ian's lino prints and giclées are available on his website: reliefprint.co.uk
 

Melvyn Evans and Carry Ackroyd

Something different. These two lino print artists have a very particular eye and create highly designed linocuts. They appeal to my fun, playful side.
Left: Melvyn Evans and Right: Carry Ackroyd
Melvyn and Carry's linocuts are both playful and rich. I often find myself studying the carefree abandon they use to compose their landscape linocuts. They put elements (trees, hills and such) wherever they want and do whatever is necessary to make it work - beautifully. Their prints are inventive, beguiling and filled with delight in the world around us. It takes a great deal of skill to pull this off without anything looking awkward or odd.

Though I've made some whole-hearted obviously fun prints like Melvyn and Carry, I always contemplate how to add a dash of this creativity to all my lino prints. A dab of something light-hearted or a smidge of the simple joy of blue skies, green hills and yellow sands is an essential ingredient as far as I'm concerned.

Melvyn's linocuts: melvynevans.com (Another printmaker who trained as an illustrator - there's a theme here isn't there).

Carry's lino prints: carryakroyd.co.uk

Of course, don't forget to pop along and look through my lino prints here: lynneroebuck.co.uk/original-prints, thank you.

 

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