Looking for some linocut inspiration? Here are five of my favourite artists working with lino.
1. EDWARD BAWDEN
Bawden was born just down the road from Slamseys in Braintree. He became one of the Great Bardfield Artists, working alongside other artists including Tirzah Garwood, Eric Ravilious, Joan Glass and Sheila Robinson.
The Gnat & The Lion was on display at Chelmsford Museum‘s recent exhibition ‘The Storyteller’. I love Bawden’s idea of illustrating a collection of stories and his beautiful lion. You can watch a short video about the exhibition here.
2. ANGIE LEWIN
Based mostly in Scotland these days, Lewin is inspired by clifftops and salt-marshes. Her work in lino and woodcut is extremely intricate and detailed. She is a master of line, form and colour and I marvel at her precision in printing multi-colour plates.
Her book ‘Plants and Places‘ is one of my favourites and I find it endlessly inspiring to flick through. It’s great to see small studies in her sketchbook alongside the finished print – an excellent reminder to record each step of the process in print development and evidence that great prints don’t just happen, but are the result of a lot of preparatory work and planning.
If you get a chance to visit one of Lewin’s exhibitions, I very much recommend it – I was surprised by the small scale of some her prints, given just how much was contained within them.
3. LAURA BOSWELL
I’ve been closely following Boswell online recently as her Instagram and YouTube channels are a treasure of information about relief printing. You can follow along as she answers questions about inks and demonstrates how she creates the beautifully layered prints she is famous for.
Boswell’s prints are made up of many fine layers of ink, some almost transparent, and inspired by her love of Japanese woodblock.
She has an incredibly useful ‘resources‘ section on her website, and it’s well worth checking out, whatever stage of printing you might be in.
4. DELITA MARTIN
I first read about Martin in Pressing Matters where she talks about her printmaking practice as a way to “create a visual language, to tell the story of women that have often been marginalised”. It’s interesting that she works across a range of printmaking techniques at Black Box Press Studio, using relief, gelatin, collage, lithography and stitching, finding just the right way to tell her story.
I love the scale she works on, as in the photograph above, and the vibrancy and cohesive nature of her collections. Her work reminds me that lino printing, wonderful and diverse on its own, can become even more energetic and bold when combined with other processes. It’s a fantastic lesson in not stopping with one technique, one style, but to keep pushing, combining and exploring to take each to it’s capacity.
5. CLAIRE WHITWORTH
Whitworth makes her charming lino prints in her attic studio Oxford. I found her on Instagram and was immediately captivated. She talks about finding a calmness in the methodic process of carving and printing to reveal the image and I think this sense comes through in her work; her shapes and palettes are bold and simple, her registration precise and she maximises space and scale in her compositions.
She says that she only spends a couple of afternoons a week on her printmaking and a flick through her Etsy shop illustrates just how much you can achieve with even a small amount of dedicated practice – true encouragement to keep on printing!