My 2021 Artweeks exhibition was inspired by the beautiful British countryside, gardens, wildlife and the changing seasons. I have always loved plants and flowers; not only beautiful gardens, but also wild flowers and weeds. The appreciation of our fantastic British birds is fuelled by watching the many visitors to our garden bird table. We also have several bird feeders suspended from the low branches of a tree, which are in constant use and much appreciated. I have a pair of binoculars at the ready on my kitchen windowsill, so that I can watch their antics up close without disturbing them.
The type of printing I do is reduction linocut printing: a single Lino block is carved “reduced” in stages and the colours are over printed in layers from each carved stage.
I enjoy the challenge of rendering a picture using bold shapes and a limited number of colours. I aim for a mix of a strong, almost geometric style whilst retaining a degree of botanical or physical accuracy for the subject. I relish the combination of artistry, technical challenge and luck that is needed to produce a print, and I’m constantly in awe of what is revealed when the paper is peeled back from the block.
Gerry Coles OAS
I discovered Linocut Printmaking quite late on in life compared to most people I talk to, who seem to have dabbled at school.
My education was seriously lacking in that respect - maybe I just went to the sort of school where they didn't willingly give the kids sharp objects.
I enjoyed painting and drawing very much as a child and although I studied Art up to A level, there I stopped. Life intervened and somehow, something I loved became something I never did.
The seeds of change were sown when I visited the Victoria gallery in Bath a few years ago and saw and exhibition of wonderful relief prints which made me want to rush off and try for myself.
To paraphrase Mark Twain - "I never let schooling interfere with my education" so I bought myself a small kit and I started to teach myself how to carve and print with Lino. I was hooked.
Although largely self taught, I love to develop my skills and I regularly seek out workshops to update and improve my techniques.
After two successful entries in their Open Exhibitions, I was invited to become a member of Oxford Art Society in 2019.
I took part in Artweeks at Chalgrove in 2018 and 2019, online in 2020 and a solo show in 2021. I enjoy exhibiting at local exhibitions throughout South Oxfordshire, including Thame Art crawl. One of my prints “Christmas in the Covered Market” was selected to be included in the Oxford Art Book published in 2018.
My striking and colourful linocuts also make excellent images for greetings cards. I now have over 60 of my designs professionally made into beautiful cards using recycled cardstock.
I am teaching a series of 1 day linocut workshops in Autumn 2021 (find them in the Workshops section of this website)
I now regularly exhibit and sell at local art shows and sell online though ETSY and ARTFINDER, both at home and internationally.