An exhibition of Flowers and Feathers (or Birds, Blooms and beyond!)
For 2021 I am exhibiting a collection of bold and colourful limited edition linocuts featuring flowers and birds.
My work is almost exclusively inspired by the beautiful British countryside, gardens, wildlife and the changing seasons. I have always loved plants and flowers; as a little girl I remember my mother gardening and telling me the Latin names of the plants (some of which I can still remember.) Many of my flower prints conjure happy memories of summers spent helping in the garden. The appreciation of our fantastic British birds is fueled by watching the many visitors to our garden bird table. We also have several bird feeders suspended from the low branches of a large 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.
Always on the lookout for ideas, initially I photograph as much as I can. I live on the edge of a small village in South Oxfordshire and there are always new things to observe while I’m out and about walking my dogs. As the year progresses - plants and trees especially have colours and forms that are amazingly diverse. Once I have an idea in mind, the shapes and colours all need to be recorded in as much detail as possible so I have a good resource of photos to work from.
When I'm back at home, I draw and re-draw the images until I have the composition that I’m happy with, then I can finally transfer it to the lino. The type of printing I do is reduction printing: a single Lino block is carved “reduced” in stages and the colours are printed in layers from each carved stage. (Do come and visit my exhibition, I will be demonstrating printing and carving as much as I can and I’ll have a display of exactly how a reduction print is produced – it’s one of those things that is a lot easier to show than to tell.)
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.
Because my prints are striking and colourful, it has transpired that they make excellent images for greetings cards. I now have nearly 50 of my designs professionally made into beautiful cards using recycled cardstock.
I will be selling these alongside my affordable framed and unframed limited edition prints.
(Prices for unframed prints start around £35, framed work starts at around £60, cards considerably less!)
I have always loved boldness in art whether in colour or black and white and I think linocut is the perfect medium for showing this off. 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 - (and often there follows a discussion of lino-related injuries.)
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 I would spend hours sketching. I studied Art up to A level, but 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 wonderful relief prints which were dark and intriguing and made me want to try for myself.
To paraphrase Mark Twain - "I never let schooling interfere with my education" so I bought myself a small linocutting 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 still regularly seek out sources to update and improve my techniques.
I was invited to become a member of Oxford Art Society in 2019.
I took part in Artweeks at Chalgrove in 2018 and 2019 and online in 2020. 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
I now regularly exhibit and sell at local art shows and sell online, both at home and internationally.
On arrival please could visitors use the hand sanitiser provided and record their name, and phone number for track and trace.
Please wear a face mask - this is an indoor venue - I will be wearing one too!
Follow normal 2m social distancing measures.
Thank you, we will all be safe.
I look forward to meeting you at venue 256 in May, do drop by and say hello.