Lino prints inspired by people and places I love.
Revisiting past experiences and appreciating current ones. Spreading joy with quirky cards.
My exhibition consists of a range of different subjects and styles. As I’m just starting out, I’m exploring anything that pops into my head! My prints are imaginative and I love working with both bold, bright colours, as well as black. I love the sharp contrast of crisp colours which make the image stand out against the white of the paper. I either print or paint the backgrounds for black prints, enabling me to experiment with colour mixing.
My prints are sunny and decorative. I am still exploring subjects and styles but if something brings me a smile, I’ll set about creating it. I have noticed that the more ideas I explore, the more ideas I get. I love how generative creativity is!
My pieces are maximum 25cm by 30cm. I do all my printing work in the living/dining room of my small rented house, which means I don’t have space for a large printing press. However, I have a nifty portable press, which is a recent purchase, and it helps me achieve consistently crisp prints. I’d love to one day have a dedicated studio space, but until then, I’ll keep creating small but perfectly formed prints, which are a great size for placing on shelves, dressers or mantelpieces.
All my prints are hand sketched first, then transferred to the lino, cut by hand and each is hand printed using safe-wash printing inks and trusty printing press. Since the pandemic, I’ve been teaching solely online, so it is really important to me that I work using my hands rather than a screen.
I began printing again last year having first dipped my toe in lino printing during my Art GCSE. After returning to England after living abroad for several years, I found myself wanting to pursue an artistic avenue again.
When the pandemic hit, like so many others, I found myself with plenty of time to create so I began by designing cards to cheer up friends and family. I have always loved making cards, and my parents still have every single one I ever made for them. As a teenager, I even sold some at a local village fair. If Instagram and Etsy had been around then, I may have been tempted to pursue a living in art. As it was, it was not seen as a viable career option, and I threw myself into learning languages, travelling and teaching English abroad instead.
Having spent the last decade and a half living or travelling abroad, it has been challenging to be limited to one place (which I’m sure a lot of people can relate to!). This has led me to appreciate the everyday and simple pleasures, as well as revisiting places I’ve travelled to. Oxford has also inspired me and I feel immensely privileged to have been living here for the last two years. I am still in awe of the architecture, beautiful parks and wildlife you find here. Red kites, in particular, make me feel I’m somewhere exotic!
The way I work is far from systematic. I tend to be invaded by a particularly pervasive idea, and I simply have to create it. I work from photos, sketch still life objects, or I use Pinterest to study images of the subject of my design. I start by sketching my ideas, perhaps with a few different options, then transfer to tracing paper and finally lino. Depending on the size of the piece, it may take an hour or several to cut. If there are several layers, it’ll take from a few days to a few weeks to print because each layer needs to dry. I find this excruciating because I’m always so impatient to see the finished design. I’m always fascinated how much a design changes from the sketch to the final print, which is part of the joy of printing for me.
I carry out my ‘proper’ job upstairs; teaching students online from my bedroom. As soon as I’m finished for the day, I start the long commute downstairs to my creative haven. I print at the dining table and thankfully, as there is only the two of us, I am able to use half the table for my printing equipment. The rest of the room is taken up with the press and clothes dryer, which has long since been used for my prints.
One day I will have a room or a studio dedicated to my printing, and I’ll never have to share my dining table with an inky roller again. Until then, I’ll continue living in my creative mess.
I’m so excited to be taking part in Artweeks, and have already been inspired and learned so much from the other artists as well as the wonderful organisers.
Thank you for visiting my exhibition and reading about my love of lino. Take a look at my flipbook to find out more about the stories and inspiration behind my designs, visit my Etsy shop or follow me on Instagram to find out more from behind the scenes.