After working full-time for 31 years, I retired (well, mostly!) in 2012 and was able to pursue my interest in art. I began painting, in acrylics and watercolours, preferring to interpret landscapes and images from nature. Much of my inspiration was drawn from the surroundings of our small farm, which teams with birds and animals. Like most farms in this area, the soil is very poor, but we have wildflowers, trees and rocks in abundance. The navigable canal which borders our farm and the nearby large marshland are other sources of interest and inspiration.
I also began to explore working with fibres and wood from the farm and enjoyed many adventures felting wool and silk, repurposing fabrics, crafting items from wood and birch bark and sewing. This was a real surprise to me, as my relationship with needles and sewing machines had never been particularly harmonious!
Two years ago, in an effort to improve my painting, I thought I would try another medium to build my overall skill as an artist. So I began to learn printmaking and found a medium I loved and could not wait to explore. I began with relief printing, using wood and linoleum (lino) blocks, often burnishing by hand. I then began to learn intaglio techniques including dry point (using an acetate or plexiglass plate), metal plates etched in an acid bath, collagraphs (using cardboard as the plate), lithography (with gorgeous old litho stones in use for decades), and other materials such as Sintra (a dense PVC foam).
What is it about printmaking that appeals to me so much? Several things, I think. The history of printmaking and the fact that many materials and techniques have changed very little over the centuries. I appreciate that my prints, each one an original work, are more accessible to those purchasing art, I love the planning process for a print and the preparation involved, and most of the time I love the puzzle and problem-solving elements of producing a print! I appreciate the range of techniques that are available for making a plate or block, applying the ink and choosing the paper which, when combined, provide an almost endless number of ways to express myself. Perhaps most of all, I am fascinated by the alchemy of the press. No matter how meticulous my preparation, I cannot entirely control what happens when I put ink, paper and block or plate together. I always hold my breath when I lift the press blankets and peel away the paper to reveal how the press has transformed my image.
I hope you enjoy the images on my website and share the pleasure I get in creating artworks that celebrate the natural and the built world around me.
Each print is an original work of art, not a reproduction, created by making (carving, building, etching) a plate or block, which I then use to transfer ink to paper, either by hand or with a press. Each of my prints is numbered (unless it is a unique print) and signed, and most of my editions are small (10 prints or fewer). I love the history and traditions of printmaking, the process and the planning, and the alchemy of what happens in the press, beyond my control.
I paint in acrylics and watercolours on canvas, wood and paper. Cows are one of my favourite subjects!
Together with my husband, Nick, I produce an eclectic range of items for the home and to wear, re-purposing and recycling items where we can and using wool and silk fibres, natural linen, and wood from our woodlot.