As I am writing this in my studio, I can smell printing ink. It makes me think of a bygone age of typewriters and manual newspaper presses in which output was directly linked to skill, patience and having a certain ‘knack’ with your equipment.
I fell upon lino cutting accidentally earlier this year. Moving house meant that my painting kit – easels, paints, brushes etc, had all been packed away for a month or more, and I found myself making frequent visits to our new house to meet with electricians, builders and various deliverymen. With time on my hands but little space or equipment with which to paint, I turned instead to lino cutting.
Print making is an interesting way to develop sketches, as it forces you to simplify an image down to black and white sections. Taking away the mid-range grey tones makes the image much more graphic, and easier to read from a distance. That said, the selection of lino-cutting blades available is an invitation to experiment with mark making, and I found myself adding in diagonal ‘sketch’ lines similar to Lichtenstein’s ‘comic’ pop art paintings. As well as being compact, lino is also very portable, ideal for anyone ‘on the move’.