Where do you live / work?
I live in Felixstowe on the Suffolk coast. I work from home. The house once belonged to my grandfathered so I’ve known the house and town all my life. My print workshop is a converted garage.
How did you first get into doing linocuts?
I took the tradition route to art college by doing a general art and design course before doing a degree. We got the chance to try all the various disciplines but as soon as I walked into the print room I was hooked. The smell, the prints hanging up to dry, the wonderful antique machinery. . . wonderful stuff!
Did any particular artists inspire you?
Many artists inspire me. I love the work of Eric Ravilious and Paul Nash the most. I’m also hugely inspired by much of the design produced in the UK from the 1920’s to the 50’s – that means anything from books and textiles to advertising and ceramics.
What do you most like about the medium?
I like the way the medium makes you simplify the visual language you use. So your design has to be bold and your colour palette restricted. You often have to think in a different way to find the solution.
What is the hardest thing?
A lot of what makes lino cutting and printing enjoyable also makes it hard and sometimes damn right infuriating! It can be like puzzle solving. Cutting and printing lino can be quite physically taxing especially when printing a large edition. And of course it is extremely time consuming too. Sometimes making that first cut on a new block of lino can be he hardest thing.
Where do you get the ideas for your subjects?
One thing I don’t have trouble with is ideas! I normally have a long list of potential prints. Most of the time they come from my environment. Plants are a love of mine so they are often the catalyst for a new print.
Any good linocut stories?
The first time I picked up a tool and tried to do some cutting I ended up with it stuck in my hand! This was literally in the first seconds. I learnt my lesson – always have your left hand behind the direction you are cutting.