Botanical printing on Paper

These creatures in hollows are the result of several printmaking processes – woodgrain prints, linocut, heat-press botanical prints and brown onion skin dip-dyeing. Creating a wood grain print requires lots of sanding, charring with a blow torch and then cleaning the wood slice with a wire brush. I have used three different linocuts – numbat, Krefft’s glider and Sooty owl. Finally, arranging eucalyptus leaves on the paper, sandwiched between wet wool blankets and ‘cooked’ in the heat press for about two minutes to transfer the images to the paper. The orange colour is obtained from a woolen blanket soaked in iron solution and the yellow from a brown onion skin ‘soup’. The aim is to achieve a variety of natural colours and textures to complement images of our native fauna.

Linocut Workshop at Merri View Gallery

On Sunday 3rd July, 12 participants came along to my Beginner’s Linocut Workshop at the Merri View Gallery, hosted by Warrnambool and District Artist’s Society. We had a busy day (9.00am to 3.00pm) learning about the tools and materials, the design process, carving the linoleum block and printing on paper. I was pleased that everyone had the opportunity to carve at least one small block and produce one or more printed cards.

As there were people unable to attend on that date and several on the waiting list, WADAS are pleased to host another workshop on Sunday 18th September. Jenny Adams is taking bookings, but we are limiting it to ten places this time, to give us a bit more elbow room! All linocut tools and equipment supplied, except bring your own apron, lunch and drawing materials.

First Solo Exhibition

I never imagined I would be invited to exhibit my artwork in a gallery, but when MOCO gallery in Halls Gap suggested I should book an exhibition a year ahead, I thought ”Maybe I’ll be ready then”. My work with wood grain and linocut prints has developed over this time and I am pleased to be able have them on show. Hall’s Gap, in the Grampians, is the ideal location for this exhibition, as the bush environment has many examples of fallen limbs and trees, stumps and hollows in the trunks of living and dead trees. These hollows are vital habitats for many bats, birds, possums, gliders and other marsupials. Hollows take many years to form, starting when limbs fall and organisms start to break down the wood, creating a cavity in the limb or trunk. Large hollows, such as those needed by black cockatoos for nesting, can only form in trees that are over two hundred years old. Due to land clearing and habitat destruction, there are very few of these old trees left, so there is much competition for hollows.

My woodgrain prints are created by firstly selecting a suitable piece of salvaged timber, perhaps firewood or a slice cut from a fallen tree. A thin slice is then sanded flat and burnt with a blow torch to raise the wood grain. For each print, the relief ink is rolled onto the wood, damp paper is placed over the inked wood and then the back of the paper is pressed with a glass baren, to transfer the ink from the wood to the paper. For my ”One Forest” series, I use an ink pen to draw tiny little trees all around the perimeter of the wood grain print. For the ”Hollows” series, I print over the woodgrain with a linocut print.

Next market – New Year’s Day at Port Fairy

Sleeping Quoll – Linocut, sepia ink on 100% cotton paper (56 x 56cm)

After three markets at Port Fairy in Nov/Dec and several artworks delivered to various galleries, I am pleased to be able to start drawing and carving some new linocuts for the new year. I am continuing to explore woodgrain prints and native fauna that shelter in tree hollows. Best wishes for a very happy festive season and a wonderful 2022. Come and say hello at the New Year’s Day Community House Market in Port Fairy.

Basalt Leek Orchids