Here’s something a little different from my hearts.
Over the last few years I’ve started linocutting, I love it, it suits my textiles background as to me it’s about colour and pattern. I’m based at The Maws in Shropshire.
I’ve had this idea in my head for a while ‘Pheasantries’ a couple of pheasants tipping their hats to each other. There are so many pheasants around at the moment and the colours of them are just amazing.
So I began on Friday night to get the image in my head down onto paper…
Next I had to transfer it to the lino and remember to flip it. As when it’s printed the image will be reversed.
I find it best to use a permanent marker and just get the basic idea of a plan onto the lino. Then the cutting begins…
This is going to be a reduction print, which means I will keep cutting the same piece of lino as I print layers of colour on top of each other, building up the image. It also means it will be a limited edition print as once I’ve cut the lino I’ll never be able to print the same picture again. I’ve chosen to have this pair on a white background so the first job is to cut out all of the background.
I printed a pale yellow and grey as the base colours of my birds. As I cut and print the layers I’ll print the darker and darker colours on top ( makes sense )
I printed the red heads next keeping the eye’s yellow.
Looked like a good start, and it was 2.30 in the morning so I thought I’d better go to bed.
In the gallery at Two for Joy, Maws all day Saturday so started again after tea in the evening. I cut some more feather details and printed a slightly darker grey over the wings. At the same time I printed the blue/green heads. I knew I’d be printing a darker colour over the bodies next so I wasn’t worried about being messy. Nice to see they’re starting to look like pheasants.
The heads looked a bit flat and I wanted a bit more shine and depth so I added some detail and printed a brighter, lighter blue over the top.
Time to figure out the bodies. Working out how I was going to get the image in my head onto the paper was a bit of a head challenge, no let’s be honest it was driving me nuts how to work out all the colours I wanted to include and how to cut what, where.
I mixed a brown, and rolled a yellow and a red to get a nice graduation of colours…
Then I rolled it onto the latest linocut with a swirl…
and Yey !!
it was really starting to work. Happy I was going in the right direction and very late again, close to 2am I thought I’d better stop and sleep.
Sunday morning dog walk to wake me up, and make sure Lexi would be sleepy for the afternoon, I was excited to get back to my pheasants.
Building up the colours I want to show through as I cut away, I began the second bird with this gorgeous golden breast. I rolled the colours until they merged again, so I could print more than one colour in one go.
After cutting more, I could add the body colours and bring out the patterns in the tail feathers. The tail took a bit of figuring out, which bit, what colour, knowing I would finish it off with black on top. I masked off the feet so as not to lose the grey.
Nearly there, happy and excited. At this point I was working on 9 so hoping nothing would go wrong and I’d finish with 9 prints.
Next to tackle the hats. Just a dark grey base, before cutting away and finishing with black to give them their shape.
Cut, cut, cut… just the final black layer of detail to print. A bit scary around the eyes, hope it all lines up!
Feeling very pleased with myself, only 8 more to print.
This print took about 30 hours to complete and I finished up with 9 lovely prints. Each one is unique, they are all hand printed, colours mixed slightly differently plus all those cutting marks which add to the movement of this piece.
I’ve put 1 and 2 up on my website unframed for £200 each.