Originally from southern Illinois and now residing in Middleton WI with my fiancée Valerie. I am a self-taught printmaker and book artist. I have been drawing since I could remember.
How did you get started in printmaking?
I started out as a book artist and was constantly looking for new ways to decorate the books I made. After carving a few blocks I thought, hey I like this. I eventually changed my focus to printmaking.
Describe where you work.
I have a small studio space in the 2nd bedroom of our apartment. I dream someday of having a full size studio!
What's your favourite printmaking process?
Linoleum block prints, which are hand-pulled and hand-colored with watercolor.
What's your creative process for any given print? (eg. sketch first? Pre-planned or free-form?)
I usually sketch out the idea first, working on the composition and such. I usually decide what size it’s going to be first, so I trace a line around the block I’m going to use. Then I trace it with soft pencil on tracing paper, then burnish the design onto the block. I go back over the design with a fine point marker just so I don’t rub off the design.
What do you enjoy most about printmaking?
Carving the blocks. Although I love the actually printing, too.
What's your least favorite part of the process?
Cleaning up after printing. Oil-based inks are a necessary evil.
What are your inspirations (other artists, people, places, events, etc.)?
My late brother, Marvin was also a print artist and has always been an amazing inspiration. I also like the work of Lyn Ward and Barry Moser. Of course, my fiancée Valerie is a constant inspiration.
How has your work changed and evolved since you started?
My earlier prints were pretty basic and not very detailed. I’m getting more and more obsessive with detail as I go on.
How do you get past creative slumps?
Read a lot and doodle in my sketchbook.
How do you promote your work?
I have a blog (markbhill.blogspot.com). I also have my work on Etsy and I have a fan page on Facebook.
Any other comments or advice for others who want to try making hand-pulled prints?
Be patient and learn from other artists as much as you can.