Sunday, December 18, 2011



My initial training

was in conservation of prints and drawings. I loved handling old prints and was very good at the invisible repairs and when I’m feeling frivolous I’d tell you I was trained in touching up Old Masters. Cutting mounts for Rembrandt prints and making tiny repairs for wormholes in a Hokus

ai are among th

e highlights from this time.

At the same time I was also discovering

that I am dyslexic and keeping up with the chemistry and all the scientific changes was quite a challenge for me. So for a while I took a complete change in direction and worked as a rendering artist in animation. While it was very enjoyable being involved in films and TV, and

[I was able to] apply my attention to detail, I missed havi

ng full creative input and I never lost my interest for Print.

Why Printmaking


After a while, it was clear that my skills were being replaced by computers, which wasn’t direction I wanted to pursue myself. I spent some time traveling around Africa while I tried to determine what direction I should take next. Thirteen countries, 1,000 pre-digital photographs, sound recordings and several boxes of artifacts later I returned to London and found it really difficult to go back to work where I was to follow the direction of an art director.

After, many evening classes, portfolio preparation classes and a part time foundation course later I went to college for a Fine Arts degree. I went to Exeter in Devon partly because the color of the soil which was reminiscent of central Africa! I also chose Devon because I knew that my artistic interests had more to do with the land than with the urban angst. While in college I found myself gravitating towards printmaking again. There is something about the processes that draws people with an interest in the science. The indirect way of working appeals to me and I believe that printmaking particularly suits the dyslexic mind. I already have a tendency to see things back to front, and have no problem transposing things, turning them around in my mind and even working in negative when necessary.

What is your favorite print medium and why?

I think if I had to choose one process I would narrow it down to Intaglio; but that will have to include drypoint, collagraph and acrylic resist etching. I teach and keep my hands in with all forms of printmaking. My work will often combine many different forms of printmaking in one piece. Some of my most recent work uses collagraph plates, which are inked up with different intaglio colors, and then have transparent relief ink rolled over the surface, then the chine collé tissues are laid over theplate. The colored tissues have been printed on with a drypoint and hand tinted. Together with the inked up collagraph plate and chine colléd tissue are added plant materials that have been inked up by passing through the etching press on an inky plate. When all these different elements are in place, it is then that all the parts are printed and adhered on to damp cotton paper with the etching press.

Tell us about your work:

All of my work has some kind of environmental angle to it. Themes I have worked with include the regeneration of the land; the purification of the water that was polluted by the landfill; a commentary about lost orchards; and a celebration of the easily overlooked wonders such as common weeds and bugs that have an important role to play in biodiversity. My most recent work is all about “Devon Hedgerows” which actually support a phenomenal amount of wildlife and are structures of great beauty in their own right.

Tell us about your Print Shop:

I help run Double Elephant Print Workshop for the last 15 years, where people can come participate in a variety of printmaking courses. This is a non-profit community interest company run by six artists. I was one of the two original founders and I offer technical support to the membership, run several of the courses and undertake editioning work from time to time.

Double Elephant has a very active outreach department. We have several small, portable presses that the team takes out to schools, art societies, prisons and anywhere that would like to experience printmaking at first hand. We also offer Printmaking on Prescription where people with mental health issues can be referred by local doctors to benefit from the therapeutic aspects of printmaking and self-expression in a safe environment.

How do you balance being a Master Printer and your own work?

Finding a balance between running a print workshop and being able to produce my own work is very difficult. On the plus side, I have access to excellent equipment just a three-minute walk from where I live and access to inspiring colleagues. The difficulty is that a lot of my energies are taken up with helping other people achieve their printmaking aims, sometimes at the expense of my own. A key thing for me is to always have a project in hand and something to work towards.

How do you promote your work?

Promoting my own work has always been something I find very difficult. I’m not accustomed to sticking my neck out and getting noticed. However I am very happy promoting the Workshop and over the years I have become quite well known in the area because of that. I have been lucky to be a member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and have work in the Devon Gallery with a very strong printmaking reputation. I know I should get my stuff out there more, but it is difficult to put in the time necessary for this, plus I’m very picky and will not have my work mixed up with reproductions if I can help it.

Key promotional events for me are open studios. These are great fun and people will travel around the area to visit artists in their studios. I have a wide range of work to offer, ranging from my original print, handmade cards, postcards, hand printed cushions, and hand printed bags. I also have my Etsy website and an art page on FaceBook where I have more fans than friends. I like to keep it relatively Etsy “light” on FaceBook because I don’t want to put off people who are really fans of my work. I’m finding it an interesting way for people to see my work and get feedback about what people like.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.

I’m rapidly turning into an eccentric, little old lady…

Check out Lynn's Etsy Shop


minouette said...

That multiple printmaking medium method sounds fascinating! Beautiful results.

p.s. 'collé' has an accent aigu not an accent grave

Jacqui Dodds said...

Very inspiring to read about your work Lynn. Also interesting to see how your printmaking has evolved and how diverse the Double Elephant workshop is.

Red Tail said...

A little late to the party, but I must say your career, art and motivations are inspiring. One day, I hope to visit and take a workshop with you - all those multiple methods! Wish I was closer!