This is the second image in the “Shouting At The World” series, inspired by the gargoyles and grotesques found on many medieval churches around Britain. This particular gargoyle is from a church in Lincolnshire. I have intentionally designed the image to have a similar look to the picture cards in a deck of cards.
Still not able to get into my studio (‘Essential travel’ only rule still applies) I decided to set myself the challenge of drawing, cutting and printing an image in one day. Not only that, but decided to try my hand at a self-portrait. Having never attempted a portrait of any kind, self or otherwise, the fact that the resulting image looks vaguely human is a bonus to me! I’m told I look tired – oh well, so be it. I have gone for the negative rather than positive lines simply because of the time constraints and the difficulties of working at a small scale (15cm x 8cm) – I only have a small printing press available at home.
A project conceived some time ago, I finally got around to printing this image as a greeting card, complete with hand-cut type. The design is a lino-cut based as closely as possible on the patterns created by inking up an origami face – seen in an earlier post. I have been asked if anyone would want a card that says ‘Shout!’ but I think it is appropriate for any occasion: shout “Hurray it’s your birthday!”, shout “Congratulations on your new job”, shout “It’s a Boy!” and so on – the possibilities are endless, it just depends what message you choose to write inside.
The Machrie Moor Standing Stones on the Isle of Arran, are some of the most beautifully placed stones I have ever seen. They are at one with the landscape, their shapes echoing the surrounding hills perfectly. I have wanted to represent them in print for some time.
This piece was completed using a technique that is new to me – lino printing in a ‘jigsaw’ style of working. The original in-field sketch was painted using water colours, then transferred to soft-cut lino. I cut the block into several sections, inking them up and printing them in separate colours at the same time. This continued with further cuts being made before cutting the final outline block to tie everything together.
In an idle moment (tea break) during the cutting of the grotesques design, I was toying with the idea of representing various gargoyles and church figures using Origami. Having made the form for a basic face, I decided to see how it would print if I just ran a roller over it before pressing it onto paper. I was really quite taken with the resulting image but it needed a mouth! This was added afterwards using a piece of lino with teeth and lips carved into it. When I get another idle moment, I’m sure I will pursue this idea further! Watch this space…
Having taken the photographs of the various Lincolnshire Grotesques, I chose three that I felt were most appropriate to the theme of ‘Shouting at The World’ and drew them as a group. The feature that struck me most when I first saw them in situ, was how often the figures are depicted holding their mouths wide open. I exaggerated this by having one of them holding open another’s mouth. The lino prints were a three-colour image, the second layer being drawn into so as to allow the first layer to show through with some degree of texture. The final, detailed layer was intentionally fairly rough-cut, in keeping with the old, often crumbling nature of the figures.
I do feel I am now tying up a few loose ends with the Green Man theme. I am really happy with the way the digital drawings turned out, but still need to complete a Lino-cut I started some time ago. Whilst undoubtedly it will not match the precision of the digital work, it will have a certain “workman-like” quality to it, with all the little flaws and imperfections that a “real” print has. I’m pleased with it so far – let’s see how it turns out!
I decided to return to the original drawing I made of a Green Man and use it for a Lino print. Having printed it onto paper, I again tried it on a t-shirt where I think it looks good. The ones seen here are red on white for a child-size shirt and black on khaki for an adult sized shirt.
Having printed my Green Man design on paper, I decided to try putting it on one of the most common places logos are seen – items of clothing. Using the same Lino blocks as before, I printed the design on white and grey t-shirts. Although the registration wasn’t entirely accurate, I feel the slight off-set really adds to the image. Taking the clothing idea one step further, I went to ‘Rotherham Embroidery’ located in Rotherham Indoor Market that specialises in printing and embroidery. I bought a Harrington jacket and, after a few discussions, they embroidered the design onto the breast. I have since had quite a few positive comments about the design.
The two print layers are now completed. I initially tried to produce a ‘clean’ print with no evidence of the cutting being shown. However, having made some mistakes at the inking stage, thus showing some of the cut lines, I decided to intentionally include them in the final print. As seen in the pictures, they add a certain, appropriate ‘feel’ to the final image, seemingly more organic. I am happy with the framed print.