Preparing for my demonstration of linocutting in the NEWASHGATE gallery in Farnham. 10.6.17
Thoughts . . .
FINE ART PRINTMAKING versus graphic reproduction
With the advent of cheap digital copies I feel that the status of the fine art printmaker has been eroded.
In my opinion, the process of producing a “good” fine art print takes years to perfect ; to begin, drawing and painting skills have to be mastered – then and only then – can one embark on the road to becoming a fine art printmaker.
A fine art print should not be considered as a “copy” – if you want a “copy” of an original drawing or painting, you can get high quality digital reproductions and many artists, myself included, take advantage of this by reproducing digital copies of artwork which can be sold for a fraction of the price of an original painting. The popularity of some reproductions have led to artists like Scottish Jack Vetriano going on to command some astronomic prices for their originals when they come up for auction. “The Singing Butler”, by Verriano sold the highest number of copies of any reproduction in 1992 and led to a glowing career. Not bad for a self taught artist ! Personally I don’t like his work but that’s another story.
In days of old, if artists wanted copies of their work, they had to go to a specialist commercial Offset Litho company and have a minimum of 250 copies made but this was a time consuming and very expensive exercise.
Following on from the digital revolution in the 1980’s, home computers could be hooked up to ink jet or laser printer and some very good quality “copies” could be made quickly, in short runs and more importantly – cheaply. Now, for the very best quality digital reproduction you need to enlist the services of a specialist digital printing company, with a “top end” high resolution scanner and a Giclee” printer.
“Giclee” means “little squirt” in French : very expensive inks are simply squirted at a piece of paper, resulting in a copy that specialists claim will last for 70 years. Alternatively, a fine art print – if it has been created on acid free paper, with good quality inks, will last for hundreds of years as witnessed by the wood engravings of Renaissance artists from the 15th century !
I consider myself fortunate to have begun my formal training with a one year Foundation Course in Art and Design in 1968-9. In addition to learning the fundamentals of drawing, painting and sculpture, we experimented with various forms of printmaking including mono-prints, lino cuts, etching & screen printing. My studies were further enhanced by three years of graphic design plus a post graduate year of illustration.
Furthermore, when I lived in London, I worked at the studio of Maureen Black, one of the founder members, of “Greenwich Printmakers” and she encouraged me to experiment with aquatint, (a method of etching used to produce varying levels of tone). Over the ensuing years, I’ve dabbled with intaglio printmaking and although I exhibited with Greenwich Printmakers I didn’t really consider myself a “printmaker” until much later, when I became a member of Portsmouth’s “Omega Printmakers”. I have since discovered the joys of Wood Engraving, lino cutting and collagraphs and now make and show fine art prints in a number of different galleries.
I will add some descriptions of popular methods of fine art printmaking later. . .
A selection of my limited edition prints are now stocked by The Jack House Gallery 121 High Street Old Portsmouth.
Woodbridge Tide Mill limited edition hand pulled Linocut copyright chrisnwood allrightsreserved
Woodbridge Tide Mill Limited Edition Lino cut copyright Chris N Wood All rights reserved
St Thomas and the Dolphin Limited Edition Hand Pulled Linocut copyright chriswoodartist
Phoenix canariensis and the Castle one off hand pulled Linocut with colours applied with small rollers Copyright Chris N Wood All Rights Reserved
“Svea” Designed in 1937 Finally launched in 2017. A contemporary Swedish J Class Copyright Chris N Wood all rights reserved. Limited edition of 150 – some very slight variation with the colours of the edition as the blue is a mixed colour and almost impossible to recreate !
“Facing the Music” copyright Chris N Wood all rights reserved 2017
St Thomas & The Dolphin copyright Chris N Wood
“Shoalway and the Round Tower” copyright Chris N Wood
The above was recently described as “Grime Art” – not a term I was familiar with but I think it was intended as a compliment !
Botaurus Stellaris” Bittern : Endangered Species Copyright ChrisNWood All Rights Reserved Limited Edition Linocut
HMS 33 Royal Naval Dockyard Limited edition Lino Cut available now
copyright Chris N Wood all rights reserved £195
“Summer Visitor to the Camber” copyright Chris N Wood. The first of a new series of limited edition prints – available now !
Camber Dock Old Portsmouth : Limited Edition Hand Pulled Linocut copyright ChrisNWood All rights Reserved 2018
“The Bridge Tavern” Linocut © www.chriswoodartist.com all rights reserved . site size of lino block 420x297mm. Prints Available from Jack House Gallery Portsmouth £195 unframed
“The Pembroke” Linocut © www.chriswoodartist.com all rights reserved . site size of lino block 420x297mm Prints Available from Jack House Gallery Portsmouth £195 unframed
“The King Street Tavern” Linocut © www.chriswoodartist.com all rights reserved . site size of lino block 420x297mm £195 unframed
And and here’s the 2016 version of the King Street Tavern seen from King Street Copyright Chris N Wood All Rights Reserved 2016 £195 unframed
“Portsmouth Point” Linocut © www.chriswoodartist.com all rights reserved . site size of lino block 420x297mm Prints Available from Jack House Gallery Portsmouth £195 unframed
“The Old Customs House, Gunwharf Quays” Limited Edition Lino Cut © Chris N Wood www.chriswoodartist.com All rights reserved 2015 site size of lino block : paper size 700 x 500mm £195 unframed
“Ship & Castle” (with HM Naval Dockyard, HMS Warrior and AC45’s leaving port for a days racing) Limited Edition Lino Cut © Chris N Wood www.chriswoodartist.com All rights reserved 2015 site size of lino block :
“Woody Enjoys a Day at the Races” Limited Edition Hand Pulled Linocut © Chris N Wood http://www.chriswoodartist.com All rights reserved. 2016 available from Jack House Gallery Portsmouth
“Corvid” Inspired by a Poem by Gareth Toms, image Copyright Chris N Wood All Rights Reserved
A crop of new prints exploring ideas for my new publication copyright Chris. N Wood All Rights Reserved
“Fire Monkey” AKA Colobus Monkey Copyright Chris N Wood
“Night Fishing” Lino Cut © Chris N Wood www.chriswoodartist.com All rights reserved 2015 site size of lino block :
“4 x Trimmers Trimming” Limited Edition Hand Pulled Linocut © Chris N Wood http://www.chriswoodartist.com All rights reserved. 2016 available from Jack House Gallery Portsmouth
“BAR Passing E Cowes” Limited edition hand pulled lino cut printed on snowden cartridge 500x700mm Copyright Chris N Wood All Rights Reserved – available from Jack House Gallery High St Old Portsmouth
“Phalacrocorax Carbo” Limited Edition Hand Pulled Linocut © Chris N Wood http://www.chriswoodartist.com All rights reserved. 2016 available from Jack House Gallery Portsmouth
“Block & Swivel” 2 colour Linocut © www.chriswoodartist.com all rights reserved 2014
Estuarine Memories : A self portrait Copyright Chris. N Wood All Rights Reserved
“Garthsnaid” Etching & Aquatint ©www.chriswoodartist.com all rights reserved
“Run Aground” Etching & Aquatint © www.chriswoodartist.com
Thames Barge “Spinaway C” Copper Sulphate Etching into Aluminium Plate.
“BLUE BLOB” Copper Sulphate Etching © http://www.chriswoodartist.com all rights reserved 2013
“RED BLOB” Copper Sulphate Etching © http://www.chriswoodartist.com all rights reserved 2014
“Ruby & Figure of 8” 2 Colour Monoprint 420 x 297mm October 2012 © copyright chriswoodartist all rights reserved This was drawn as a demonstration (of how not to do it) for my life drawing students during the Artspace Advanced Life Drawing Sessions @ Portsmouth Grammar School.