I really enjoyed doing my chicken linocut, and I had in my mind a thought to do a more landscape type of print on the larger piece of lino I had in my drawer. I had found a really lovely bird field guide at Camilla’s secondhand bookstore in Eastbourne when I went there in the summer, and I love the illustrations and how they show so many aspects of the bird:

I thought this sort of composition would work well and I took some photos of the drawings (originally by Trevor Boyer, according to the Acknowledgments) and reversed them so the birds were facing the correct way. I then started cutting. I am still just practising really and trying out the different tools.

The problem is that the roller I have is very small and somehow doesn’t collect much ink, and what it does collect from the plate ends up being patchy and uneven, so doesn’t go on cleanly to the lino. This means that I don’t get a nice crisp print, so I have ordered a better quality roller so I am hoping it is the equipment not the operator…

Here it is, and I really like it despite the fuzziness of the black areas!

I am a very process-oriented artist, and although I like the gouache bird paintings to be really clean and even, in all my other art I really like to see the workings and process. I went to the Rachel Whiteread exhibition a few years ago at Tate Britain and loved her preliminary drawings and her experimental work with cutting and sticking paper. I like the tool marks (although I perhaps need to trim some of them so they don’t encroach so much in places) and I absolutely love cutting the lino itself.

I have ordered more sheets and some sepia brown ink, and I still have some black ink left too. My next project will be barn owls I think, as I saw a lovely photo of a pair in a tree and thought it would convert well to a print.

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