Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year has been a rather wet one! After battling through the elements, we’ve seen fantastic castles, otherworldly orbs and beautiful seascapes. Over the weeks the judges have selected their favourite works and the contestants are one step closer to the £10,000 commission and £500 of art materials from us at Cass Art. We caught up with each of the heat winners to find out a bit more about their experience of the show, their work, and the materials they love to use.
I had never been to Plymouth before until l my adventure with Sky Arts, when on the evening before I went to visit the location, I still didn’t know from what aspect of the coast line I had to work with until the following morning. I found it a really beautiful landscape, but somewhat daunting as it was a huge landscape with possible views everywhere. Smeatons tower was only my second ever coastal landscape, the first coastal landscape didn’t turn out quite as well as Smeatons tower, so I was some what nervous of attempting another coastal landscape. It’s a beautiful location, with a huge range of possibilities for lino prints, for me texture in the landscape is a big plus, i.e. Rocks, so seeing the cliffs was a big help! Printmaking is not meant to be done outdoors, and to draw, carve and print a lino print in 4 hours in atrocious weather is like flying to Australia and back in one day, it’s virtually impossible.
My biggest fear was the wind and rain, as the carving wouldn’t be affected by the weather it’s the printing that would. I used Zerkall paper which works well with hand printing, but is heavy enough not to blow away in the wind. trying to lay the paper onto the inked lino bock was my biggest fear as the paper could blow in the wind and upset all my registration, keep in mind its high pressure, printing with 20 mins to go with Stephen Mangan and a camera crew and the general public all watching on! Luckily my print came out well. It was a big shock to me to win the heat considering the atrocious weather conditions that morning! Overall it was a really fun experience, and it was really lovely to meet the people of Plymouth, all whom told me that I had captured there true Plymouth!
I love the graphic nature of lino, you really have to analyse the landscape to create a lino from it. I suppose in creating a lino you have to find what the most important elements of the landscape is. I also really enjoy carving and creating all the different textures, and the actually printing is the best bit, it’s like magic seeing print being printed for the first time! I was proud to be the only print maker in the semi-finals, sometimes I feel that print isn’t revered as painting, and hopefully that will change in the future, with print makers like myself, showing the process in detail, removing the mystery surrounding it.