Our latest guest blog is 'A passion for print ' by Anita Saunders
As a painter printmaker, I spend hour after hour, day after day dedicated to creating original artwork. I love what I do and am truly grateful for the opportunity to follow the career path I’ve chosen. I’ve found printmaking a hugely rewarding path to follow, with so many techniques to get to grips with and many more yet to explore. In terms of art history, printmaking is an incredibly rich vein to tap into, with examples of work by renowned artists from Rembrandt to Hockney and many, many more besides. We are blessed to have a huge number of contemporary printmakers in the UK. Artists who are not only keeping the traditions alive but who are pushing the boundaries with experimental techniques and new materials.
Talking point Ok, so I guess it’s no surprise to say it’s something of a passion of mine. Whenever I have works on show, I love chatting to people about the different printmaking methods I use (I could go on for hours!). I guess for many of us our first introduction to this artform was making lino and potato prints at school - and maybe that’s where it ended. Complications I admit, it can be disheartening to overhear someone dismiss something which has taken weeks of dedication to produce, as “just a print”. However, I’ve found this often comes from the mistaken belief that what they are looking at is a digitally printed reproduction of ‘an original’. Living in this digital age, it’s wholly understandable the term print is associated with something which has been produced electronically. To further complicate matters, the term ‘Fine Art print’ is widely used to describe giclée prints - the high quality, limited editioned, digital reproductions of paintings, which help make artworks accessible to a wider audience. Important message As a traditional printmaker, I am keen to pass on the message that lino prints, screen prints, etchings, aquatints, mezzotints etc are all original artworks. They are conceived, composed and created as prints – just as they appear in all their numbered, signed and limited editioned loveliness. I never tire, when given the opportunity, to see for myself how a brief chat about an image’s creation can lift the lid on a previously unknown artform. It’s brilliant to see a person’s appreciation for a particular piece grow, just by knowing a little more about how it came into being. It also reminds us that on first look, things may not always be as they appear. More information If you’d like to find out more about some of the printmaking techniques I use click here You’ll also find information boards dotted around the gallery at my forthcoming exhibition ‘Call of the Wild’, at Corinium Museum in Cirencester (1 July to 4 September 2022). If you do happen to be at the exhibition on a day when I’m there too and would like to know more, please say hello. I’ll be very happy to have a chat – and I promise I’ll keep it short!
Thank you very much, Anita, for sharing this blog. I hope it will lead to discussions amongst artists about how best to get across to viewers just what it is they are looking at and how it was created.
I hope many people will want to check out Anita's wonderful videos and posts about the different techniques she uses on her website https://www.anitasaunders.co.uk/techniques-explained
Do visit her exhibition at the Corinium Museum, Cirencester from 1 July - 4 September to see examples of all her different kinds of work. details here https://www.anitasaunders.co.uk/events ,