About me and print making

I started making prints over 40 years ago after art school in Portland, Oregon, USA and used the medium to explore an interest in botany and historical botanical art. In 1982, a series of 6 etchings of plants from the Pacific Northwest received a Silver-Gilt Medal from the Royal Horticultural Society. The series is in the collection of the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University.

Following this auspicious start, I abandoned all idea of continuing with artwork, returned to UK and after a number of moves and career changes, settled in Oxford. I am now returning to celebrating plants, both native and cultivated, through making prints; this time using linoleum as the block. Compared to etching, this medium uses fewer health-damaging chemicals — the water-based inks clean up easily with household detergent, and the lino is cut with tools, not etched with acids. The challenges remain, however, to create prints that accurately describe the variety of form and colour in the leaves and flowers of plants.

During the past year, I experimented with this medium by testing Japanese and European papers, trying out printing inks from various manufacturers and exploring a range of printing and registration methods. These prints represent the few successes on a steep learning curve: a curve that is flattening out as I settle into the medium and understand what I can achieve with it.