G.W.Bot ‘A Life with Linos’ workshop

Residency Dates: 5 – 9 March 2014 | Workshop Dates: 2 – 4 March 2014

“Creativity is an act of uncertainty- the image is not done until it is created, so take the plunge, take a risk, find your own TOUCH and just do it.” (G.W.Bot)

Conversing with G.W. Bot throughout the workshop gave us an insight into how her art reflects her philosophical approach to life.  She said “Print of each other’s DNA”…”my stories, my space; I am the artist”. We were encouraged to see linocut as an extension of drawing.  G.W.Bot started the workshop with a conversation about the different “degrees of touch”, referring to the different marks that can be achieved on the lino using the same tools.  Each artist has their own touch: Matisse produced some simple linocuts that show the same line in different forms – harder pressure on the lino tool created a higher sound while softer pressure created a lower sound. This approach contrasted against Durer woodcuts that showed a more controlled realist approach.  Different approaches of mark making created different signatures of the artists.

G.W. encouraged students to work at their own pace, we could just spend the 3 days carving if wished or, as the majority of students did, carved 3 linocuts and printed non- stop……keeping G. W. on her toes for 3 days. She also encouraged us to experiment and let each print determine the next step. For me, I enjoyed the calm approach, first exploring dry embossing on previously printed images, a great technique with lots of potential for artist’s books. Second, I painted onto the lino with acrylic paint with a broad brush in a Motherwell/Tapies style and then carved the lino, a technique that created a more organic design.  I also used the soft and hard pressure applied to the roller and enjoyed the simplicity of hand rolling with the wooden rolling pin. Overall, the 3 days went fast and beautiful prints were produced, either as part of an ongoing process or as final.

Written by Karen Landt-Isley, photography by Jo Lankester & Umbrella Studio

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