Designing Linocuts – Tasmanian Christmas Bells

Earlier this year I was asked to complete a small linocut of Tasmanian Christmas Bells. Fortunately I had taken some photos a long time ago of the Blandfordia punicea and have in my garden grown the local NSW Christmas Bells Blandfordia nobilis and Blandfordia grandiflora. I had previously completed a small linocut of the NSW Christmas Bells. So as it worked out I actually had plenty of my own reference material.

I started firstly with a small quick sketch idea. Often these form many of the design basis of my work. It is amazing how a quick small ‘doodle’ can become an actual design. Sometimes I spend hours searching around trying to ‘improve’ the original concept (or design as in the case of the previous Banksia serrata) because it seems like the thing to do when in actual fact I end up back at the small sketch and working from there. Other times I have to think for ages to come up with a design – this process is never really predictable but often just keeping your eyes open and a small sketchbook in the handbag to jot down ideas and inspiration as you go about your daily activities can pay wonderful dividends later on.

So the original quick idea to base it on an earlier ‘template’ of a NSW Christmas Bush was what I worked with. I then researched the differences between the different species of Blandfordia and noted the differences in my sketchbook.

So I worked the original idea sketched into a drawing and then inked in the black for the design. This is what I then used as a guide for carving the lino block – I do this as I have often simply carved the wrong sections in the past and wasted lino, time and my patience!

I do have quite a methodical side to my nature but only in certain things such as my artwork – now housework, that’s another story – no perfectionism there!!!!

I’d rather be drawing…carving…painting…photographing…thinking…definitely NOT cleaning – cleaning tends to come in sharp bursts when I actually HAVE to to it…like when visitors are coming!

…now must get back to painting some exciting new projects and the new design work….

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