Thursday, February 2, 2012

Brett Whiteley in lino

Harry Kent, Brett Whiteley in lino I, linocut on paper, image 20x15 cm

This is my first excursion into the world of linocut block printing. I've never previously attempted either woodcut nor linocut. But the direction these ink and charcoal drawings have been heading has made me want to 'have a go', as we say in Oz.

Harry Kent, Brett Whiteley in lino II, linocut on paper, image 20x15 cm

Brett Whiteley himself produced 8 linocuts in his career.
David Brigitte lists them here as:
1. Waves, 1977, edition of 8 + A/Ps
2. River 1977, edition of 8 + A/Ps
3. River & Landscape 1977, Edition of 8 + A/Ps
4. Fruit Dove 1980, edition of 25 + A/Ps
5. Sydney Harbour by Night 1981, edition of 20 + A/Ps
6. Light Globe 1981, edition of 10
7. Warming & Reading 1981, edition of 10
8. Reading 1981, edition of 10
and all were all printed by him and in low numbers, so are quite rare.


However, reportedly David Preston established Etchers Press in Brett Whitely's Reiby Place Studio in 1978 and  subsequently created numerous linocuts and etchings for Brett Whiteley, John Olsen, Judy Cassab and Charles Blackman.

I started to play with colour but it lacks the starkness that attracts me to B&W.

Harry Kent, Brett Whiteley in lino II,
linocut and oil on paper, image 20x15 cm


Here is one of the lino printing blocks. I took more care with the direction of the cuts second time round.

linocut block for Brett Whiteley in lino II


And finally, here is lino II slipped into a black frame with a double white matt.

Harry Kent, Brett Whiteley in lino II, mounted.



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24 comments:

  1. I love linocuts, i did a lot of them years ago. Seeing these of yours Harry, made me wanna do a linocut again. I love lino because of the strong contrasts. Maybe you can play with color in several layers: first print in red f.i., and then a bit shifted a print over it in black. But probably yu already experience with this techniques already. :-)
    This lino of Brett is just great and i also prefer the black and white for it's starkness.
    Your cards are great Harry and i hope to have time this weekend to make a post about it.
    Sweet greetz!

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    1. I thought your work might lend itself to linocut, Monica. Be really interesting to see some of your current ideas in block print.

      I'm so glad you like the cards. Good to know Redbubble is reliable and does a quality product. I will add these linocuts to to my account too just in case any Aussies out there might want a Brtet Whiteley card or print one day. YThanks again for the purchase.

      Big hugs.

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  2. Outstanding, amazing, awesome. I tried linocuts for the first time a few months ago--nothing like this. Love the black and white; such strong design.

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    1. Glad you like, Hallie.

      Brett makes a great subject with his curly hair, bulging nose, unusually level mouth and tiny cleft chin. After that all i did was try to keep it simple.

      Dooooo have another go!

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  3. The linocuts are beautifully done Harry. I have the materials ready to do some myself but I don’t see myself having the same level of ability. They are really impressive!

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    1. Thanks John. Coming from someone of such impeccable taste and nuanced perception, your comment is most appreciated.

      You have all the materials?

      Well, Picasso once said, "Action is the foundational key to all success."
      And another time, he said, "I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it."

      If it it worked for him, who knows, it may work for us. So just go and do it!

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  4. Nice work, Harry. The black on white is excellent, technically and aesthetically. Some of the earthy-coloured Canson papers may be worth a try.

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    1. Thanks Richard. I guess in all your years as an art teacher youve seen quite a few student linocuts. So your encouragement is much appreciated.

      Nice idea with the Canson paper. Will explore.

      Currently using a Quill 110gsm acid-free cartridge just for learning, but have some Arches 250gsm hot-press waiting.

      I coax the ink onto the block rather than savage rolling and have an old Victorian period book press roped in for printing, which is why i can get some decent blacks going, i think.

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  5. Yes i become too the want to try linocut too, looking at this arecomming in my mind the work of the austrians artists of the secession and the jugendstil... Beautifull work Harry

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    1. So glad you said that, Laura. The work of the Secessionists has been an important influence on me. I find it Expressionist yet still with strong aesthetic values. Thank you.

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  6. I'd say you have a real knack for this - it's gorgeous!

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    1. Thanks, Rhonda. Though i think slashing lots of paint about may be more my thing.

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  7. Good feeling, good technique!
    Congrats!

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  8. Good work Harry,
    I really like this technique you used!
    Congrats
    Paulo

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    1. Paulo, though this is a long way from your brilliantly coloured amazing work!

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  9. Harry is amazing. Breathtaking and extremely dark which I love

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    1. Glad you like, Leni. Must be that Polish soul.

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  10. This is brilliant Harry! Glad you had a go mate!

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    1. Didn't know you spoke Strine, Elizabeth, haha. Good on ya.

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  11. Your lino cuts are very effective. It's the starkness of them that gets me. I think the material itself requires it. Lino forces a thoughtful editing of details which leaves one with only the essential. You seem to have an affinity for it Harry.


    Have you ever tried a silk collagraph? It like lino can be done without toxic chemistry. And like lino the materials are not costly. I learned it from the late Ray E. George at Illinois State University. He was a consummate print maker and the kindest of teachers. He would bend over backwards for any student who showed interest in printmaking.

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    1. Yes, i love that tight editing, cropping away to the essentials, yet selectively so that what remains can still sing. A real challenge.

      No, never tried collagraph. Thanks for the suggestion. Will check it out and have a play. Ray sure sounds like a great teacher.

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  12. Hi Harry, just read your comment about the cards. Made me smile, a big smile....
    Hugs!

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