Halcyon (Andrew Haslen)
UK price: £25.00 (plus £2.00 p&p)
Nearly all my finished artwork now is in the form of hand-coloured linocuts. This is a way of working I have been exploring and developing for much of the time we have lived in Suffolk.
I like the element of design in an original print, and the fact that as much time is spent working on the edges and corners of a picture as is devoted to the subject itself. While the bulk of the prints reproduced here are linocuts, I have also created screen prints and the occasional etching.
With my linocuts, I usually start from drawings and composition studies - working towards a complete detailed image that is then transferred on to a block of lino. This I do by drawing in soft pencil, then turning the image over on to the surface of the lino and rubbing the drawing through the paper with a hard pencil.
This also has the advantage of reversing the image as it appears on the lino. When the print is made, it is once again reversed so that the result appears the right way round.
Cutting the block is a time-consuming process and a job that benefits from warm lino, sharp tools and the appropriate radio station. Printing is done by hand on an Albion press that dates back to 1865 - coincidentally the birth year of one of my favourite artists, Harry Becker.
The cut line when printed adds something for me that the drawn line fails to do; I can look at an image more objectively, almost as if it were the work of someone else. Being hand coloured makes each one different, and I often include some additional drawing to individualise them still further.
It is hard, therefore, to call them an edition, as each finished print is far from identical. However, I generally number and sign each one. Colours will often vary from print to print and this becomes obvious - particularly if two are seen together.