Lovely feature in the Artist Magazine depicting my White Swans linocut one of 4 celebrating not only the bird life on the Thames but also the beers of Thames Side Brewery.
The River Thames and its environment has inspired many artists over the years with its pageantry, atmosphere and wildlife. Recently its birdlife has inspired a new microbrewery, Thameside Brewery, on the banks of the river in Staines upon Thames to name its beers after its local inhabitants. This in turn also served as an inspiration to me to create linocuts to feature and exhibit on their walls.
Each year in July the swans on this Royal River are counted and marked and this occasion just shows how this beautiful serene creature on the water becomes an awkward mechanical machine on dry land. My intention with this linocut was to capture their jerky gate as they move towards the towpath.
My style is to create a loose, yet effective, piece of art that depicts in no doubt what is in my mind at the time. For this artwork, and for the others in this series, I have used soft lino and a 140lb Bockingford Watercolour paper, together with Essdee’s vibrant inks. I use a painterly process, sometimes adding more inks and colours as I bray the paper over the lino. I love the effect this creates and a result that is the complete opposite of a normal linocut where the layers are accurate and sharp. On a recent Sky Arts programme the judges had difficulty deciding whether my work was a linocut or not.
I have a background in ink drawing for quality giftware products and as with this work I use a fine cutting tool to draw and initially sketch out the birds features and the important areas of the image before applying inks and the deeper, wider marks.
As with my product design, where I sketched a wide variety of subjects from penguins on the Falkland Islands to our Royal Palaces, I have had an amazing response to my style and I look forward to producing artwork people love and recognise over the coming months and years. I certainly have a wealth of ideas and images lining up in my head.
To keep in touch and to find out where you can see my work please visit www.larkstudios.co.uk