Linocut flower vase print: "First of June" Edition 3 of 12. Linocut is intricate cuts made to a block of linoleum, the kind invented for the creation of battleships. Once the cuts are made the remaining surface is inked with a roller and special inks and the image is transferred to paper. This beautiful piece of artwork was hand created by Kathy Daywalt. Print measures 14 3/4” x 20 3/4”, framed piece measures 225 1/2" x 31 1/2"
About the Artist:
From my earliest remembrance, I've been an artist, starting with three-inch paper dolls and their clothes. Many projects came after. It was the "doing" that was important to me (and still is). I was in my 40s when I got a two-year degree in fine art. Nevertheless, I consider myself mostly self-taught, other than a few independent teachers which helped me hone my artistic voice. I always hope to continue taking classes and workshops.
Art has served as a powerful survival factor as well. After three big personal losses in three years, (my mother, my husband, and my father), my entire focus changed. As with many artists, figurative work is to some extent self-portraiture. Depicting figures helps me define my existence, taking me past despair and into hope.
Although my family is somewhat scattered, the seven siblings are still very close and see each other as often as possible. We take great joy in sharing new experiences, new babies and new art. Among my supportive siblings, I have one that is also an artist. She provides constructive feedback to my creative efforts. We inspire each other. In fact, I am inspired by all the joys, growth and even the foibles of my family, my self and my friends.
On Linoleum Cut Relief Block Printing:
Linoleum cuts can be wonderfully complex or beautifully simple and lend themselves to folk art styles and subject matter. Sharp cutting tools are used to cut away part of the flat surface of the block of linoleum, the kind invented for use on battleship floors, as well as other newer varieties. After the cutting is completed the remaining surface is inked with a roller and special inks and the image is then transferred to paper.
The process can be made much more complex by adding a second, third and fourth or more colors. After the initial inking and printing, more of the block is cut away. What remains is then inked with a second color and carefully placed over the original printing to produce a second color. Sometimes where colors overlap a third color may be achieved (yellow over blue can make green, for example). Another method of making multiple colors on the same print is to have a separate block cut for each color. In any case, accurate registration is the key to multiple color printings.
Some block prints are made with water-based inks. If, however, an artist wishes to hand-color some or all of an edition, oil-based inks must be used to prevent the subsequent watercolor from disturbing the ink on the print. Block prints created by the artist, unlike mechanical reproduction, are considered to be original works of art, even though there are multiples. As long as the block holds up to printing, prints can be made. An artist usually chooses to limit the number of prints in an edition and they are numbered to indicate how many there are. Typically a block is altered or destroyed when the edition is complete.
I find block printing to be an especially satisfying means of expression. I use drawing tools to invent my initial design. I get to be a sculptor in a way when carving and cutting the block. I get to be a printmaker and a painter as well. My editions are kept purposely small to retain their special, original art nature. The finest artist materials are used - all rag papers and fine art inks, tested for their longevity - to produce each edition.