Kathyrn Bell is a fine art painter and printmaker based in Durham. Her work is inspired by natural objects, colour, movement and texture.
What was your first experience of printmaking?
When I was at college I noticed an advertisement for printmaking classes at Horsley Printmakers in Northumberland. I signed up to a few different classes there and exhibited in an exhibition with them at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle. I was hooked!
What are your favourite printmaking processes, and why?
I love print processes that surprise you when the image is printed. Monoprints are a favourite of mine for this surprise element. I enjoy using inks and linseed oil to 'paint' onto the print plate.
Currently, linocut is my favourite printmaking process. I love exploring the ways in which the surface of the lino can be worked into, using caustic soda to erode sections of the lino while cutting into other areas. For the IPE I created loads of different linocut plates using various techniques before settling on my final submission. Linocut is a process that I always find exciting new ways to work in.
What inspires you as an artist?
I am inspired by everyday natural objects that are full of colour, movement of shape and texture.
When I'm out walking and playing with my children we notice the shape of hedgerows, flowers and cloud, all of these things contribute to the images that I make. I am constantly inspired when talking and sharing ideas with other artist friends.
How would you describe your creative process?
All of the prints that I make start from my paintings, which are colourful and realistic but sometimes hugely abstract. I then use the printmaking process to explore texture and new ways of viewing the image.
What's the best thing about being a printmaker?
The best thing about being a printmaker is the surprise of seeing how the image that I've worked on a plate translates into the final image on paper. Another amazing thing about being a printmaker is being part of a community of people who are passionate about their art.
Tell us about your studio...
My studio is my dining room at home, which, once the children have gone to school, is transformed into my print space. I have created a line that I hang along the window to hang my prints to dry and to keep away curious hands. When working from home I hand burnish my prints.
I also work in the print rooms at the University of Sunderland when I need to use a printing press for intaglio prints.
'Vase', Reduction Linocut
What are you working on at present?
I am currently working on a series of linocut prints based on drawings of flowers. I am working on an additive print and am currently trying out different colour themes.
What prompted you to take part in the International Print Exchange?
My wonderful friend, Hannah, told me about it and encouraged me to enter.
What was your inspiration for your IPE print this year?
I was inspired by some prints that Angie Lewin makes where she creates a positive and negative space on the linocut.
Favourite subject matter?
Plants and flowers
Favourite printmaking paper?
Fabriano NOT 5
Caligo relief inks
Favourite printmaker / artist?