What was the trigger for my arts practice?
I was asked to speak on a panel of Printmakers at Arts Connect Inc “Artists Speak Out” last night in Maleny. I felt honoured to have been asked, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It gave me some time to reflect about my art, and why I am pursuing it; and is helping me step up into my art, acknowledging how important and essential it is.
Following are the questions I was asked in preparation for the panel discussion…
What was the trigger that led you towards your arts practice?
My love for printmaking started in high school, where I created y first reductive lino print, of a kangaroo. My ‘creative bent’ lead me into a career of commercial art, where I have spent 25+ years behind the computer being ‘creative’. The trigger for me to finally pursue my passion was a desire to create something with my hands. I love process, I love printmaking, and I love to experiment. Now I have my own studio, my own etching press and lots of fresh clean beautiful printmaking paper. The next challenge – giving my passion more time. I’m working on that.
What motivates you to continue in your practice?
My art is my own personal space. It is time for me where I can selfishly escape into my own creative space and explore my craft. ‘Selfishly’ may be a bit harsh – maybe its an essential escape to help maintain some sanity in this busy world. I am definitely motivated to improve my skills, to become a better printmaker. I spend much of my day behind a computer for my business, producing commercial art and business with no tangible output. Printmaking, especially onto paper, gives me an outlet to express myself from my heart, with my hands, onto a tangible surface. My art is part of who I am and I love it!
I will admit, too, that I do hope to gain recognition over time for my art. The first time I heard someone recognise my name on one of my pieces and exclaim “Oh, that’s by Kim Herringe; I bought one of her pieces last year” was a real thrill.
Who are your heroes?
I have a few…
I adore the woodcut work of William Rice. He was involved in the Arts and Crafts movements in the USA in the early 1900s. His portrayal of the outdoors, be it the giant Californian Redwoods or landscape of Yosemite, he captures the scene simply and beautifully. I’ve collected some of his images in a Pinterest board here.
I love the work of Sherrie York. Sherrie is a printmaker from Colorado, USA, creating beautiful relief prints from woodblocks and lino. Her work is detailed and complex. I aspire to be as good in my craft as Sherrie is in hers. Her reductive lino prints of birdlife, landcapes and trees and flowers are a superb demonstration of where you can push a simple block of lino to produce work with an almost painted effect.
Alexandra Buckle, from the UK, is a printmaking artist I have recently found in the big wide world of the web. She produces beautiful reductive lino prints. Her work is largely local landscapes. She translates the scene she sees with simple detail and only a few layers of ink.
Angie Lewin, another UK based printmaker (and textile artist), reignited my passion for printmaking and helped nudge me back into this art space. Angie has a distinct style that has been reproduced in books, fabric, wallpaper, cards and homewares.