After Dark Reduction Linocut Prints

 In About My Work, Lino Printing

What secrets lurk in the rainforest of Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve once the sun has set on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland?

Ten independent artists from the Maleny Printmakers have created an exciting art exhibition exploring the After Dark secrets of this very special conservation reserve.  I am proud to be one of those 10 artists. 26 exciting hand printed fine artworks grace the walls of the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve theatrette. Linocut prints, cyanotype, metal plate etchings, collagraphs, monoprints, drypoint … an exciting array of printmaking media and just as diverse a collection of images.

Three After Dark Reduction Linocut Prints

I created three reduction linocut prints, shown below. It was a challenge … I’m not used to printing such large areas of black. I love the images, but have to admit I had some struggles.

The Night Watch

Night guards dutifully take flight on their evening routines, returning home before the sun.

Silent Night

Long slithering scaly and silent, the python meanders along branches and foliage looking for another feed.

After Dark

Elusive feathered hunters make themselves known in the silence of the nocturnal ecosystem.

‘The Night Watch’ Reduction Linocut Print

A 9 colour reduction linocut print of the park’s little red flying foxes
Pteropus scapulatus

I enjoyed printing the moon in this linocut print. The dark sky was tricky. There are 9 layers in this linocut:

  • layers 1-5 covered the moon
  • layers 6-8 printed the bats (Little Red Flying Foxes) and black sky around the moon
  • the 9th layer was a layer of prussian blue over the black of the sky – I wanted a richer deeper black of the night’s sky.

You can see the difference between the black on the bats and the black with blue in the sky area in the middle picture above. Much richer and deeper. And I like it that you need to look close to see the differences. I love to play with subtle colour shifts. This is generally with a light colour palette, but I was able to play with this approach in the dark colours.

‘Silent Night’ Reduction Linocut Print

An 8 colour reduction linocut print of a carpet python wrapped around a tree branch, in the dark
Morelia spilota

I love the disappearing act this slithery character plays with this linocut print.I am quite fond of snakes, especially the big ones. I’m very cautious of them, not being able to clearly identify venomous from non-venomous, but I like them. I have a very strong urge to take the weight of this snakes hanging belly, to feel its weight and bulbous shape.

‘After Dark’ Reduction Linocut Print

An 8 colour reduction linocut print of a Sooty Owl Tyto tenebricosa

I can count on one hand how many times I have seen an owl in its own natural night time environment. I look, when I’m out, but I simply can’t see them.

  • layers 1-5 realised the owl
  • layers 6-8 created the detail in the night-time environment for our large-eyed feathered friend
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