Anna W. Syperek
Relief print
H 8in x W 4in
Linocut is a printmaking technique, a variant of wood-cut in which a sheet of linoleum (sometimes mounted on a wooden block) is used for a relief surface. A design is cut into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife, v-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised, uncared areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to show printed. The linoleum sheet is inked with a roller (called a brayer) and then impressed onto paper or fabric. The actual printing can be done by hand or with an etching press. One of the reasons I enjoy printmaking so much is that you have to work out how to create your image in a very different way than with a painting. This is especially true with colour prints as you have to construct the image using a different colour on each plate or block. So, you must work to create the illusion of a full-colour image with only a few plates. This you mostly do with the power of suggestion, though you can increase your colours by using transparent inks, and layering them when you print so that two colours create a third when they are overlapped. This is always a gamble, and you never quite know what you will achieve until you print it. The "Poppy" was imagined this way. The main block was green, with the parts cut away that I wanted either red or white (the colour of the paper). The second plate (cut second, but printed first) is orangey-red and not only is it the colour of the poppy petals, but it underlies the green in many places, creating dark brown tones to give richness to the print.