Information about Jud Hunter, her art making ethos and process.
About Jud Hunter
Jud Hunter is a printmaker specialising in linocut techniques. She has a BA (Hons) from Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen where she specialised in silk screen and block printing techniques. She received an MEd in Artist Teacher Education and a PGDE from the University of the West of Scotland where she explored contemporary art making methods and ideologies.
She has been involved with teaching art and design to adults and young people through art workshops for clubs and societies and through schools.
Jud’s imagery is influenced by Scotland’s stunning Islands and coastal areas. The organic forms of flora rich Machair and upland moors to the geometric patterns formed by the buildings of historic coastal villages, are often the inspiration for her work.
The focus for my printing is capturing the shapes, textures and colours of the landscape around me. When carefully observed the moors and coastal areas of Scotland are full of vibrant colour ranging from the bright hues of machair flora to the myriad of rich blues and greens in the skies and seas. Because of the organic nature of this subject matter I try to incorporate a textural quality into my Linocut prints and build up layers of harmonious hues with accents of complementary colours using the reduction printmaking technique.
Ancient coastal villages offer a very different subject. Interesting juxtapositions of parts of buildings and the environment around them are created as I walk through cobbled streets and narrow wynds. Crowsteps and pantiles create layers of angular compositions, punctuated by unusual chimneys, oddly placed uneven windows and saggy gable ends. I am interested in how these elements develop into abstract shapes and forms. This imagery lends itself more towards flat areas of bold contrasts in colour and tone more suited to a multi-block printmaking technique.
To research my subject matter I make observational studies in pencil and watercolour and take photographs of the villages and landscape. From these initial studies I develop my prints. Rather than pursue accurate representation, my aim is to take the characteristics of a subject and create a piece of work that draws on simplification and stylisation, emphasising line, shape and colour. I prefer to focus in on small areas that create interesting compositions, rather that wider landscapes. I feel that within these small tableau I can observe a little bit of what characterises the subject.
Producing a Linocut print is more than just the completed image. For me it is the culmination of creative and practical processes that makes the final piece, a transformation from idea to visual interpretation of that idea and all the tactile and technical processes involved in making a successful print.
With a view to environmental concerns, I use artist quality waterbased relief inks to reduce the need for spirit based solvents. My packaging is made from recycled materials where possible and my printing paper is made from sustainable resources.
The relief printing method is produced when the flat surface of a printing block, or plate, has been removed by carving or etching away lines and shapes. The area that remains creates the image. Ink is applied to the surface of the block or plate usually using brayers, or rollers. Any carved out areas will not be inked. The block is then brought into contact with paper and pressed, either with a printing press or transferred by hand using a burnishing tool (a baren or a wooden spoon).
Linocut prints are made using sheets of artist’s linoleum as the printing block. Linoleum was developed as a durable floor covering in the mid 1800s and emerged as a printing medium in the early 1900s. The compressed surface is suitable for printing because it is very flat, has little or no grain or texture and has enough depth (4mm-6mm) to carve using similar tools and techniques to those used for traditional woodblock printing. The linoblock surface is softer than wood allowing the artist to create a different quality of line to that of woodblock.
Once the linoblock is carved the image is transferred to the paper surface as described above.
There are two main methods used to create a linocut print. The first is a multi-block method similar to woodblock printing in which each colour applied to the paper is produced using a separate linoblock. The second method is called a reduction print in which a single linoblock is used. After a first colour is printed onto the paper, the block is then cleaned and carved again. The block is inked up again with a second colour. The newly carved areas will stay the first colour and the areas of the block that have not been carved away will become the second colour (overprinting the first). This process can be repeated many times to build up a multi-coloured image.