Journey into Wild Beauty: The Artistic Process of Claire Armitage's Lino Prints

From Sketchbook to print: the creative journey of my limited edition lino prints.

As an artist based in West Cornwall, my creative journey revolves around capturing the essence of this wild and beautiful region. I create prints that invite viewers to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of Cornwall – from hidden woodlands to the sweeping curves of moorland where the Atlantic Ocean meets the skies.

Situated inland from the coast, my studio is surrounded by meadows and woodlands. Here, I embark on a creative process that begins with the simple act of observation. Revisiting the same locations time and again, I draw and paint directly from the rich tapestry of the landscape, exploring the dynamic colours and changing flora and fauna that mark the passage of seasons and time of day.

The heart of my artistic practice lies in my sketchbooks. These are not just pages filled with sketches; they are windows into the evolving ecosystems of the natural world. Observational drawings become a visual diary of my experiences, a record of the subtle shifts in nature that might be overlooked by a fleeting glance. The act of drawing from direct observation allows me to connect with my surroundings on a profound level, to absorb the energy and spirit of the place.

Claire Armitage artist, sketchbook pages that inspire lino prints of West Cornwall's natural world

Back in my studio, surrounded by the collected treasures from my excursions, I transform these sketches into detailed botanical studies. These studies serve as the foundation for my prints, where I often layer the minutiae of nature within expansive landscapes. Each print is crafted to evoke a sense of connection to the land.

Today, I'm excited to share a glimpse into the working process behind one of my Lino prints, titled "Equinox." The journey begins with my sketchbook, where I translate the observations from the landscape into detailed drawings. This phase allows me to fully immerse myself in the intricacies of the flora and fauna, capturing the essence of the ever-changing environment.

Claire Armitage artist, lino prints of West Cornwall's natural world

Upon returning to my studio, the sketchbook becomes a springboard for the next phase. I meticulously develop the drawings to plan out the composition and determine the colour layers for my Lino prints. The first layer is carefully cut, and this initial impression is transferred onto the remaining lino. Precision in print registration becomes crucial at this stage, setting the foundation for the intricate layering to come.

Claire Armitage artist, lino prints of West Cornwall's natural world

The creation of a Lino print is a slow and deliberate process. Cutting each layer, printing, and allowing time for the ink to dry requires patience and attention to detail. It can take weeks to gradually build up the layers, each one contributing to the intricate tapestry of the final image. The anticipation mounts with each layer, leading to the most exhilarating moment – the reveal of the first proof of the final print. This moment is the culmination of weeks of dedication and creative exploration, capturing the essence of West Cornwall in a tangible and visually stunning form.

In essence, my creative process is a journey that begins with the simplicity of observational drawings in my sketchbooks, evolves through meticulous planning and craftsmanship, and ultimately unfolds into vibrant and immersive Lino prints. Through this process, I strive to share the wild beauty of West Cornwall, inviting others to experience the magic and inspiration that this extraordinary landscape holds.


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