Grace Gillespie’s Vibrant Linocut Prints of Flowers and Foliage Tap Into Her Artistic Roots

A linocut print of green flowers.

All images © Grace Gillespie, shared with permission

Grace Gillespie grew up in an artistic household, but she resisted pursuing visual art at first, especially printmaking, because it was something both of her parents excelled at. “I guess I wanted my own ‘thing,’” she tells Colossal, which for most of her twenties was music. Then, during the pandemic, she found herself furloughed, disillusioned with the music industry, and back at her parents’ home in Devon, England.

During her six-month stay, Gillespie had access to a large etching press belonging to her mother, artist Sarah Gillespie. “I decided to try my hand at linocut and was immediately very addicted!” the artist says. “I was also just incredibly lucky that (my parents) had a lot of old lino and tools lying around—a bit ancient and rusty, but they did the trick.”

Gillespie was initially drawn to flowers because at the height of the summer, they exploded in her parents’ garden. She found solace and energy in their variety of colors and textures. “I think that both this newly found love of gardens and plant life, plus the new world of printing, really saved me through some quite tricky times around the pandemic,” she says. “I had left music mostly behind, moved house, and realised I had an anxiety disorder all in the space of a few months, and printing really helped to pull me through and keep my brain inspired to create.”

Reduction printing, the technique of carving away at the surface of linoleum or wood to create surfaces that can be layered, inspired Gillespie to play with color and complexity. “I absolutely love the surprise of when you lift the paper and reveal a print… sometimes a surprise mistake!” she says. “It’s a funny process and a lot can go wrong…. But it does make it all the more satisfying when you peel back the paper to reveal something really juicy and satisfying.”

See more on Gillespie’s Instagram, and check out her shop on Etsy to purchase prints.

A colorful linocut print of flowers.

A linocut print of green flowers.

A series of linocut prints of chrysanthemum's strung up to dry on a studio wall.

A linocut print of blue flowers.   Linocut prints of a vase with flowers hung up with clothes line clips.

A linocut print of a dahlia.

Two images side-by-side showing the process of making a linocut print. On the left, red ink is rolled over a piece of lino. On the right, prints dry on a rack.

A linocut print of three flowers.

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Grace Gillespie’s Vibrant Linocut Prints of Flowers and Foliage Tap Into Her Artistic Roots appeared first on Colossal.

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