Artist's Bio

All of my Reduction Linocuts begin with a thumbnail sketch and a smooth piece of linoleum. Out of necessity, I work from a very good drawing.  I must render my palette down to fewer than a dozen colors, and establish the placement of colors, before I make the first cut in the linoleum.  This results in very bold colors, which makes my artwork clean and fresh.   Rather than creating numerous plates (one for each color), reduction printmaking uses a single plate that is carved, and re-carved, to become the printing plate for the next color.  I use Japanese woodcut tools, and print with water soluble ink on hotpress watercolor paper. 

My work is relatively small, and I produce editions of 30 or fewer.  (The lino is soft and does not stand up to unlimited prints.)  I do not work with a press; my prints are transferred by hand.  I do a lot of my “art composing” late at night when the house is quiet.  I let my thoughts wander, until an image or an idea percolates to the surface.  Over the next several days, I will solidify the image in my mind’s eye, and work it out on paper.  In this way, my art is directly influenced by the events of my life, and the experiences imprinted on my brain.

Henri Matisse’s words express the way I feel about the art I create:  “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter – a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” 

Reduction linocut is my joy:  I love to draw and plan, I like order, I enjoy creating with a limited palette, I like the feel of carving the linoleum, and I revel in the shock of adding a new color during the printing process.  I am constantly inspired by birds, trees, flowers, my cat, other animals, and the Scriptures.  

Anne Gaines is a Member of the Charlotte Art Collective