My first encounter with printmaking took place in Amsterdam where I lived and worked for a period during the 1970s. A recent graduate of Dun Laoghaire School of Art, with a particular interest in Graphic Art, I enrolled in an etching class at De Werkschuit, at that time based on one of Amsterdam’s many houseboats. I instantly found myself fascinated by the process of etching images drawn on copper in acid, thereby creating a plate from which the image could be printed. I realised that I had found the medium I wanted to work with, although it would be several years before I had the opportunity to return to printmaking at the Graphic Studio Dublin.
The formality, ornamental qualities and boldness of botanical art have strongly informed the development of my work in recent times. My love of decorative detail has from the beginning been a feature of my work. This stems from my admiration for the patterns, line and simplicity of form found in Asian art.
More recently, another element has been introduced, with the use of gold leaf on some of my etchings. Influenced by the extensive use of gold on Japanese folding screens, and in early Renaissance painting of the Sienese School in particular, it brings, I feel, a serene and contemplative quality to my work.
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