May 1, 2017

Block Printmaker Roddie

        Helen Roddie is a printmaker working in England.  Her prints are complex patterns composed of simplifications of natural forms.  Often she plays around with taking a single plant and repeating it in glorious profusion until it creates a pattern with lots of graphic punch, as in the second two examples here.  She says, “I try to capture both the intricacy and simplicity of organic forms.”  I really like the way she emphasizes the distinctive features of each plant, yet makes them look really bold instead of fiddly.  But I also like the first piece here, where she weaves together multiple species from an ecosystem.  Just as I try to do with my art, Roddie glorifies small, often unnoticed beauties.
        Although she does do some prints with color, she also says, “I enjoy the challenge of translating pen line to print without the use and distraction of colour or subtle shades,” which is exactly one of the things I also really enjoy about relief printmaking.  So while our styles end up looking very different, I feel that Roddie and I have a lot in common in our approach and attitudes toward printmaking.  It’s really cool to see how someone with such a kindred sense of art creates pieces so wonderfully different from my own.
        Here, as promised, are lots of previously-featured R printmakers:

[Pictures: Passing Meadows, linocut by Helen Roddie;
Ladders to Heaven, linocut by Roddie;
Ribwort Weave, linocut by Roddie (All images from]

A-Z Challenge, all posts for the letter R
(The A-Z Challenge is now officially over, everyone else having reached Z on the last day of April, but I will continue to work my way through the remainder of the alphabet at my slower pace.)

If you’re in the greater Boston area, come see me and many other artists at Needham Open Studios this coming weekend!


  1. Nice to have some more posts to read in a leisurely way now that I'm done.

  2. Thanks for sticking around after the party's over!