January 3, 2024

King's Devon

         Cathy King (UK, b. 1967) is a printmaker whose block prints have some interesting characteristics.  Her subjects are primarily landscapes and nature, and these are depicted with a fair amount of graphic stylization.  She makes both reduction prints and multi-block prints, and her work is characterized by blocks of color overlaid by more detailed elements.  In these first two examples you can see the way swaths of solid colors interact with more detailed (but still somewhat geometric) trees, plants, etc.  In both, the skies are not quite solid-colored; they have a bit of texture to them, which is achieved in the inking as opposed to the carving.  I especially like the trees in both of these, and the plants in the foreground.  The red sails of the boats are interesting because although they’re printed on top of the background, they’re not opaque.  Another thing these two pieces have in common - which is a trait shared by many of King’s pieces - is that they’re coastal!
        The third piece demonstrates what happens when all the details disappear and the landscape is so simplified and geometric as to become almost abstract.  Like the skies in the pieces above, these blocks of color are not quite solid; there’s some interesting texture happening, especially in the brown.  There’s also an interest provided by the layering of inks, which is apparent in the grey-over-brown in the foreground.  A similar effect happens in the background of the next piece, which is otherwise at the other end of detailed spectrum.  It looks to me like the birds are reduction prints, and I really love their patterns and shades of grey.  I also like the contrast between the elaborately patterned feathers, the stylized sweep of grasses in the foreground, and the very simple background.
        Another much more detailed block is this view of Exeter Cathedral, which sits against an especially interesting sky, which was probably done with monoprinting techniques.  It looks quite ominous!  More serene is this final piece, although the sky is grey enough that it looks fairly overcast.  Once again I like the simple background with a nice, detailed botanical foreground.
         There’s lots that’s interesting about these pieces, and they’re certainly very different from my own style, and my own way of thinking through a piece.  I think they’re cool.

[Pictures: Budleigh Beach II, linocut print by Cathy King;

Starcross, linocut print by King;

Porthtowan Beach, linocut print by King;

Waders, linocut print by King;

Exeter Cathedral,  linocut print by King;

Trevose Head,  linocut print by King (All images from CathyKingPrints.com).]

1 comment:

MFH said...

These are interesting.

How did you find her?

Do you think you'll ask her about her technique for the variegated backgrounds? I'm curious.