I learned how to do etching from Bartolomeu dos Santos when I was a student at the Slade School of Fine Art in the late 1970’s. After I had graduated, no longer having easy access to a print room and a shortage of funds meant I had to improvise equipment in order to carry on printmaking. I developed my own way of applying aquatint and a converted mangle gave me rough working proofs for a couple of years. The search for part time teaching work took me to the Northeast of England, where I immediately became a member of Charlotte Press in Newcastle. There I had open access to a well-equipped print room and could further develop my technique and produce editions.
It was in Newcastle where I met Paul Rogers, the printmaking lecturer at Northumbria University. He introduced me to multi-plate colour etching.
The working methods that I have developed are based on what I learned from Barto and Paul and information from Walter Chamberlain’s book, Etching and Engraving, as well as quite a lot of improvisation and experimentation. I have preferred to work my etching plates in my studio and yard, going to print workshops only to use presses for final proofs and editions.
The two prints I brought to The Rowley Gallery are recent etchings from a series I am currently working on. They are worked from drawings done on the South Downs. I have always drawn and painted from life and don’t use photography at all in the process of making the work. The drawings were done as studies specifically for etchings and were carried out on location alongside oil paintings and pastel drawings of the same views. My work takes a long time to produce, usually involves many trips to the same place and the process can even span several years. I do not hurry work; it is finished when I can find nothing more to do with it.