Introducing New Artist | Ann Lewis
Welsh artist, Ann Lewis, is the latest printmaker to join our gallery. The main focus of her linocuts is the rugged beauty of North Wales and the landscape around her home-based studio in Gerlan. The scenery of the Ogwyn Valley where she lives is far from gentle and Ann’s work captures the atmosphere and drama that surrounds her.
Ann works in linocut and adds layers of colour and detail by making further cuts in the lino and inking these with contrasting colours – a technique known as reduction printing. Working with a limited palette of muted colours she skilfully portrays the Welsh landscape. The majority of her multi-coloured linocuts are produced using the reduction method (otherwise known as the “suicide” method). It involves working from the palest colour to the darkest, cutting more lino away each time until only the darkest colour is left, mistakes such as removing too much lino cannot easily be corrected, hence the ‘suicidal’ nature of the technique.
Ann Lewis explains her approach and her enjoyment for linocuts: “Whilst my work is varied, both in style and media, my real passion is for the humble lino. I enjoy the physical process of cutting warm, fresh lino with sharp tools and get enormous pleasure from the variety of styles and marks I can achieve with such simple materials and tools. The nature of the medium produces an unmistakable, graphic look and feel, yet I have found that by using the medium and tools creatively, without any reservations or preconceived ideas of what they are capable of doing, it has the flexibility to enable subjects of all types to be interpreted.
Over the years I’ve chatted with many people about my chosen medium and I’ve lost count of the number of people who remember it as something they did at school, with mixed results. Unfortunately this association has for some, make it a medium to avoid, both as artists and purchasers of art, possibly through fear of not wanting to express an interest in a ‘lightweight’ form of art.
Part of my passion is to make linocut prints acceptable as serious works of art and to demonstrate to other artists and the general public that linocutting can be as expressive, adaptive, flexible and exciting a medium as any other”.
Ann Lewis also has an astounding ability to capture various animals and convey their personality often by the deceptively simple curve of a line and her subjects include birds, frogs and geckos as well as having an appreciation for the domestic cat. As Ann explains “Cats do a lot of sleeping and because of this tend to be excellent models, though once awake, you’ll never get them back into the same position twice!”
Born in St. Asaph, Denbighshire in 1962, Ann studied at the Art College in Bangor and then at Exeter College of Art and Design. Having gained an Honours Degree in Graphic Design at Exeter in 1988, Ann returned to Wales, initially working as a freelance designer and illustrator. A gradual evolution from designer to fine artist began in 1993 when Ann was elected a member of the Royal Cambrian Academy. Since March 2009, Ann has worked full time as an artist/printmaker. Ann’s work has been displayed in many galleries and she has work in the National Library of Wales’ collection and the Government Art Collection.