Since starting to paint in 1981 my mainly plein aire landscapes have used a mechanical, rather than lyrical or painterly, approach. This probably puts my observational paint – by – numbers pictures at a creative and expressive disadvantage. But it does prove conducive to a structural or compositional kind of drawing over which are applied layers of oil paint to deliver idiosyncratic textural and atmospheric effects. Furthermore, a Ben Nicholson – inspired dichotomy between foreground rooftops or architecture and a naturalistic marine or landscape background makes a chosen plastic and temperamental approach apt.
So when in 2004 I was inspired by the much loved master relief printmaker John Liddell 1925-2005) to try my hand at linocut I found a process ideally suited to my mechanical bent it has been a love affair ever since. The workshop he founded in 1991 Poole Printmakers is a safe haven, an intimate co-operative near Poole Quay, and some of the most scenic terrain in Britain. It is also an area where my art career started in 1978 and inspired my early book Art in Poole and Dorset, published by Poole Historical Trust, 1987. Many blissful and absorbing hours over the last 13 years have yielded a large body of linocut prints in which I exercise those mechanical and reproductive qualities proper to the medium. Peter Davies is the author of After Trewyn: St Ives Sculptors Since Hepworth (Old Bakehouse Publications, 2001).