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Meet the Maker: Paul Cleden

Thursday, May 24, 2018

I am a printmaker and illustrator living in Dorchester, Dorset. Currently I concentrate on printmaking especially linocuts, and collographs.


Describe your printmaking process.

 My print making process has developed over the years to the point now where, although occasionally more involved than I would like, it seems to work.

How and where did you learn to print?

 I normally begin a print with numerous drawings covering sheets of paper with variations of ideas and designs. This is a vital tool to iron out problems before I start cutting. The colours are also explored at this stage, and with it a chance to see if a specific combination will work together and combine to create the other variations that I need to create the design. To plan well at this stage should ensure that the later stages have no unpleasant surprises.With all the design dealt with the cutting process is fairly straight forward. 

I always choose one colour to cut first and use this as a key for all the other colours, although on its own it is still a fairly random group of shapes. Having cut this, I print it as a proof and then offset this back onto the other three uncut blocks of lino while the ink is still wet on the paper. Having done this the registration becomes a far less daunting prospect, and the remaining three colours can be drawn out and cut using the offset image as a guide.

After a day or two proofing the colours and some minor adjustments it's ready to print.

Why printmaking?

 I am not entirely sure why printmaking rose to the surface, I have used collage, pen and ink over the years, but perhaps my school art teacher’s enthusiasm for the process stuck with me.

Where do you work? Describe a typical day in your studio.

I have a studio at home where I work, my typical day would be after my children have gone to school, I make a cup of coffee and settle down to work, depending on what I am working on or how far along the process things will vary. If I am editioning or proofing I try to set a whole day aside, I now only print a part of the edition at any one time. I also print wet on to wet ink, so if all goes well can easily print ten in a day.

How long have you been printmaking?

 I have been printmaking on and off since I left school, so quite a while now!

What inspires you?

 I am always inspired by figures and movement, I like crowds of people and often sport, I think that this is reflected very much in my work.

What is your favourite printmaking product?

 My favourite printmaking product is very difficult to choose, but a nice sharp cutting tool is probably the most satisfying to use.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

 I generally like most of the work i have made, but probably my favourite image is 'Platform Talk'.

Where can we see your work? Where do you sell?

I exhibit my work in a number of excellent galleries: St Judes Gallery, Pallant House Bookshop Gallery, Church Street Gallery, For Arts Sake, Brook Gallery, Bourneside Gallery, Gallery Nine, Old School Gallery, Cambridge Contemporary Arts, Mill Tye Gallery, Boxbird Gallery, and on my website www.paulcleden.co.uk as well as face book and twitter, luckily being the only Paul Cleden on the web i am reasonably easy to find!

What will we be seeing from you next?

 I have several exciting things just around the corner I have been invited to exhibit at Henley Royal Regatta this year. Also for the very first time i am opening my studio for Dorset Arts Weeks, I am venue 210 and this is from May 26th - June 10th 2018, I have never done this before, but I am planning lots of things well as my prints, there will be some collograph work, hand printed cushions, some ‘pocket money prints’ Art angel cards, and lots more, all very exciting.

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

 My advice for creatives is to be patient and be true to who you are, even if the tide of work is landscape and animals and you are doing figurative prints, I spent a number of years trying to be who I wasn’t and the work was not good.

 

See more of Paul Cleden's work on his website.