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Meet an Artist Exploring the Magical World of Linocut Printmaking 

If you’ve never heard of linoleum engraving before, prepare to be amazed. Not only is it beautiful, but it is also very satisfying to see someone do this kind of art.

Linoleum, also called linoleum cutting, involves cutting a design into a piece of linoleum using multiple blades or chisels. The artist then spreads a thin layer of printing ink on the surface. Finally, place a piece of paper on top, applying pressure, so that the drawing is transferred to the paper.

Alternatively, the artist can use a printing press to facilitate this step. Most artists also use a tool like a brayer or foam roller to smooth out the ink. Since paper offers a smooth surface, linoleum does not add any texture to the drawing. This technique is a variation on logging and offers several advantages to the latter process.

Since linoleum lacks directional grain and doesn’t shed like wood, you can create a wider variety of artistic effects. It is easier to cut and provides more texture appeal than woodcuts. By placing it in the sun or heating it before use, the material becomes even softer and more flexible to cut. Since it is so easy to use, it is suitable for detailed prints of all sizes.

History of linocut printing

A British rubber manufacturer, Fredrick Walton, first invented linoleum in 1860. He wanted a cheaper product for his business and found that oxidized linseed oil was the answer. When you heat flaxseed oil, it thickens and becomes rubbery. Then it is pressed onto a mesh of coarse threads to help hold it together in layers of leaves.

When artists learned about the invention of linoleum, they also discovered that it provided a cheap, easy-to-print canvas. The linocut process it first emerged in the 20th century. Historians believe that its origins date back to the German Expressionists in the early 1880s. A few decades later, Russian Constructivist artists began using linocut and it began to appear in the UK as well.

Picasso, one of the most famous and renowned artists in history, produced his first linoleum prints in 1939. He continued to make them until the early 1960s and even invented a new form called reduction linoleum. This implies that a piece of linoleum is used multiple times in a single print and cut again after each color is printed.

Linoleum art appeared in the United States in 1911, exhibited in New York City by Czech immigrant Vojtěch Preissig. In his books on linoleum, the American engraver Pedro Joseph de Lemos introduced simpler methods for art schools. He also created new techniques for color printing, including printing the key block first. American artist Walter Inglis Anderson created the first large linoleum prints, which were hung in the Brooklyn Museum in 1949. Today, many streets artists practices linoleum engraving all over the world.

Meet Emil, an extraordinary linocut engraver

Emil got involved in this unique art form after taking a class on how to linoleum. Since then, he has been obsessed with it, creating works such as beautiful old buildings or inspiring nature scenes. He always has new ideas and really enjoys the process. For him, it is a way of expression and a form of therapy.

“For me, art is self-expression; art is what you can’t avoid [from] doing. Art goes against the fear that what you’re doing isn’t good enough. “

Keep saying,

“Art is believing in yourself and trusting what you are doing is good enough.”

“I started making linoleum prints about three years ago. I’ve only taken one class. Otherwise, I am self-taught. Like many people, I have been drawing my whole life, but I never really knew what to do with these drawings. Then I came across linocut and have been exploring that technique ever since. “

He says that the old buildings and the intricate ornamentation and architecture in them inspire him a lot. Emil also loves carving nature scenes on linoleum prints. Leaves and flowers are among her favorites, and she often incorporates them into her work.

“I am very excited to see that the first impression of the block is made. Like that moment when you see your hard work for the first time is truly magical. I find myself holding my breath every time that happens. Seeing a piece as I rip it off the block for the first time is pretty amazing, ”he says.

Many people turn to Art as an outlet and a method to express yourself. Emil feels that without the linocut, a part of himself would be missing, which is why it is very important to him. His passion and love for technique are manifested in his imaginative and elaborate pieces. If you want to see more of his work, visit your website. It offers various inspirational prints and even t-shirts for sale.

“I really don’t know what my piece has to say, but I show myself in the pieces that I make. My vulnerability is in my fears and my passions. The pieces are, in a way, a mirror of myself ”, says Emil. “I believe because that’s the only way I can feel true to myself. I can’t live without it, and I’m constantly thinking about the next pieces, constantly drawing and making prints, and I feel empty not to. So, I have to. I make art at the service of myself ”.

Final thoughts on the artist who makes incredible linocut prints

Linoleum printing may seem complicated, but with practice anyone can master this unusual art form. Linoleum may not seem impressive to some, but Picasso and other artists throughout history saw its potential. Today, people like Emil use it to make masterpieces using only a few tools like chisels and paint.

The finished product looks a lot like a woodcut, only softer and more colorful in some cases. Artists have always seen the world through a different lens and Emil is no different. Some people see linoleum as a flooring for their homes, while others see it as a canvas for a story yet to be told.

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