#ContemporaryArtMonday: Richard Shimell

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Posted 16th July 2018

Richard Shimell

Biography

When Richard Shimell visited an artist open studio event in 2010, he became fascinated with the process, the result and the beautiful Victorian press. He had no art experience, but was taken on by the Dartington Printmakers' Workshop, where he learned how to print. He has since taken part in exhibitions in Devon, Newcastle and Sweden, as well as previously at Watts Contemporary (Linocut Lives On and In Print: British Landscape). He was elected a member of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen in 2016.

Richard lives in a wooded valley on the edge of the moors in south Devon and is drawn to landscapes and complexity, and plants and trees in particular. He makes most of his prints by carving pieces of vinyl flooring to leave an image in relief, choosing this material because it is harder than lino, so allows for finer details, but is flat, thin and flexible, so goes easily through a press. Richard is particularly interested in linocuts and wood engravings and likes to combine aspects of the two in his work.

Why I like Flowers as a subject

Who can resist flowers? I have always loved gardening, so including flowers in my work was a given. I love vibrant colour, but also the shapes and subtlety of flowers, alive and sometimes when they are past their best.

I live in a wooded valley on the edge of the moors in south Devon and am drawn to landscapes and complexity, and plants and trees in particular.

I make most of my prints by carving pieces of vinyl flooring to leave an image in relief. I choose this material because it is harder than lino, so allows for finer details, but is flat, thin and flexible, so goes easily through a press. I draw directly on to the vinyl in soft pencil and pen, then carve around every mark I make.

Each plate can take weeks to carve. My detailed cutting is sometimes difficult to print, but I have found that careful inking and experience gives good results.

I'm interested in linocuts and wood engravings and like to think I'm combining aspects of the two.

See Richard's work in our Florabundance exhibition at Watts Contemporary Gallery, on display until 7 October.