Posted 16th December 2019
Meet... Andy Lovell and Luella Martin
On today's blog, discover the works of printmakers Andy Lovell and Luella Martin, whose atmospheric landscapes feature in our current Watts Contemporary exhibition, In Print: Capturing Light.
Luella Martin grew up and was educated in London. She studied at Hornsey & Byam Shaw Colleges of Art with post-graduate studies at Goldsmiths College, London. She travelled extensively in Europe and lived in Australia for twelve years. She returned to England in 1997 and is now working full-time in her studio on the south coast where she paints and prints her solar etchings.
Solar plate etching is an eco-friendly, modern way of working which uses sunlight (or UV lamp) and tap water to process steel light-sensitive plates without harmful chemicals. The artwork is put onto acetate film and placed over the light sensitive plate. It is exposed to sunlight or UV lamp and then washed out using tap water. After processing and drying the steel plates are inked and wiped by hand and the image is printed on to dampened etching paper 'intaglio' using a traditional etching press. Each of Luella's solar etchings can go through up to 14 different steps between the original idea and the finished framed piece.
'I believe that looking at our surroundings is examining the effect of light striking different materials. In my camera, light is translated into a digital signal and when I make a solar plate etching I use light to transfer information on to the steel plate. Atmosphere and mood come from looking at different times of day, or in different weathers or seasons and my challenge is to find that and to use colour to emphasise my feelings.
Although I reference the real world, my pieces are often about 'nowhere in particular' - a quiet corner of the South Downs, or some reflections in a pond. My etchings are charged with atmosphere - a distillation of visual information mixed with memories and colourful interventions, they are a very personal response.'
Andy Lovell studied illustration and printmaking at Liverpool School of Art and Design and now works as a fine art printmaker. He lives and works in Stroud, Gloucestershire and exhibits regularly in galleries across the UK, America and Australia.
'My subject matter divides between landscape, seascape and cityscape. Painting on location is, by its nature, at the whim of the weather which is in constant flux. Capturing the play of light through shadow and highlight, light and dark is key to evoking the essence of the scene in front of you.
Once back in my studio I develop and evolve a silkscreen print or monotypes from the raw paintings that I have produced, often using the white of my paper as my purest white to break the edges of the image. By doing this the sense of light is heightened and plays a more dynamic role in the scene.
The silkscreen process lends a natural simplification to a picture imbuing it with a paired back graphic quality, whilst the nuances of the marks and depth of blacks that the monotype process offers are particularly effective at evoking very dramatic lighting in the landscape.'
Interested in seeing Andy Lovell and Luella Martin's works in person? Click here to find out more about In Print: Capturing Light. All works for sale.
Banner image: Andy Lovell,
Newton Creek, screenprint