Penny Bhadresa linocuts featured in BBC Gardens Illustrated magazine

Exciting news! Penny Bhadresa was recently commissioned by the BBC’s Gardens Illustrated magazine to create a new series of linocuts to accompany Carol Klein’s forthcoming series of gardening articles in the magazine, ‘A Year at Glebe Cottage’.

© Penny Bhadresa 2011

Penny explains: In late December 2010 I received an email from the Art Editor of BBC Gardens Illustrated Magazine. They had looked at my website and asked if I would consider illustrating Carol Klein’s new series, ‘A Year at Glebe Cottage’. This was an opportunity both extremely exciting and deeply daunting as the brief was to create two linocut illustrations each month to accompany Carol’s text.

Penny was actually considering having a well-earned break after one of her busiest years ever, but this was an offer difficult to refuse as the subject had great appeal and it was a great challenge, so she readily agreed!

As Penny says: accepting this commission has given me a chance to work on subject matter I find inspiring anyway but the challenge of working to tight deadlines, I have realised, requires a highly disciplined approach because of the time constraints involved. A nail-biting deadline is always looming!

My first deadline for the February issue was already looming so I had to get my skates on, but I managed to get the two illos (as they call them in publishing circles) scanned and delivered in time. I thought my somewhat hurried first two linocuts looked quite nice in the February issue of the magazine, and now, looking forward each month and seeing my work published in this highly respected gardening magazine is the icing on the cake.

© Penny Bhadresa 2011

Penny explains the techniques in creating her original prints on her own website – here is a quick excerpt that aptly demonstrates the level of craftmanship that goes into each of her distinctive & vibrant linocuts:

Making limited edition linocut prints has become a central part of my creative work as an artist. I love linocut for the boldness and strength of image it produces. The process starts with drawing my idea for a composition, remembering that the image will be in reverse in the final print. I work straight from my imagination or combine this with visual references from photographs I have taken or sketches I have made. When I am happy with my design and composition I transfer it to lino using tracing and carbon papers.

Cutting out the design is done with different sized gouges and V-tools. Once the cutting is complete the lino is mounted on board to strengthen it and is then ready for inking. I prefer to ink up my lino blocks in one go, using different sized rollers and sometimes brushes for intricate areas for each separate colour. Sometimes a subject may be suited to the traditional reduction method of linoprinting which produces a more hard-edged quality in the final image.

I like to use linseed oil based relief printing inks which have great depth and luminosity of colour. For paper, I experiment with different types. I especially like some of the fine Japanese papers and find Imitation Japanese Vellum a superb all-round support for linocut prints. For most of my printing I use a small table-top relief printing press, although for larger work I sometimes use a Britannia press. I also like to hand burnish my prints to give greater depth of tone where appropriate.

The two linocuts shown here can be seen in the current April edition of Garden’s Illustrated magazine. This commissioned series of prints will appear as new illustrations each month in Gardens Illustrated and they will also be available to purchase as editioned original prints. You can see more of Penny Bhadresa’s linocuts on the Artworks website & on her own website.

Penny Bhadresa is a founding member of Artworks, its elected Chairperson since 2003 and she exhibits annually at the Artworks exhibition. Penny is also a member of Suffolk Craft Society & exhibits annually with Norfolk Arts, and she also participates in the very popular Christmas Craft Markets at Blackthorpe Barn. Her linocut prints are also available to buy at Smith’s Row Craft Shop, Cambridge Contemporary Art, Craftco, The Suffolk Craft Society – Gallery 2 and St Judes Gallery.  In addition to her limited edition prints, Penny Bhadresa’s linocuts have also been reproduced as a series of greetings cards – you can view & purchase the cards online at One Brown Cow.