Thursday, 27 October 2011


One of the finest parts of our truly fine holiday in Canada two summers ago was a stay at Ocean Village beach resort in Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It's clean, it's friendly, and it's composed of upside-down-boat-shaped cabins with timber ends and shingled roofs (which are also the sides). But most importantly for us, it's partly owned by my brother in law R. He moved to Vancouver in the 80s and has managed to do ethical and environmental property development in a way I find extremely admirable. He's also, my wife informed me over the summer, a perfect bugger to buy a present for.

So she asked me to make a print depicting Ocean Village for R's 50th birthday, and here's how it went.

Firstly I composed a scene of cabin+trees+mountains which was a blend of my own photos and the rather finer ones on the Ocean Village site.

I'd never based a lino print on a black key line (I think that's the right term) before, but I admire lots of printers who work, or worked, in that style, not least the rightly unavoidable Edward Bawden. I suppose it allows you to get the best of both lino worlds: graphic boldness and multiple colours.

Anyway, the key line was made like this:

... and, once printed, looked like this:

Then I realised I ought to print that last, so I did two colour prints:

and bunged the black on last:

I really like the design, and I'm happy to have nailed the registration, though I'm still mystified at that patch of paleness caused by some irregularity in the pressure of my press, I assume. And I'm not that happy with the colours, truth be told. I have such poor judgement of colour. These multi-layer jobs always look too deep and dark to me, once done. Hey ho, S liked it and R liked it, so job done.