Following his spell at the distillery last year, artist Jonathan Lloyd has started the business of depicting Bruichladdich through the medium of printmaking with wood blocks. [You can read about his original visit here.] Through the winter, he’s been working on the raw sketches he made while on location with us. During a visit to his studio in Northumberland we asked him for more detail about the materials he’s been using.
JL: “What do artists do all day?! Back at the studio I’ll work on painted studies; acrylic on mountboard. I mostly use an acrylic matt medium mixed with raw pigment. I get a high pigment saturation at a fraction of the cost of using tubes.
“Often I’ll trace a study and produce a second to work on so as not to destroy original ideas. This spawns copies of copies, several studies I’ll work on simultaneously, scraps of tracing paper and mountboard covering surfaces everywhere. It’s a messy archaic way of working that might go on for months before I find some sense of fluid order and articulation.
“It’s difficult to say how much time it takes, but these pieces do have a long fermentation. The longest time by a mile is spent on these studies; months. That’s the most challenging bit.
“By the time I get to making and cutting of woodblocks the major decisions have been made so it’s a job of work. I might spend a week or so doing this, take some proof prints and make adjustments to the blocks as necessary.
“I make blocks using ply or OSB as a base. I’ll saw selected timber to about 6mm veneers and laminate this to the base giving me a stable block with a good cutting depth. When it comes to cutting the blocks I use widely available cheap tools for hand cutting, I just make sure they a very sharp. I’ll also use machine tools such as circular saws.