Issue 39 | Painters Who Print

This issue of Artist Profile focuses on painters who make prints. We want to understand a painter’s relationship to the rather mystical powers of printmaking and the social and cultural engagement implicit in printmaking, which have left their mark on the work of many painters. Not all painters make prints, so these important, yet often unpredictable encounters are closely examined in this issue, especially in the essays by Jeremy Eccles, Michael Kempson and Lesley Conran.

To see the full list of artists and essays in the issue click here.

Most of the artists in this issue are best known as painters but, both in painting and printing, they speak for the handmade and for a contemporary art that is inclusive. In this way, for them, traditions, art histories and memory matter, and both painting and printmaking are enriched by working back and forward between the two disciplines. And the printing process seems to add to their handling of paint.

It does for Elisabeth Cummings, this issue’s cover artist, who says, “In etching … I love the quality of the dark line, it’s a whole other line, so different from drawing where you can dart in and out with colour.” Katherine Hattam, who shows the blocks that she uses in a combination of high-tech and traditional woodcut making, echoes this delight in the differences.

By contrast with Cummings, who came relatively late to the craft, other painters in this issue have had a long connection with printmaking. Judy Watson’s love of printmaking started in a Brisbane high school, and she has continued to understand and use the disciplines of screenprinting, woodcut, etching and lithography. Rick Amor began printmaking by studying etching under Murray Walker at the National Art School, Sydney. Amor left etching for 20 years of woodcuts and returned to etching in the late 1980s, and has since been devoted to the practice. While newbie artist Shannon McCulloch appears at ease working with painting and etching, another newcomer, Gene A’hern, is unsure.

Although the art of printmaking has produced many a masterpiece over the centuries, each of these painters took a different path to work in prints. Ashley Crawford argues that the quality and diversity of these artists and others printmaking across Australasia, makes its own case for a new Australian museum dedicated to works on paper.

The upcoming 10th anniversary of Artist Profile in September is exciting us here. To kick it off, we have partnered with the Orange Regional Gallery in Central-Western NSW to present a survey of 160 contemporary Australasian painters and their paintings. Deputy Editor Lucy Stranger and I have curated the exhibition from the magazine’s featured living painters. The exhibition, ARTIST PROFILE: Australasian Painters 2007 – 2017 will run from Saturday 8 July to Sunday 10 September 2017. We would love to see all our friends who have supported Artist Profile over the 10 years at the opening on 8 July in Orange.

EXHIBITION
ARTIST PROFILE: Australasian Painters 2007 – 2017

Opening Saturday 8 July 
8 July – Sunday 10 September 2017
Orange Regional Gallery