Print Of The Month – John Busher

Balldrop:  Reduction Woodblock Print, variable edition of 10

Print of the Month John Busher


The background to this print:

The title of this work is ‘Balldrop’, it grew out of a painting that I made for a show last autumn in Pallas Projects/Studios. Sometimes I make a print in reaction to a painting, other times it’s the opposite. This print was part of bigger body of work that I was making in late December to late Spring. For now I will go back between print and painting and see how what I’m making in paint can inform what I could possibly do in print.

Tell us a little about the technique you used to make this print:

I don’t see it as being finished, I’m not satisfied with it as a stand alone woodcut. Having made it, I’m interested in how I can interrupt it in some way. It’s possible I will work over it with a lithograph. Just to bring some drawing into it. I’ve only made it as an edition of 10, and with a limited range of different colours. I wanted to see what I could do within that range. I generally draw directly onto a solid toned block in gouache, I have some prep drawings and use this as a reference. But I don’t let it dictate the image, I’ve no fixed idea about how to knock out the rest of the colours. It’s usually a gut feeling. It’s a reduction print, so there’s really no going back once I’ve made a decision how I want to mark the block.

What do you love about print?

I like the unexpected nature of print. It’s an old medium that constantly reinvents its self. The whole process of printmaking is intoxicating, the inks, grounds, papers. The smell of print is unique, it taps into a rich art making history. It always seems to be a puzzle that you’re trying to figure out.

Which print/artwork would you love to own?

The Intrigue by James Ensor. Mostly because of how open it is, there are a lot of loose ends to it. Ensor was interesting in how he approached the relationship between print and painting, often revisiting etchings after they might be considered finished. Much in the same way that a painter might work.





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