An online article about my work

A nice online article has been published about my work and how I make it. It is in the blog section of the Handprinted website. link below.

Here is a copy of the text but I've changed some of the images.

Meet the Maker: Martin Truefitt-Baker

NOVEMBER 25, 2021

Martin Truefitt-Baker is a fine art printmaker and painter living in the Brecon Beacons national park, South Wales, UK. His linocuts use a reduction method, using a single piece of lino. This is progressively cutaway and overprinted onto paper several times, in a succession of tones, to build up the final image. The prints are of the animals he has seen on his walks through the local landscape, mostly within just a couple of miles of his home. Martin always tries to catch some of the magic in the way the animal moves and lives within its environment. The beautiful Usk valley, rough mountainsides, twisted trees, wildflowers and busy insects fill the backgrounds of his prints.

Describe your printmaking process. I mostly use a reduction linocut method. 5 or 6 layers of cutting and printing work best for me. I start with the lightest tones working through to the darkest (not always simple black). Some of the layers are blends of two or three different colours of a similar tone. I tend to do this mix on the lino, using careful rolling and blotting, rather than making ‘rainbow rolls’. The full printing process can take weeks (failure is not an option!) so more time goes into designing the print and working out where the various tones will go, than the actual printing. I design using thin paper, premixed tones of blue acrylic and a black ballpoint pen. Nothing fancy…in fact, the whole point is to avoid getting ‘precious’ about the design. I often scan and print out sections of the design. You can resize, reverse and cut them up and stick them back together, then paint over the top until the finished design seems to work.

How and where did you learn to print? I did a strange degree in Aberystwith (West Wales) in Visual Art. Half Art history, which was a mistake as I was barely literate; half practical. I ended up specialising in illustration and book design. I started making some simple prints then. I wrote my dissertation on Edward Bawden. It was the early 80s, he was quite old and his work had fallen out of favour and was more obscure then. He was a lovely gentleman who reminded me of my own grandfather; he seemed bemused that someone would be interested in him. I was lucky to visit him in his home and see him working in his studio. I’d say this had a lasting effect on me. That Bawden/Ravillious/Nash group of artists have since been a big influence on me, in the way they depicted that magic in the British landscape.

Why printmaking? It links in with the illustration thing. That thrill of seeing an image reproduced. It becomes something else. You look at it differently. I often get asked ‘why don’t you just paint 20 of the designs!’ (it might be quicker) It’s just not the same. Seeing an image taken from a print and then reproduced as a card is another thrill again. It makes you look at the design in a whole new way.

Where do you work? I’m lucky that the cottage I live in has an extension on one side that I’ve taken over as a studio. It is in Llangattock (near Crickhowell) in the Brecon Beacons. Describe a typical day in your studio. Tea! …work…and the occasional bacon roll…and the cat demanding food.

How long have you been printmaking? Serio