The blog of Hannah Robinson, artist, illustrator and graphic designer.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Interview - Monday 19th September 2011

Alison Deegan Interview
Another Monday, another interview, and today it's printmaker Alison Deegan. As some of you may have read, I took up lino printing again recently (Alison left an encouraging comment about my ham-fisted efforts), and I'd forgotten just how painstaking it was.  When you see Alison's work you know you're in the presence of a master, as it were. My personal favourite is a recent print of the Lewis Chessmen, seen here. If you've never tried lino printing, have a go, the materials are easy to get hold of online and the results are so satisfying.  I humbly approached Alison, being an admirer of her work, and now I'm happy to unveil the interview she kindly gave. 

Tell us about yourself
I am an archaeologist, printmaker and mum. I took up printing about 4 years ago and was immediately addicted. My main subjects are rural landscapes and wildlife. I spend a lot of time looking at air photos, some of them dating back to the 1940s, so I am always conscious of the archaeological and historical time depth when I am creating a landscape study. I love watching the birds and animals that visit the garden with our small son so these are often subjects too.

For those who are unfamiliar, take us through the process of lino printing
Take a sheet of lino. Cut out the bits where you don't want ink. Roll out the ink out onto a sheet of glass until you have a nice even layer on the glass and roller. Then roll the ink onto the lino. Carefull layer the paper on top. Add pressure. Add a bit more pressure. And some more for luck. Cross your fingers. Gently lift the paper. Stand back and admire :) You can see the inking in action here.
What was it about lino printing that attracted you to this medium?
I really like the physicality of this type of printing: carving the lino, rolling out the ink, winding up and down the press. A vague pencil line can be transformed into something quite different when it is cut into the lino, it feels like a very decisive form of mark making.
Which piece are you most proud of?
 I made a few special versions of my Newt Love linoprint using several different layers and merging shades of green, I love the results.

What else do you like to do?
Walking in the hills; swimming in the sea; collecting and foraging; making a mess. I'd like to do more sewing and painting.  
And finally... Who would play you in a film about your life?
 Mmm, I'd cast Natascha McElhone, though of course it would have to be a fictionalised account...

Thanks Alison! Don't forget to investigate her shop and blog. As ever do comment, follow and get in touch if you'd like to be interviewed (I have a small waiting list). :-)
Copyright for all images in this interview belongs to Alison Deegan, and images have been used with her permission.


  1. Fascinating interview, especially as I am someone who dabbles in lino prints too. (I have the blisters and holes in my hands to prove it). I love the bird at the top of the post. I will definately be checking out more of Alison's work.

    Michele x

  2. very interesting interview, I too love lino cutting and recently came back too it, there is something really relaxing about cutting out bits of lino. Alisons work is stunning off too check out your link :-)

  3. I love these interviews that tell you more about the person behind the craft. I did lino cutting many years ago. She makes me want to have another go.