Name: Allison Doherty
Tell us something about yourself?
I am an art teacher at a Quaker school, where I also have the role of gallery coordinator. In summers, I teach printmaking to adults and kids at arts camp. I’m very grateful to be able to do things that I enjoy for a job.
Who are you as an artist and why do you do what you do?
I love colour, texture, pattern, details of things. I also love to travel and enjoy the process of exploring new surroundings. In my work, I try to extract the essence of a place, sometimes re-shuffling or merging details, in the hope that it communicates spirit-of-place, rather than a specific location.
When did you first become aware of your interest in printmaking?
As a kid, I made my family’s Christmas cards by carving the old-style, hard linoleum blocks which I then printed on a Pearl platen press my father had rescued from somewhere. This early interest invariably led to the investigation of other forms of printmaking.
Which printmaking technique/s do you mostly work with?.. and why?
I enjoy the painterly approach of oil monotype, but also like solar plate etching, which produces precise lines. Soft-cut linoleum (far easier to work with than the old stuff) is a great way to create crisp, graphic images; I’ve also created digital images for screen printed textiles. I’m not keen on pursuing techniques that require acids or chemicals.
I take a mixed media approach to printmaking. Often, I begin with a monotype and then draw, paint and/or collage on top of it. I’m not a purist when it comes to printmaking.
Do you have any kind of ink and paper that you prefer to work with?
Lately, I’ve been using Rives BFK 250 gsm paper for my oil monotypes, for which I employ oil paints thinned with linseed oil. For my linocuts I use water-based inks mixed with retarder; Graphic Chemical and AKUA inks have been used in other work.
What role does the artist have in society?
Artists reflect the world around them: the good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly. Each has its place and audience.