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Liz Somerville Printmaker and lover of the landscape

May 23, 2014

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Photo by Merrily Harpur from Real West Dorset Site (2010).

As luck would have it, today is the open evening with featured artist Liz Somerville as part of the Dorset Art Weeks running from the 24th May until the 8th June. Liz has featured before on my blog, here, but I’d not had a chance to find out more about this talented artist, that is until recently !

Can you tell us a little about your training and how you came to be the artist we find here today ?
I did  a B.A. Hons in textile design at Winchester School of Art, specialising in weave. I’ve always loved colour and felt that I would learn more by doing constructed textiles. After college I was a freelance print designer, mostly for menswear, an illustrator, and continued to develop my own work (printmaking) at the same time. I’ve been mucking about with print since I was about 13, so art college was just a short interlude. I moved to Dorset 10 years ago and found that I could combine my love of print, colour, rhythm and texture in a single subject.


Do you work from real life, photographs, and paint on site or use sketchbooks etc ?

I use sketchbooks, photos, film, whatever…and the remembered image.

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Your love of the countryside and landscape is evident in your work, how did this develop and were you always inspired by landscapes of is this a more recent discovery ?

I lived in London for a long time and all my work was architectural, never did landscape then. I use what I have around me and as I now live in Dorset, it makes sense to concentrate on landscape.

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How do you set about creating a new piece of work, can you describe the process and train of thought behind it ?
I do a lot of walking; when I see a subject I skirt round it for a long time, and try to ascertain what it is, in particular, that attracts me to it. This could take months. At  the same time I think about how I can depict it in such a way that my thoughts behind it become evident, always bearing in mind subtlety.

What is your favorite artist or who’s work do you find most inspiring ?

I don’t have favorites, but I do love Ravilious, Bawden, Nash and all that lot. I”m inspired by book illustration, particularly of the 60s and 70s, eastern European woodcuts, Chagall, Wyeth, Dufy, that French film, Belle Vue Redezvous (brilliant) and architecture.

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I can perhaps see a ‘nod’ to Ravilious here in this above illustration.
Are there any areas you would like to take your work into, book covers, picture books etc  ?
I would love to do a book.
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I love these sweeping hills and seascapes. Full of undulation and texture. Beautiful work.
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This is Liz’s studio, lots of natural light and areas to print on. Looking at those logs in storage, I hope it’s warm in the winter too : )
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More info on Liz available on her website and she has a range of cards available for sale too.

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Good luck with the Dorset Art Weeks Liz, and thanks again for your contribution to Fishink Blog.

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