Sunday 11 July 2021


 Printmaking has always fascinated me, and like most people, I got my first taste of it at high school. Here I was introduced to lino prints and screen prints. Both are simple forms of printmaking, although I think screenprinting (with a paper template) is trickier as you have to make sure all pieces are connected with ‘bridges’ so they don’t just fall out.


Richard Grieco

Model in advertisement

 Keanu Reeves - all circa 1992
Over the years, lino printing was an easy way to make fabric prints – I did butterflies for my first kombi curtains - and made special greeting cards for friends and family.
I revisited printmaking seriously in 1999, when I studied for my Certificate III in Drawing, where I made this series based on scenes of my family home, called Corners and Floors. Newly renovated, our house now had floorboards to complement the VJ walls, which created a spacious feeling, as well as providing interesting design lines. Shortly after this, I did one of my sisters house, also newly renovated.

At the TAFE exhibtion, 1999

My sisters house
And now, over 20 years later, I return to lino printing again. In my journey towards abstraction, it has helped me find a way to explore my photos of kelp from my King Island Artist Residency in 2019. There were photos that were beautiful, but I couldn’t find a way to interpret them in textiles as I did others. So I printed some photos out in black and white, A2 size, taped them to my window, placed plain paper over the top, and traced them into simple black and white designs. This allowed for a lot of artistic licence as there were many greys, but I had to decide where the boundaries between black and white lay. I coloured the tracings in so I could tell the difference between positive and negative space, which can be confusing when it gets quite detailed. Then I carbon-traced them onto lino blocks, before beginning the cutting process, whilst referring to the coloured-in copy to make sure I was cutting the right bits out. It’s a very enjoyable, meditative process – scooping away at the lino with cutting tools. I love the smell, too.
Black and white original photo
Pencil tracing

Cutting in progress

Finished lino cut, ready to print/emboss.

I’m looking forward to exploring a few new print processes with them too, such as blind embossing, where no ink is used, they are just rolled through the press at a tight tension to create an embossed effect (although they will be negative). I also want to try chine colle, where fine paper, or other materials such as silk paper, gummy silk cocoons and cricula coccoons, or even dyed paj silk itself could be used to create a coloured and textured background under the print. It becomes bonded to the paper during the printing process, and with the help of some starch glue, becomes an integral part of the print.
Cricula silk cocoons

 This new phase could be quite fun, so stay tuned for the next installment!