John McGowan - Printmaker

Original Prints from an Original Printmaker

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    West Street 2003 Screen-print, 4 colours on Fabriano Tiepolo, Paper: H58 x W76cms, Image: H 48 x 54cms, Edition of 10

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    West Street 2 (2013) Screen-print, 4 colours on Fabriano Tiepolo, Edition of 10, Paper: H58 x W76cms, Image: H48 x W54cms

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    Tom Tom: The Road to Downham Market (2010) Screen-print, 5 colours on Fabriano Tiepolo, Edition of 6, Paper: H58 x W76cms, Image: H43 x W56.5cms

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    Balcony House (2014) Screen-print, 11 colours on Fabriano Tiepolo, Paper H65 x W45cms, Image: H60 x W39cms, Edition of 25

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    Lavoria: Screen-print, 3 colours on BFK Rives, Edition of 15, Paper H25 x W33cms, Image: H18.5 x 24.5cms

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Other Places


Although most of my recent prints have been made in series, I do make prints that stand alone, for various reasons. Although they are often connected by subject matter, the locations vary widely.

West Street 2003

Screen-print in 4 colours on Fabriano Tiepolo Limited Edition of 10
Dimensions: Paper H 58cms x W 76cms, Image: H 48cms x 54cms Limited Edition of 10


West Street (Oundle) takes three buildings built for religious purposes and an elegant Georgian town house which are, in reality, spaced along the length of the eponymous street. They are brought together to create a print in which the formal qualities of the different architectural styles are set against a series of textural improvisations. Early John Piper lithographs inspired the subject matter and style. Initial proofs were made at Graal Press, Roslin, under the guidance of Carol Robertson.

West Street 2 (2013)

Screen-print in 4 colours on Fabriano Tiepolo Limited Edition of 10
Dimensions: Paper H 58cms x W 76cms, Image: H 48cms x 54cms


West Street 2 is a considered revision of the same imagery. In this version the darkest tone – off black – carries a much greater weight in the design. It changes the mood of the print from ‘Sunny June’ to ‘Wet Wednesday’. The revision came about from looking in greater depth at the ways in which John Piper uses his ‘key line’ to create textures as well as outline.

Tom Tom: The Road to Downham Market (2010)

Screen-print in 5 colours on Fabriano Tiepolo Limited Edition of 6
Dimensions: Paper H 58cms x W 76cms, Image: H 43cms x 56.5cms

Tom Tom started with an unexpected encounter with a series of non-conformist chapels found along the road to Downham Market. The erstwhile visitor was denied access to them in different ways: by conversion, fence and forest. The print was the first in which I explored new ways of making screen prints after retirement from teaching. Instead of a clear plan, with colours carefully mapped out, the final image was arrived at through an exhaustive series of trial proofs. The print is an attempt to balance photographic image with painterly mark making.

Balcony House (2014)

Screen-print in 11 colours on Fabriano Tiepolo mould-made paper
Dimensions: Paper H 65cms x W 45cms, Image: H 60cms x 39cms Limited Edition of 25


Balcony House, Glinton, was going to be part of a new ‘Prospect’ but the sight of the wonderful parterre garden changed my mind. and turned it into a stand-alone image. Photographs of the garden were taken from the balcony and blended together, then reversed to give a bird’s-eye view. The description is not literal; some of the foreground has been edited to give greater emphasis to the design of the low box hedging. The print has 11 colours, nearly twice as many as recent prints. The reason for the increase was the need to create contrasting splatter textures on the many areas of bush and hedge.

Lavoria


Screen-print in 3 colours on BFK Rives mould-made paper
Dimensions: Paper H 25cms x W 33cms, Image: H 18.5cms x 24.5cms Limited Edition of 15


This print started out as a sketchbook drawing made, on holiday, in Tuscany. On an afternoon walk we discovered an old communal village-washing place. It comprised a large concrete trough and the strange object seen in the foreground (as yet unidentified). Technically, the print is an exercise in creating rich sepia tones from 3 overlaid transparent colours. An original drawing on acetate was made from the sketch and separated into tones via a scanner.


John McGowan
December 2015

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