Artists Trail 2020
June 27 - 28
4 - 5 July
Fay Watson | Wood Engraving |
Artist Trail Dates From May 2020   

Born in Hampshire, I studied at Bournemouth College of Art, receiving a National Diploma of Design in illustration and calligraphy in 1955. It was here I learned to make wood engravings, studying under the artist and printmaker Liz Nolan.

I loved this craft, but I couldn’t earn a living from it, so I made my first career in graphic art, working in early TV commercial advertising and later specialising in typographic design. 

I broke my career from 1959 to 1971 to raise my children, but I continued to make sketches and designs with a strong sense of pattern and contrast. I also made brass-rubbings, discovering in them the fascination of the incised line which had always attracted me. Wood engraving remained a special interest, although it was not until after my retirement that I was able to return to my favourite medium in 2004. 

I’m now enjoying a second career as a printmaker, making wood engravings and linocuts. I have twice worked as Artist-in-Residence at Burton Agnes Hall, a stately home in East Yorkshire, and have often exhibited my work in SE London, including on the excellent Sydenham Arts Trail. I’ve had engravings accepted six times now for the annual exhibitions of the Society of Wood Engravers, held at the Bankside Gallery on the South Bank and subsequently shown on tour around the UK. (My latest engraving is in their current 100th anniversary exhibition, but this has obviously been cancelled for now.) 

In 2013 I attended a workshop in Italy for the craft of woodcut, taught by the brilliant Italian artist Umberto Giovannini who, in normal times, teaches at the Central St Martin’s College of Art. A print resulting from this workshop is shown here.  Note: A woodcut is different from a wood engraving. It is made on a wooden plank cut along the grain, which can be any size, and may include the grain in its design, but a wood engraving is made on very hard wood, like boxwood, cut across the grain, type-high, by professional manufacturers.  This means it is usually a small block. The tools used to make woodcuts and wood engravings are also quite different.

I always use formal patterns and textures to convey aspects of my designs. In this way the characteristics of the engraved line can influence, alter and deepen the original concept as I work. 

I make most of my prints myself. All prints are limited editions, either hand-burnished on Japanese paper or printed on a hand-operated printing press on fine quality printing paper.

Unframed prints are shown here today – prices are attached.

Sales: Please contact Fay via email