Linocuts

A linocut is a relief print made using engraved linoleum as a plate.

Linoleum is made of a combination of linseed oil, ground cork, and gum spread on a canvas or burlap backing, creating a smooth, compact surface that can easily be engraved using gouges. This technique is not different from woodcut as the finished prints have the same aspect, but linoleum is easier to work than wood, as there are no knots and it is flexible, offering itself to fluid, spontaneous drawings....

Kandinsky and some Expressionists engraved on linoleum. Matisse was fascinated by its ease in working and used it in the simplest terms possible, creating a series of engravings of pure white lines on a black ground. Picasso too used linoleum to do a number of coloured linocuts between 1958 and 1964....

(From http://www.engrart.com/techniques.html#9)

Portland, 1998

Below, please find some of the linocuts I made in 1998 (click on the thumbnails to view the full images):

Skeleton Thumbnail Cattails Thumbnail Mrrranda Thumbnail Hard to Hold Thumbnail Abstract Linocut - Thumbnail

This two-color linocut I made in 1999:
Abstract 
Linocut


Pokemon Prints

I also made several linocuts of Pokemon in 1999. It sounds strange, but I was particularly broke in 1999 and thought I could cash in on the Pokemon craze by selling "original Pokemon art" on Ebay.com. In the end, I'd hardly made enough to cover my costs, but I did get this wonderful feedback: "Thanks Chris, Pokamon make Grandson very happy. Service A+ Happy Holidays"

Cubone Linocut Pikachu 
Linocut Eevee Linocut


Portraits

I made a couple of portraits in 2003 that aren't technically linocuts (the printing plates are some kind of soft rubber rather than linoleum). Click on the thumbnails below to view the full images:

boy girl


Burning Man, 2003

I made these two linocuts in 2003 at Burning Man:

Potsman takes a nap Sullywan


Nervousness

I made this four-color linocut for a Nervousness.org (a now-defunct mail-art community) project in 2002:
Bone Monster


I made this 2-color linocut for a Nervousness.org (a now-defunct mail-art community) project in 2004, a compilation of linocuts on the theme "the body":
Mouth Print

I describe the process I used to create the print here: A 2-Color Linocut from Start to Finish


Julia Roberts

Julia Horse-Kin, the Mongol Also in 2004, as a gag, I threw together a quick print called Julia Horse-Kin, the Mongol, an advertisement for a fictious documentary telling the story of actress Julia Roberts, and how she was descended from horses. Doesn't she have huge horsey teeth? Not my finest moment, but good for a laugh.


Man, Whose Hands Have Become Geese Heads and are Attacking Him

I created this in 2005, although I didn't get around to printing it until 2010. It is pretty cartoonish, but I'm happy with how it came out. When I was flush with money, I imagined commissioning various artist friends to create their own works based on the same premise, just to see what all they would come up with.

I used myself as a model--taking a photo of myself with my phone, hands attacking myself--so I guess I can also call this a self-portrait.


Bham - Year One

I made a series of prints depicting some of the more unusual neighborhood features in Birmingham, Alabama's Five Points South, in celebration of my first year living there.

Vulcan Print Storyteller Fountain Print Quinlan Castle Print Paddywagon Print


Political Figures

Kim Jong Il, Silvio Burlusconi, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Circa 2010.

Kim Jong Il Print Silvio Berlusconi Print Ruth Bader Ginsburg Print

Self Portraits

2014-2017. (These aren't really linocuts, they were printed from E-Z Cut blocks.)

Self-Portrait Self-Portrait Self-Portrait Self-Portrait Self-Portrait Self-Portrait Self-Portrait Self-Portrait Self-Portrait Self-Portrait 11 Feb 2017 Self-Portrait 5 Mar 2017


I first became interested in linocuts as a method of cheaply printing color covers for my literary journal, White Crow:

After my first experience, I indeed found it was very easy to work with, and relatively inexpensive (a postcard size linoleum block for a linocut should cost $3.00 or less).

At various points I have been attracted to the linocut for reasons like: the bold lines, the stark contrast, the ease of reproducing any number of "original" works, and the incidental lines that appear--quite accidentally--in the finished product, giving it a rough and raw appearance not found in modern design methods.

I also found several works by a young Czech artist who seems to work in linocuts: Laszlo Novotny. I am not very good at linocuts. Laszlo is far worse. But somehow his work has a compelling and often humorous raw edge.

Kelly Pound also works in linocuts...extremely kitschy linocuts to be exact. I think they're fantastic.