I trained as a German teacher in 2008/2009 at the age of 40 something, and cleverly managed to coincide my training with the sudden downtrend in popularity of the German language in secondary schools. As a result, having done the training, I discovered there were no jobs available in my area. With a young family I couldn’t relocate. Long story short, I realised I was getting nowhere in education and let my printmaking hobby provide the fulfilment I was lacking in my working career. In May 2014 I bravely registered as an exhibitor for Dorset Art Weeks and prepared to welcome complete strangers into my home to look at my prints. I suppose I wanted the challenge of organising something by myself; I wanted to be my own boss, managing my own destiny. I wasn’t expecting to make any sales! As it turned out, the feedback was immensely positive and I enjoyed welcoming strangers into my home. It prompted me to hand in my notice at the secondary school where I was working in July 2014 and launch myself as a self-employed full-time printmaker.
I have been teaching printmaking courses in my home since August 2104, but I realise I also need to continue improving my own skills as a printmaker by trying out new techniques and experimenting with different materials. As a member of the Dorset Visual Arts community I am now signed up for a collaborative project entitled “Interrogating Materials”. Over the coming year I will be meeting up with a group of other artists in Dorset involved in this project to share ideas. I specialise in collagraph printing and mono-printing, and use a variety of materials to create tone and texture on my printing plates. I am hoping I will feel inspired to try using new materials, or even just use existing materials in a different way. My studio is in fact my dining room, with my intaglio printing press taking pride of place. My dresser has vintage china displayed on the top, but inside the cupboard underneath I store all my printmaking stuff. I have a mock chandelier in there too, and a red wall with a huge decorative mirror. The red wall has to go, so I am about to embark on a quick decorating spree to lighten up the room (red wall becomes primrose yellow) and there is some fancy laminate flooring going down in the first week of December.
This blog is intended to encourage me to keep on printing just for myself , alongside building my new business and advertising my workshops – there are a number of recurring themes in my work (still life, animals, forests) but I currently tend to float freely between them and haven’t yet found one particular theme to focus on as my speciality. I am eclectic in nature, and part of me thinks that I will feel too constrained if I decide to choose one particular theme to focus on full-time. However, this blog is designed to share my artist’s journey and let’s see if: A) I do actually become a better printmaker – note to self: make sure I post some photos of my work now, so we can compare them with the work I am producing in a year’s time! And B) I find my own special theme. This blog is about my own printmaking journey.
Please also see my website: www.genevievelaversprintmaker.co.uk
I manage a Facebook page: genevieve lavers printmaker.
There is a facebook feed on my website – see “Contacts” in the menu.