I was brought up on the south west coast of Cumbria. I was always outdoors, exploring the coastline or the countryside. The experience of enjoying the natural beauty of the Lake District seems to have stayed with me. I felt really privileged to live so near the coast yet on the edge of the Lake District – Coniston and Wastwater were on my doorstep.
Having studied Fine Art at Durham I went on to teach art and design for several years. I later took the opportunity to concentrate fully on my own work. My husband and I have been fortunate to bring up our family in some beautiful places – over the years we have lived in North Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Guernsey and the northern Lake District, as well as experiencing life abroad in both Germany and France.
We have now settled in the Eden Valley, Cumbria. I am still very drawn to the coast and to natural places which greatly influence my work. Our house looks out on the wild northern Pennines and the scene is constantly of interest with ever changing light and weather conditions.
Although I love living in the Eden Valley, with the Lake District on our doorstep, I still have a great fondness for North Yorkshire. Be it the Moors, Dales or coastal villages like Staithes, I am fascinated by the light, weather and the seasons and how they affect colour, shape and pattern. My principal interest is in print making, with lino my preferred medium. I work mainly in oil-based inks using specialist paper to produce original limited edition prints.
My purpose built studio houses an Albion Press (produced in 1846) – a pleasure to use and to look at – I feel that it is just wonderful to have this space to work in.
I have been lino printing for over 25 years. I have been fortunate to work closely with other specialist printmakers who have undoubtedly influenced my work.
I am keen to explore in all types of weather. Sometimes a photograph can capture a particular moment in time, or an atmospheric condition created by the light or the weather, which you would otherwise be unable to record. The shore walk at Ullswater is one of our favourite local haunts be it rain, hail or shine (all possible within minutes of each other in this part of the world)!
Generally I try to keep my initial drawing to a minimum. I prefer to have a ‘feel’ for what I am trying to create which allows colour and pattern to develop as I progress. As a print unfolds I enjoy exploring different uses of colour and there is nothing more magical than seeing an image coming together. Through my prints my desire is to evoke an atmosphere which has inspired my creative interpretation – a walk, a visit, a particular scene. Some of my images are of recognisable places whilst others are designed to stir memories of a place or time.
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Janice Earley | Artist | Printmaker | Illustrator