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Pooki People - An Artist spotlight with Mollie Pearce
September 15, 2023
Tell us some more about yourself, your work and your printmaking style!
Hello! I'm Mollie Pearce. You can easily find me on Instagram. under the handle @molliepearceart. Currently, I am based in Chippenham, Wiltshire. At the moment, I am working from my home after graduating from University this July.
My artistic style leans towards figurative, with a focus on coastal themes. These themes include not only the coastline itself but also the different architecture that surrounds it. This may include beach huts, buildings or even boats. Currently, my main focus is on the Jurassic Coastline. Locations like Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, Swanage, and Weymouth serve as a main source of inspiration.
I mainly practise the reduction method in lino printing for my work. I enjoy layering the colours and experimenting to build up the picture. Some of my recent works have used up to ten layers, which has allowed me to create intricate and detailed images.
My journey into printing began during my first year at university. Before this, I had very limited printing experience and usually stuck to painting. However, after seeing the facilities and being inducted into the different presses, I started to love the processes and the possibilities that printmaking allowed me. By the end of my second year, I had built my skills with the reduction method, confidently using multiple layers and creating work I was really happy with..
As I progressed into the third year, my ambition grew with my prints. I was able to experiment with more detailed images and use even more layers. Learning more about how to layer the different colours and inks. I was also becoming more confident to scale up my prints, going as large as I could. I even printed an image that was 5ft long and 3ft high using the reduction method! You can find my whole process of this print on myInstagram.
To view more of my portfolio and to purchase my work, my website is www.molliepearce.co.uk. This is also where I post updates about me and my work!
Where does the magic happen?
I've been fortunate to enjoy large studio spaces throughout my degree, providing me with the perfect setting to explore my practice. This studio was shared among my other course mates, which allowed a social atmosphere, something I found important to me to stay motivated. Together, we did weekly critiques and exchanged ideas, which boosted our work and kept us going. You can see the studios in my video, which I took on the day I moved out!
With my recent graduation this July, I've had to move out of this studio and I am starting to make my own space within my home. While this is a big change and I am still adjusting , I'm excited to see the possibilities this new space offers me. Having a separate space to make work is so important to me and my practice. It allows me to really focus and not get distracted. While my space is an empty room with a table right now, I hope to start making it a really creative space for me to work soon.
I addition to my studio, I take regular trips down to the coast and immerse myself in the landscapes, with my camera. These trips allow me to observe and capture the constant changing scenery of the coast. I especially love visiting the harbours and coves to see the different boats that have come to the shore, such as Lulworth cove. After spending some time taking photos, I return home to work from them for my prints. I have attached some of my favourite photos to show you! including some I hope to work from soon!
Explain to us the journey to a finished print.
My journey usually starts with a trip to the coast to see what new things or places I can find. I especially love going to Lulworth Cove to see what boats are there that day. I then do a mini photoshoot to get some reference photos for the print. I like to play in Photoshop with my images before printing them, to get an idea of the colour palette I want to use and the types of shapes I might include. I then transfer these ideas onto the block to start carving each layer. To transfer my images, I tend to use carbon paper for the first few layers, as I find this quick and easy.
Although I start with a reference image, sometimes I like to switch up the colours a lot when printing. I also like to experiment with the textures when carving. I have started to find a specific style within my work that I enjoy, which I use a lot for sand, grass, or the sea. It allows me to get depth in my work within the different layers. By the time I have done roughly three layers, I know if I should stop there or keep it going. Sometimes I plan for a print to have 8 layers and I only end up doing 6, or the other way around, doing 6 when I was meant to do 4. When I get halfway through a print, I like to stray away more from my references and I tend to wing it a lot to see what I like best!
What are you currently working on?
I will be heading up to London soon to be a part of the Royal Marine Societies exhibit at the Mall Gallery! You are able to view one of my prints between the 21st of September and the 30th September. Alongside me will be a huge range of marine themed work and it is sure to be a lovely Exhibit for a day out. You can find more information on this on my Instagram
I will be posting regular updates about the event. You can also find information on the Mall gallery website
Print wise, I am currently working on a range of prints which look at different areas of Dorset such as The Lost Village of Tyneham, Durdle Door and Lulworth cove. I will be updating about these regularly and I am excited to start showing them to everyone. These prints are also helping me transition to my home studio, slowly getting me settled
How did your Pooki Press change your Printmaking?
My Pooki press was crucial in my printmaking journey. When I first started printing in my first year, it was cut very short due to the pandemic lockdown. I was at home for my first year, using very makeshift methods to create my prints. This included using spoons as a baren, using books to try and weigh it down, and hand burnishing everything, despite working on large batches. I found that I was not enjoying the process as much as I once did with these methods, as I was not achieving the desired finish that I knew I could get when using a press. I was aware that my prints could be significantly better.
Returning to uni after these lockdowns did not grant us complete workshop and studio freedom. It was challenging to access the facilities, and there was still a lot of anxiety among the students. At the start of my second year, I purchased my first A4 press from Pooki, and finally, I was able to achieve the results I wanted. I started to enjoy the process much more again, and I noticed substantial improvements in my skills and the quality of my work. My prints became much more consistent, and I was genuinely pleased with their appearance.
Having my own piece of equipment, the press, has proven really useful. I no longer have to rely on external resources, and I can work whenever I want, which included a lot of late nights while studying! This is especially crucial to me now, as I no longer have access to the facilities I am used to. The press has allowed me to continue my work without any worries.
Do you have any tips for other Printmakers? What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
My advice to printmakers is to embrace the unpredictable side of printmaking and enjoy the freedom it offers when experimenting. The process enables you to explore various styles, textures, and colours, opening up so many possibilities.
My other advice is to just chat and talk to everyone you meet. You can learn something new from anyone and it is a huge motivation to surround yourself with other printmakers, being more social has helped me so much.
Another tip for working with multiblock layers is to utilise Ternes Burton registration tabs. These tabs work wonders and ensure perfectly aligned prints every time!
Do you have a Favourite Print that you have made?
One of my favourite works is my print titled "Lulworth's Hut." It depicts one of the fishermen's huts in Lulworth Cove, showing the building and the stack of crab buckets that sit outside. This was the first print in which I was truly ambitious, attempting to use eight layers! It was also the print where I started to experiment more with texture, discovering techniques that suited well with my style.
It also earned me the title of Young Artist of 2023 from the Bath Society of Artists during their annual exhibit!
Where can people learn more about you, engage with you and find your work?
Instagram is the best way to connect with me and stay updated on my latest activities. I regularly share images and videos of my new artwork and upcoming projects. Feel free to reach out and chat with me there! My username is @molliepearceart. I'm quite active on social media, so I'll typically respond quickly.
You can also get in touch with me through my website, www.molliepearce.co.uk, where you'll find a contact form. I'll do my best to respond as soon as I can. Additionally, my website is the place to explore and purchase my artworks. To find other items for sale, such as greeting cards and postcards of my work, I update my etsy frequently.
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