Castell Coch Linocut by Ian Phillips

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Ian Phillips has been working as a print maker in Wales since 2001. His passion for relief printing was fired by a chance encounter with the work of Utagawa Hiroshige.

Hiroshige was considered a master of ukiyo-e, the genre of Japanese woodblock prints and paintings, which were popular from the late 17th to late 19th century.

The Tywyn-based artist taught himself lino cut reduction printmaking and has worked in the medium for over 20 years. Ian has exhibited all over the world, completed a residency in Australia and trained in China.

I stumbled across Ian’s work a few years ago and fell in love with it straight away. The first work I discovered was this print, simply titled “Castell Coch”. I love the texture and detail in the castle walls.

Linocut print of Castell Coch by Ian Phillips
© Copyright Ian Phillips

Ian told me that he walked the Taff Trail in August 2009, where he drew a sketch of the castle and took some reference photos of the brickwork and windows.

Sketch of Castell Coch by Ian Phillips
© Copyright Ian Phillips

He explains on his website, “My printing process today still starts with a walk and a sketchbook as it’s always done. Following lonely trails over empty hills, down twisting forests tracks, or along cliff side paths looking for complete compositions full of pattern and texture. Catching the subtleties of weather and the natural drama of the landscape. These line black and white drawings are then taken back to the studio enlarged and traced onto a lino sheet.”

Welsh landscapes from the Brecon Beacons to the Pembrokeshire Coast are available to buy. Another favourite of mine is this view of Cardiff called “Evening Arrival”.

Linocut of Cardiff scene titled Evening Arrival by Ian Phillips
© Copyright Ian Phillips

Prints and greeting cards can be purchased from Ian’s online store. There’s also a black and white version of “Castell Coch”.

Linocut print of Castell Coch by Ian Phillips
© Copyright Ian Phillips

Thanks to Ian for allowing me to share his work and taking the time to answer my questions. You can follow Ian on Instagram and visit his website.

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About the author

Jack is the editor of CastellCoch.com and Tongwynlais.com.

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