The Darryl Nantais Gallery

Artist's Biography

Michael Papworth

At the age of thirteen I started to experiment with various types of mediums and surfaces so that I could get a full understanding of how each one reacted. I would then sell my work at craft fairs and later through my local gallery, The Darryl Nantais Gallery, where I worked part-time as a picture framer and soon found out that this was great exposure for my work.

After my GCSEs I studied a National Diploma in Art & Design at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge, which developed my work even further, but soon became aware that my work was dramatically changing as I could see a definite style emerging as I became more focused on landscapes.

In January 2008 I started a new job at The Curwen Studio at Chilford Hall as a studio printmaker. I am working alongside and printing work by artists such as Rolf Harris, Charlotte Cornish, Bernard Dunstan, Paula Rego, Antony Micallef and am also dealing with prints by Henry Moore and John Hoyland to name but a few.
About my art in Lithography and Painting:

Before I started at The Curwen Studio as a Printmaker at Chilford Hall I was solely producing paintings focusing on landscapes. Throughout my time developing my technique I found that I was being quite meticulous in the approach that I was taking towards each piece, in the sense that time was taken over them and that I wanted to portray a clear, precise image. I would get inspiration from contemporary artists but use old, traditional painting techniques to create each piece.

After starting at The Curwen Studio I began learning the process of Lithography and transferring that knowledge into my own style of work, I realised the time it takes to produce an original print and the work that goes into one is also meticulous. I also brought my painting skills into Lithography to produce these hand drawn prints, which is part of the process of exposing the drawn marks onto the plate, this is a great connection between my oil paintings and my hand drawn lithographs and I think this new process to me has enriched my work and understanding of an original print enormously.

The process:

Lithography is a planographic form of printing. It differs from other processes where the image is raised (Lino/Woodblock), or recessed (intaglio: copper/wood engraving or etching). Lithography depends on the interaction of two incompatible substances, grease and water, on a prepared flat surface. The means of making marks on the stone/plates are very similar to those used for drawing/painting and consequently artists feel comfortable using them, unlike having to come to terms with handling an etching needle on copper plate for example. Once the artist has completed the drawing the prints are generated on presses where an alternate use of damping and inking ensures that only the artist's drawn image receives the application of ink which, when printed on suitable paper, provides the lithographic print. The choice and number of colours available in our printing process is unlimited, giving greater flexibility to the artist.