I live on a smallholding nestling by the sea in North Devon, and much of my inspiration comes from the living world around me. I have always loved drawing, and woodcut printmaking is a natural and exciting medium for me to explore.
I draw directly onto the wood, gradually 'discovering' my design within the tangle of lines I've made. I cut primarily with a knife, using a handful of gouges for texture and fine detail.
Cutting the block is a time-devouring labour of love. The hope is that head, heart and hand will meld with wood and blade to bring the subject to life – and that I will still have ten intact digits at the end of the day!
Whilst cutting the block I am working 'back to front', and black & white are also reversed, as I must cut away the 'negative' shapes. Thence the true alchemy of printmaking – the eager, anxious anticipation when the first print is pulled from the press.
More of Julian's work can be found at: www.julianwitts.co.uk