Islay Prints was a lockdown creation. In the early months of 2020 I bought a linocut kit to play with. The whole family got involved and soon developed the linocutting bug. Living in a remote corner of Islay surrounded by incredible wildlife we couldn't help but be inspired and began sketching and then carving wildflowers, birds, mammals and scenery.
I simply loved the process of printmaking, back in 2020 it was an escape from a stressful day job. At the grand old age of 42 I felt so delighted to have finally discovered my passion and with the support of Dave my husband I gave up my full time job to focus on my new business Islay Prints. We both create art that I handprint as original pieces of art, greeting cards, notebooks, fabrics etc. It's been a wonderful adventure discovering our creative sides and for me to take it forward as a business.
As a life long birder and conservationist, working for Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and now RSPB, my husband's observational skills in the field have clearly set him in good stead when it comes to translating what he sees into a pencil sketch and then linocut. Having not drawn or sketched anything since art class at high school it came as quite a surprise to us that he had a hidden talent lurking away.
A friend and fellow ornithologist suggested that Dave might be able to produce a piece of art for the book 'Into The Red". We had a copy of 'Red 67', a book filled with wonderful art and words by hugely talented and high profile artists and authors. The book was created to raise funds to help protect the UK's most vulnerable birds, and just a few years later the number of birds on the Red List has once again increased and a second book has been created, this time a collaboration of 70 authors and 70 artists.
Just two years into discovering he had any artistic talent Dave was slightly daunted. But encouraged by a few good friends who rated his work he gave it a try. The book's curators were happy to include it and we were absolutely delighted and humbled. Rubbing pages with the likes of Jim Moir, David Gray, Mackenzie Crook, Harriet Mead and our good friend James MacCallum still seems incredibly surreal.
We are launching our limited edition Twite linoprint on November 1st. Only available on our website with 20% of sales going to the BTO and The Rare Breeding Birds Panel to further their work on Red-listed birds.
To purchase a copy of Into The Red head to www.bto.org/intothered to order yours.