Laura Boswell: The Renaissance Printmaker

Even though she studied printmaking in college at University of Wales: Aberstwyth, Mesh artist Laura Boswell promptly turned her attention to new endeavors after her studies, and found work in commercial photography (managing the library of stock photographs, not as a photographer). For over a decade, Boswell didn't draw or create her own work while she immersed herself in this new pursuit.

Laura Boswell, Printmaker

Her time however was not wasted. As the artist describes on her podcast with Peter Keegan, "Ask An Artist", she was learning good artistic business practices during those years, which is crucial to the success of an independent artist. In 2005, a family friend of Boswell's offered her a printing press which she turned down for almost a year until it showed up unceremoniously on her doorstep.

From that moment onward, Boswell made a decision to pursue art with gusto, knowing she wanted to make printmaking her career rather than a hobby. With a wealth of business savvy and artistic drive, Boswell's career quickly took off. She returned to creating linocuts, which she had learned to make in college, but she also immersed herself in a new continued printmaking education. The artist decided to explore Japanese woodblock printmaking, another form of relief printing.

Cutting tools lie among wood shavings while the carver works.

This technique is widely considered to be the original printmaking tradition and is painstaking to learn; but Boswell was committed and excited. She partook in three printmaking residencies in Japan, studying with master craftsmen, and she is today widely respected in this field, and regarded as an expect in this technique. She very recently wrote a book about Japanese Woodblock Printmaking, published by Crowood Press. Because of its popularity it went to print a second time, before even reaching book stores!  This concise and highly detailed "how to" is a must-have for anyone tempted to carve their first color woodcut in Japanese manner.

Artist Laura Boswell's book, Making Japanese Woodblock Prints Close up of hands cutting Japanese Woodblock with Hangi-to - Laura Boswell Page from Boswell's Japanese Woodblock Printmaking book

Being primarily a landscape artist, the Japanese aesthetic is felt throughout Boswell's work. Her use of negative space and layering of very thin, translucent layers of ink, give her prints a captivating appearance that is uniquely her own, all the while drawing on historical artistic influences.

See available prints by Laura Boswell HERE.

Her prints are not traditionally realistic, but her ability to translate painterly strokes to the linoleum or wood block lend her composition the sought-after appearance of spontaneity that is incredibly seductive. 

Boswell approaches her subject matter with the same dedication as the rest of her life. She will travel to inspiring places and take days to sketch, photograph and absorb the landscape. She will then go back to her studio and begin the painstaking process of blending inspiration with creative pursuits.

 

As a driven and well-rounded artist, Boswell knew that talent and skill weren't enough to support herself with an artistic pursuits. The artist long ago began to find ways to exhibit her work and start conversations about printmaking, art and the artistic career. Through her diligent efforts and incredible artistic ability, she is now represented by galleries all over the United Kingdom, teaches linocut and Japanese woodblock classes, writes a monthly column for Artist and Illustrators Magazine and co-hosts a weekly podcast about the business of being an artist. 

She was elected to the prestigious Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers in 2018 and continues to receive awards and public art commissions frequently.

Portrait of Laura Boswell in front of her public art commission at the Gyosei Grand Union Canal

Despite this busy schedule, Boswell still finds time to do printing demos and interact with the community of printmakers through social media and open studio events.

Laura Boswell doing a demo at an art fair

See available prints by Laura Boswell HERE.

Here at Mesh, we are proud to support independent graphic and photographic artists like Laura Boswell. This artist's inspiring artistic career is a powerful illustration that there is not one path to creative success, but many varied ones. Please take a look at our exhibition of Laura's work HERE.  It will be up through the end of January. If you have any further questions about Laura, her work, or Mesh, please don't hesitate to email us at info@meshartgallery.com. 

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