Hilary Paynter has been one of the stalwarts of the Society of Wood Engravers for many years, and as the Society are celebrating their 100th year annivesary, Hilary Paynter has been interviewed by her daughter Leonie Bradley (editor of Printmaking Today) on the Bankside Gallery Website (see link below).
This is an interesting, if a little short, interview (by short I mean I'd liked to have heard so much more from Hilary but I appreciate that space presumably did not permit).
There are a few take homes from this. Firstly, purely from a practical point of view, towards the end of the interview Hilary talks about life working full time, and as a mother with 2 children, cooking etc. and that she had to 'learned to maximise my time' to produce engravings. This resonates with me because I am short of time, with 2 children (aged 6 and 9 just now) who I do a lot of childcare with, and I do all the cooking, and along with a rare Immunological Condition I am left with little time and energy to do much engraving. Oh, and I'm also the Chairman of the Amersham Art Group which I'm very involved with, although thankfully that doesn't take too much time.
It is encouraging that someone who is so well regarded, who has produced so many prints of such high quality, and who the V&A has just bought 67 of her wood engravings, had so little time to start with.
I now also understand why the framing of the Annual Exhibition of the SWE is of such high quality - the Society provides the frames themselves. A time consuming and costly way perhaps, but it pays dividends in the exhibition because it creates such an excellent consistent look to the whole exhibition and is an incredible credit to all those who organise this.
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