Owen Hutchinson is a Printmaker based at Sandgate. I met Owen earlier this year at the Pine Rivers Art Market.
1 .You started printmaking at High School. Have you done it consistently since then or has your interest/time waned and returned due to work commitments/life etc?
My interest in printmaking really took off seriously when I was asked to take an art class at Maleny High School in the early 90s. I first learned it as part of my Junior Classes at Banyo High in the late 50s but I studied Maths and Science in Senior. I do remember taking it pretty seriously ,even doing some extra prints at home using cardboard. I became seriously interested in pre-retirement and decided that it would become a major part of my retirement activities, so much so that I built a studio/gallery on our property at Maleny. We moved to a new home at Sandgate in2009 where I have a new studio/gallery and I work 5 days a week.
2. Have you tried other arts?
I tried watercolours while teaching art at Maleny but then I got caught up with Printmaking which I found more interesting.
3. You also say on your website that you are drawn to wood. Have you done any other wood crafts ?
I grew up on the banks of Cabbage Tree Creek at Deagon and as a child I always making model boats and trolleys from wood and wire from old cases. My older brother became a professional boat builder and I would help him build dinghies and sail them. Later I built my own sailing dinghies (Lightweight Sharpies) and raced them at Sandgate I made nearly all of our furniture and our first house and while teaching in country schools I took up wood chopping. I really like working with wood and have recently built a new Sharpie and even used wood from a mango tree that I felled and had milled . I have also used the mango wood for some prints.
4. What inspires you?
I guess I like “nice things” that carry a theme or feeling. This is probably due to my studies of Literature and History as part of my BA at the UQ in the 70s and 80s and my subsequent teaching of these subjects. Many of my prints have their origins in mythology , history and literature.
5. What is the process from start to finish to create a print?
After my initial inspiration (and I have heaps of these) I work hard at the composition and drawing .I find this the most difficult area of printmaking. Many decisions have to be made. Not only does the drawing have to be correct but with printmaking you can’t change your mind as you go. When I am happy with the drawing I cut the block(s) and trace the drawing in reverse onto the block. Next comes the carving process which I enjoy the most and then the actual printing process. This can take 2 to 3 weeks depending on the number of colours used.
6. How does the process change from a creative piece that simply inspires you to a commissioned piece?
I have only done a couple of small commissioned pieces so I can’t really make a valid comparison except to say that I like to do my own thing.
7. In your opinion is Printmaking still a popular choice among younger artists? Do you share/teach your skill? If so where?
I think that printmaking is in a pretty healthy state in Australia, especially in the southern states. It is a big commitment for aspiring artists because of the cost of acquiring a press and the necessary tools…..it is cheaper to take up one of the painting mediums. I have taught numerous people at my studio at Maleny and have conducted two workshops on the basics of printmaking but only one person has taken it up very seriously. I can teach printmaking at my studio at Sandgate.
8. Where can people see your work?
All of my works are available for viewing at my studio/gallery at Sandgate…..Bayside Gallery, 21 Second Avenue , Sandgate. There are a number of prints at David Linton’s Fine Furniture at Maleny. I also have 10 really large woodcut prints on the carpark side of the Woolworth’s building at Sandgate. These depict the history of the Sandgate area.