Catherine Mynott, creating joyful prints inspired by nature
Catherine coating a screen in the studio | Catherine mixing up some ink
Catherine Mynott is one of our 200 members here at Edinburgh Printmakers. She has been a member for over four years. She is a full-time artist and can often be seen creating beautiful screen prints in our new studio. She told us what she enjoys about screenprinting and why it’s a good fit for her:
“I enjoy using a variety of printmaking techniques to suit my purpose, but I primarily work in screen print. This process is a good fit for me because I can spend hours drawing and observing from life, and so it is wonderful to be able to transform those drawings for printmaking using a photographic process.”
“My work explores the beauty and value of the natural world. It is joyful and illustrative and often features botanical forms. I use intricate line detail, vibrant colour and a repetition of motif to create limited edition prints, designs, and patterns.”
The inspiration behind her creative process
Catherine is working on a collection of prints that explores the fragile beauty of cut flowers. She works in a little studio in her tenement flat and prints her work by hand at Edinburgh Printmakers.
“The starting point for this collection is my screen print ‘Tulips’, which is full of colour, pattern and intricate blooms. It began with a vase of tulips on my kitchen table: the sunlight was illuminating their petals so beautifully that I couldn’t resist picking up a pen and starting to draw.”
“My next print in the collection is of roses. I’ve been working on initial drawings from life and my desk is currently covered in rose stems, leaves and blooms. I will be posting updates on Instagram if you would like to see how the collection develops.”
“I have just completed a beautiful series called ‘Collected Vegetables’. This is a collection of twelve limited edition vegetable screen prints: one for each month of the year. It is inspired by the changing nature of gardens throughout the seasons and the verdant abundance and variety of different vegetables.
The works include motifs to represent the grown leaves, flowers and seeds. The images are the same size as seed packets from my own growing, referencing the life-cycle of the plant and the role of seeds in a gardener’s collection.
The twelve individual prints can be collected and presented in different ways. One presentation is in the order that the vegetable seeds are sown throughout the year.“
From chocolate box town to Edinburgh
Catherine is inspired by the places she has lived in, and by her love for nature:
“I grew up in East Anglia, in chocolate box towns in Essex and Suffolk where I was forever exploring the local countryside with my family. I have inherited my love of nature from them, along with a treasured library of well-thumbed identification guides.
I discovered Edinburgh when I came here to study. Of course, I fell in love with the city, the Highlands and Islands, and have never left. I love the landscape of Scotland, especially the hills, rivers and valleys of Royal Deeside and the machair of the Outer Hebrides.”
“I am often inspired when I am out exploring gardens and natural spaces. I love to gather branches, leaves, vegetables, flowers, and fruits. Then, working directly from life, I closely observe their colours, patterns, and shapes in my artwork.”
Ink mixing inspired by a rose
Getting settled in the new studio at Castle Mills
Catherine was one of the first members to be back in the studio when we opened our doors at Castle Mills. She shared her thoughts on the new studio.
“I think that the new studio at Castle Mills is wonderful. It is light and spacious, and the facilities are brilliant. I was most excited by the addition of another wash out bay in the screenprinting area. Now that there are two you can work alongside each other and don’t have to wait very long to use the area. There are also some lovely new presses, especially in the screen printing and etching areas. I’m really looking forward to using these but so far I’ve been a creature of habit and have stuck to the presses I know and love: ‘Dolly’ in screen printing, ‘Egor’ in relief and ‘Bart’ in etching (I can’t resist the romance of Treasure Island having been printed on Bart).”
“What I love most about the studio is the atmosphere and the people. Everyone is so friendly and interested in what you are working on. If they have a moment, they will ask to have a look at your finished work on the rack or to come over to see you pulling a new print. I think we are all unable to resist the joy of seeing a finished print for the first time, after pulling back the blankets or lifting the screen. It is lovely to be in an environment where other artists are creating new work as well.”
Catherine looking at her work ‘Tulips’ in the studio at Castle Mills
Reaping the fruits of her hard work
Catherine’s hard work is paying off. She told us about the recognition her beautiful art has received.
“My screen print ‘Tulips’ has been shortlisted for The Open Contemporary Young Artist Award and is on display at The Biscuit Factory Gallery in Newcastle until the 25th of August. You can view the shortlisted works online, and vote for who you think should win the People's Choice Award (me!) here."
I completed ‘Collected Vegetables’ as part of my studies at Leith School of Art, where I was delighted to be awarded the ‘Stern Award for Printmaking’ for this piece during the school’s end of year exhibition.”
Two of Catherine’s beautiful prints, ‘Tulips’ and ‘Onion’, part of ‘Collected Vegetables’
To explore more of Catherine’s work, visit her website www.catherinemynott.co.uk and give her a follow on Instagram here. You can also buy some of Catherine's work in our shop.
If you would like to find out more about how to become a member, click here.
If you are a member and would like to be featured next month, please email Sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org