Colin Blanchard was born in Lincolnshire in 1952 and attended Wolverhampton, Farnham and Walthamstow Schools of Art in the early 1970s. His work from that period is in a number of private and public collections (including Manchester City Art Gallery and the RCA). After post graduate printmaking study, he worked as a ‘master’ printer’ editioning original prints for other artists whilst teaching printmaking and design in London. Then, moving around the country, he worked as a designer, gamekeeper and commercial printer and eventually taught printmaking full time at Colchester School of Art. He then shifted career – and spent many years involved in education and training in countryside and wildlife management; whilst continuing to illustrate and design.
Nine years ago he began a project to develop a print workshop and studio at Craigshaw Barns Studio, near Lockerbie, where he now produces limited edition screen prints and linocuts, and is developing the intaglio facilities. He is also planning to eventually offer printmaking workshops.
He has work selling through a number of galleries, both locally and further afield. Recently he has again been selected to take part in the Dumfries and Galloway ‘Spring Fling’; he has been an ‘Artist in Action’ at Game and Country Fairs; had three prints selected for the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art; been commissioned to create a print for the ‘Shooting Times’ Summer Special Edition front cover; made a major contribution to Mascot Media’s book ‘The Artful Hare’ and selected and hung in both the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts’ Annual Exhibition and Royal Scottish Academy Summer Exhibition, this year winning the RSA Roy Wood Prize for Printmaking.
I continue to be fascinated by the possibilities of using contemporary technology in conjunction with high levels of traditional printmaking craft skills to create truly original prints.
I am interested in images and objects that are not in any way reproductions or imitations of any other medium, but that have the techniques, qualities and effects and that only handmade prints can offer; along with the advantages of producing multiples in (genuinely limited) editions. Like most printmakers, I still enjoy exploring and mastering new and different hands-on printmaking skills which in turn constantly evolves and develops my imagery and print qualities.
In my work I want to explore the possibilities of making images that are, in one way, those of traditional countryside and/or wildlife subject matter, but that take a less ‘traditional’ approach. Recently I have continued to develop a theme of incorporating my own poetry as an integral part of the prints I produce; both compositionally and as a means to expand my communication to the viewer regarding my reaction to and inspiration from the subject.