Is a Lino Print even Proper Original Art?

Header image for "Is a Lino Print even Proper Original Art?" featuring "Thriving" lino print image with a silhouette of Tangerine Meg taking a self portrait in a mirror

Is a Lino Print even Proper Original Art?

“Yes, of course a Lino Print is Proper Art!” You somehow knew I’d say that, didn’t you?

But Meg, it’s just a print. Isn’t it?

A limited edition lino print is not a ‘print’ like when you do photocopying at the library or print on your home printer!

An artist firstly designs the artwork – to try to show or say what they can’t not say – and transfers it to the lino block and then carves away (with hand tools) the areas which won’t be printed.

Each print gets created, one by one, maybe using a wooden spoon to press the paper onto the inked block (like I usually do) or with the physical assistance of simple technology such as a letterpress machine. Either way, the pressure makes a good transfer of ink from block to paper.

Here are the inked lino block and a print waiting to dry and be painted, of my orange-cat-on-a-quilt lino print, “Content”. Click the picture to see it finished in my Gallery Shop.

"Content" hand coloured, limited edition lino print: Lino block, inked, and a fresh print

When is a picture a “Limited Edition” Lino Print?

I do Very Small Editions, by preference. You can get several hundred or more in an edition and it’s still a numbered, one by one, each-done-by-hand edition. You can see what the artist has done, either way, by having a look in the bottom corner below the image for a pair of Very Useful Numbers. The top number is where this one was in the edition, the lower number is how many the edition is restricted to…

close up of the bottom of a lino print showing the edition numbers In the picture above, you can see this edition is limited to 5 prints, and this one was the first one. No more than 5 originals will be printed – very special!

In some cases, prints are also hand painted. Care and attention is lavished on every centimetre of the image :)
Reduction block and multi block prints are beyond what I’ll talk about here. [They make my head spin!]
close up of meg's hand, painting a lino print, very bright artThe opposite of a Limited Edition print is an Open Edition, which means any number can be printed. There’s also the option of not even ‘editioning’ a print and instead of numbers it’s simply marked with TP (trial print) or AP (artist’s proof), the latter of which the artist might keep for herself, to refer to the paint colour scheme for the edition.

To keep the edition capped, you’re meant to destroy / deface the printing block when you’ve finished your run/edition, so no more can get made. I keep mine for the moment until the whole edition has gone to good homes – in case of a unfortunate – and unlikely – postal system related incident.

TangerineMeg_JoieDeVivre_hand-colored lino print

Limited Edition Prints are for all kinds of art collecting!

Art can increase in value. That’s not the core reason to own it though! I recommend hanging art you love, that speaks to you. Maybe it reminds you of your better, deeper or happier self. If you look at your art and enjoy it everyday, it’s already increasing your quality of life. If it becomes a well known and dear friend, and if it increases in value, you may well not want to part with it any way!

Lino print of black and grey cat on blue sofa with pink and red patterned cushion

Do you collect art Meg?

Why yes I do, thanks for asking, header :) Sometimes I simply fall in love with the energy and light that radiates from an artwork, and Need. To. Live. With. It. Sometimes I buy Happy Couple type pictures – hopefully not as cheesy as it sounds! – to remind/illustrate to me and Tangerine Man (my husband) that we’ve chosen each other with whom to move forward. In our current previous home we agreed contracted with the owner not to put anything – even awesome and beautiful things – on the walls :( We’ll be moving into a different home later this year though, & we’ll have some nice spots for a few special pieces.

Have you ever bought an original print? Tell us about it in the comments! If the artist has a web presence, leave us a link to their art :)

‘Talk’ soon,
Love Meg x o


PS Check out my fledgeling growing Pinterest board of resources for Art Collectors!

PS2 Want one of my prints for your home? Find my available original lino prints and watercolours here at my Gallery Shop :)

Header image for "Is a Lino Print even Proper Original Art?" featuring "Thriving" lino print image with a silhouette of Tangerine Meg taking a self portrait in a mirror











Is a Lino Print even Proper Original Art? — 5 Comments

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  4. Hi Meg, I’ve always loved your work and you’re not afraid to use bright colours like so many people are. I have bought prints and also swapped some of my own lino prints in order to build up my collection of female-artist’s Adelaidian lino prints. It’s lovely to be at home and wander from room to room and have them as part of my life. My husband also surprises me from time to time with a gift of a beautiful print to add to the collection. When I get a job I’ll need to buy one of yours. The collection won’t be complete until I have one! :)

    • Dear Sonya, Thanks for commenting – and for the compliment – I really appreciate you reiterating what I first thought: of course lino prints are “proper” original art!
      I love that your collection is so specific and that you enjoy it so much! Love Meg x o

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