MASTER PRINTER AT BICAC

By Karen Quinn Photo Credit: Cheryl Mortimer

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Tags: Bribie Island. Local clubs and groups. Creative graphics printing. Art.

The “Working Together Group,” that explores creative graphics printing processes on Friday afternoons at the Bribie Island Community Arts Centre, was treated to a visit from a special visitor this week- Jim Aikenhead. Jim lives in Caboolture and is a long time artist and teacher who was a respected lecturer at QUT for many years. At the amazing age of 90 years old, his creative spirit continues to burn brightly and his enthusiasm for graphics processes, particularly lino block printing on fabric, is contagious and inspiring. His advice to the participants was enhanced by all the amazing examples of his work that he brought along for the group to experience.

He explained that “the idea” before starting an artwork is essential – this must be original and unique, never copied. His inspiration comes mainly from Nature – specifically where “rhythms” or “movement” is conveyed. His works depicting marine fossils and a waterfall were wonderful examples of this theme. Many layers and “overprinting” techniques are used and he emphasized that artwork should bring “light” into a home. Up to five lino blocks can be overprinted in loose or more restrained compositions.

We were reminded that the negative spaces in a design or composition, were as important as the positive ones. When carving a lino block- special consideration should be given to dealing with the “hard edges” of the block. Many of his are cut into almost sculptural shapes, before printing.

On a practical level, he often uses a mixture of oil paint, turps, and polyurethane, with flocking added on top of the block, to print on fabrics – usually on Indian cotton with 220gsm, but other kinds of cotton and rayons can be used. Expensive framing is not essential, – cheaper improvised framing can be just as effective and compliment the artwork. Above all, we were reminded and encouraged – one is never too old to be an artist!

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A highly successful sales and leadership career working in a number of different and very competitive industries. Engaging with decision makers at all levels in business and government. Three decades employed by corporations, SME businesses in senior roles and almost twelve years operating as a freelance contractor has equipped me well for all aspects of business. Whether leading and mentoring sales teams, or in a direct sales role I enjoy the challenge to meet and exceed expectations. Making a real and tangible difference in either a team environment or as an individual is an important personal goal I have consistently achieved throughout my career. In all of my business and personal dealings over the years there is one issue that stands out above all others - communication. Excellent communication skills creates trust, helps with mutually beneficial outcomes and above all cements long lasting positive relationships. I strive everyday to communicate effectively with the people I encounter.