St Germans printmaker set to open up her studios
Printmakers were few and far between when Louise Stebbing began learning the art of her trade – now, 30 years on, she’s won numerous awards for her vibrant work and continues to wow audiences with her prints which reflect her countryside surroundings.
As well as producing and exhibiting her linocuts, etchings and paintings, Louise is also helping to inspire the next generation of artists through the classes and workshops she teaches.
And from May 26-June 10 she is opening up her studio, at her home in Wiggenhall St Germans, as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios, where she will be demonstrating the intricate techniques she uses to create her works.
“I’ve always been interested in painting and drawing, even as a child,” recalls Louise. “There was never any doubt that’s what I’d go on to study.
“Printmaking wasn’t particularly popular when I first started, but over the years more and more people have taken it up. I was just drawn to it, particularly the technical side involved.
“It’s quite a complicated, precise process – in fact I often wonder why I don’t sometimes stick to painting, but you can achieve some amazing results, building the colours up.”
Louise completed her art foundation course at Cambridge, before heading to Sheffield where her passion for printmaking was first sparked. After her degree she moved to London for her postgraduate studies, before returning to Sheffield for six years, where she taught part-time while building her portfolio.
A belated gap year travelling the world followed before she settled in Tydd Gote, where she grew up.
Louise moved across the county border a year ago, and is finding the Norfolk landscape a great inspiration; colourful tulip fields, the striped cliffs of Hunstanton as well as seascapes, fields and country orchards all feature heavily in her prints.
She makes her etchings by scratching a mirror image of the picture she wants to create onto a wax coated metal block. Then she uses acid to eat away at it, before applying ink to use it to print on to paper with. For linocuts she gradually cuts away sections from a piece of lino, which she uses to print with, applying ink to build up vibrant layers of colour.
Louise has won many awards including Fen Artist of the Year, been featured in books, exhibited all over the country and also taken part in the Sky Landscape Artist of the Year 2016.
“I cycle absolutely everywhere and always take my sketch pad out with me,” she adds. “Everything around me is so inspiring and the thing I’ve noticed is that nowhere is ever the same.
“I could go past a place on one particular day and not even notice it, but then on another day, because the light is so completely different, it can look completely different too.
“And then with the changing seasons, there’s just so much out there for me to recreate in my work.”
Louise’s artwork is available to buy via her website www.louisestebbingprintmaker.com and she will also be exhibiting with the West Norfolk Artists’ Association later this year.
For more information about the Open Studios exhibition visit www.nnopenstudios.org.uk