Lisa Howard

Illustrator, printmaker and photographer

I have worked in the creative industries for 20 years supporting the professional development of many talented creative people and spearheading programmes to broaden participation and access to the arts. My own artistic practice is diverse, but it is rooted in the drawing and observation of natural forms and informed by modern and contemporary creative responses. My botanical works explore cast shadow as a starting point for reducing natural forms to monochromatic compositions of line and pattern through ink drawing and printmaking techniques. My cyanotype prints are created using the oldest form of cameraless photography. Photosensitive chemicals on the paper are activated by sunlight leaving a white shadow trace of objects placed on the surface. It is a fun, but fickle medium which is dependent on many uncontrollable factors including the intensity and angle of the sun. My ink drawing technique involves tracing the shadow of an object in diluted ink that is barely visible on the paper. I then spot on pure ink, which floods the wet areas of the paper, but retains an intensity of saturation at the point of contact. As with the cyanotype printing process there are elements of this technique that are beyond my control, which is both creatively challenging and satisfying.