Carry Akroyd, Painter and Printmaker

Today we speak to painter and printmaker Carry Akroyd and find out what inspires her vibrant landscapes of the local countryside...

Where did you learn your craft?

I was first introduced to screenprinting at Kettering Tech when I was 15, and immediately loved it. I try to refer to it by its older term of serigraphy theses days, as screen has come to mean digital and print means reproduction.

What aspects of the countryside fire your imagination?

A sort of contrariness made me want to do the opposite of the ubiquitous Cornish Harbour painting. Also I live in the midst of agri-business, so maybe I have a less romantic view of the landscape than some.

Do you work solely from your own studio, or do you use outside facilities?

I prefer mostly to doddle around in splendid isolation, however I have had great fun making aquatints at St Barnabas, it’s great stimulation to take a course from time to time to see what other people do. Sometimes technically I need to make use of some kind of open access facilities to do things I cant do in my own space.

What or who has been inspiring your practice lately?

I have recently been making lithographs at Curwen Studio which has been very thought provoking. I like drawing but it seldom appears in my finished work, and somehow lithography has been about that interface.

What is it about a scene that will make you decide whether it will be a print, painting or drawing?

It is always a drawing to start with, that is when my thinking process wanders around thinking about colour and composition, and maybe gets excited about something. I have loads of drawings that don’t develop into anything.

What is your current favourite method of making work?

Painting over the top of screenprints.

Do you ever have creative slumps, and if so, how do you overcome them?

Usually a good long walk helps, but often I just change the media I am working with.

Describe your perfect day.

Drawing in an unimproved meadow surrounded by birdsong and no-one else around. How misanthropic!

Image information: Blackbird, Glory, Venerable, Startled, Slow. These all include text extracts from poems by the ‘Northamptonshire Peasant Poet’ John Clare, which continues a vein of work I have been following off and on for 15 years, and which I have written about in a book of my work ‘natures powers & spells’ published by Langford Press.

Carry Akroyd 

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