Mt. Hood Community College’s Fireplace Gallery currently features the works of Northeast Portland-based print artist Gail Owen. Owen’s exhibit, “The High Art of Linoleum Reduction Prints,” includes her hand-pulled linoleum reduction relief prints. Each
print consists of several individual linoleum prints stitched together into a large single panel.
Reduction printing refers to a multicolored printing process in which the artist creates all the colors from the same block. As the artist cuts, inks and prints on the block, the image emerges. Typically, the lighter colors in the design are printed
Linoleum printmaking melds Owen’s passion for woodcarving, printmaking and oil-based inks into one multi-medium. Many of her prints are inspired by local northwestern flora and fauna and by iconic images of the Portland area. Her designs are purposely
planned to fit together into a larger matrix.
“As nature repeats and divides itself, from one another comes many and the many become a larger body,” described Owen. “My prints are painstakingly stitched together to form a larger body as a practice of meditation and pattern design and, in the
end, each piece becomes a high-craft art object.”
Owen has been showing her work in galleries across the Pacific Northwest since 1997. She learned her craft as a master printer apprentice and artist assistant working on Long Island in the early 1990s. You can see more of her work at gailowen.us