NORMAN LINDSAY'S ART


DRAWINGS
During Norman Lindsay's long creative life he produced works in many media but it is his drawings that most reflect his versatility. He worked in pencil, pen and ink, pen and ink and pencil and wash. Norman did small drawings that often were the preliminaries of major paintings, he did finished pen and ink works that are part of Australia's history (such as the Bulletin cartoons), he did many drawings just for fun like his animal works and he filled numerous sketchbooks with small, quick sketches just because he couldn't stop drawing. His wash drawings are often major works in themselves. It is often said that drawing best demonstrates the strength of an artist. If this is true, Norman Lindsay had a strength beyond many.

ETCHINGS
Norman Lindsay ranks with Rembrandt and Goya as a world master etcher. His extraordinary qualities of imagination combined with supreme technical skills produced the etchings which ensure him a place with the world's greatest exponents of the art. Norman Lindsay's etchings are unique in the history of Australian art. They are the result of an etching partnership with his wife Rose who is recognised as a master etching printmaker. This partnership spanned twenty years (1918-1938) and resulted in the 200 published etchings ranging from single female figures to massed imaginative groups. Norman also produced 175 unpublished etchings dating from 1897, of which twenty-nine were included in seven books containing original etchings published between 1919 and 1937.

No edition exceeded fifty-five and many never reached their intended number. When printing, Rose would estimate the number of prints a plate would produce and allocate this number to the edition. If a plate failed unexpectedly Rose stopped printing. This is shown in the Edition number eg. 55 (38) - 55 being the number intended and 38 being the actual number printed. This also worked in reverse where Rose was able to increase the anticipated number of some editions eg. 45 (55). Some editions which Rose printed out in the 1940s and 1950s never reached their allotted number, probably because the physical effort became too much. Edition numbers are the estimated number, with known variations marked in brackets.

Copyright on Norman Lindsay's etchings is now held by Lin Bloomfield, Odana/Bloomfield.

WOODBLOCKS
Norman Lindsay's first woodblocks were created c.1895. By 1899 he was engraving many of the woodblock illustrations for The Rambler newspaper, as well as being commissioned to produce posters. Several books containing his original woodblock illustrations were issued up to and during the 1920s and two of these are the limited edition books Fauns and Ladies (Jack Lindsay, Fanfrolico Press, 1923) and Thief of the Moon (Kenneth Slessor, Fanfrolico Press, 1924). Many of these prints were never issued separately in an edition.

Wood engraving does no have the flexibility of intaglio printing (etchings, etc) in which various techniques can be used on one plate to create different effects. There can be very few alterations once the cut has been made into the wood - the artist has to be sure where they want every line to appear. Norman's surviving woodblocks indicate his confidence with the medium and that he found no challenge in translating his artistic language onto small pieces of wood. That he succeeded is evident in the prints made from his blocks.

Second Printing
The number of woodblock prints produced by Norman was very small but eighteen have been preserved by his family who consented to the release of these limited edition prints fromt he original blocks under strict copyright conditions. When the entire series has been printed and released, the blocks will be donated to a public institution, ensuring the image is never released again. Of the series to be printed from the eighteen surviving woodblocks, eight have been released to date. All editions are printed by Josef Lebovic on an 1890s Golding foot treadle printing press and each print is individually numbered by hand and signed by Joself Lebovic and Helen Glad, Norman Lindsay's granddaughter. Authenticity is guaranteed by an embossed seal below the image, as well as a Certificate of Authenticity. Each Norman Lindsay Original Woodblock Print is in an edition of 125 (100 for sale) and size is image size only.