Artist in The Spotlight: Michael Atkin

29 March 2018

Michael is an artist from Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

Please describe your artwork style 

Narrative, figurative, landscapes.

What’s your background?

Art college trained from 16 – 23 yrs old.

Middlesbrough Art College,

Maidstone Art College,

Liverpool Polytechnic,

Des Beaux Arts, Paris

How long have you been an artist?

Since the age of 16.

Who or what are your biggest influences?

Stanley Spencer, William Morris, Eric Ravilious, Paul Nash.

How have you developed your career?

Founded my own imprint name ‘Bracken Press’ in 1974 and have been a self employed printmaker/ artist since then.

Which current art world trends are you following?

Cannot say I’m following any new trend.

Where do you create your work? 

From my home based print-workshop which houses five antique printing presses from the 19th Century.

What do you feel is the role of the artist in society? 

To enhance and enrich our cultural heritage.

What techniques / mediums do you use? 

I work in three different printmaking mediums, etching and aquatint, lino printing and wood engraving and I occasionally produce artist’s books.

Which is more important to you, the subject of your painting, or the way it is executed? 

The subject matter being of prime importance, then trying to capture the essence of what I’m about to print using one of three different mediums.

How do you feel when you are letting your emotions loose on the canvas?

Each of my images has a significant emotional involvement  from myself, the pictures I choose to print are personal reaction to what’s around me.

What project are you working on now?

Producing a limited edition wood engraved book with text on the village I have lived in for 30 years, also a ‘catalogue raisonne’ of my own work as a wood engraver, as well as preparing for one man exhibitions this year.

Any current or up-coming exhibitions?

One man exhibition at Berties of Bay, Robin Hood’s Bay  August 2018,

The Fylingdales Annual Exhibition ,Pannett Art Gallery, Whitby,  September- October

One man exhibition Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton–le-Hole, North Yorkshire September 2018

Where do you find your ideas for your work?

From the landscape around me, listening to conversations and from reading.

Is there an artwork you are most proud of? Why? 

I’m proud of my last artwork, but it doesn’t last for long which inspires me to create something newer. Just finished a limited edition book ( which I worked on for 3 years) titled ’An Alphabet of Scarborough’ published in an edition of 26 fully bound copies with solander box.

How do you know when a work is finished?

From experience and when the correct balance is complete.

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

My printing presses, A Rochat etching press, 2 Albion’s, 1 Columbian Press & an Arab platen press

Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most? Why?

I enjoy printmaking as I get to draw a lot, then transpose the image to the chosen medium, the technical side of etching or engraving and finally the printing of the edition.

You can view more of Michael's work here:

You can contact Michael here:

[email protected]

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