The James Gleeson oral history collection

James Gleeson interviews Australia's major artists

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Rabbit trapper's daughter 1936
Print, relief. Technique: linocut, printed in colour, from multiple blocks
Purchased 1978
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Murray Griffin

2 November 1979

Murray Griffin: Yes. Well, sometimes with a small block I will put my thumb on and gradually ease the paint off, you see. Somewhat as an etcher would.

James Gleeson: Yes, yes.

Murray Griffin: You know, manipulate it that way. But a lot of the blocks I will cut the grade, you see, with a very fine little B chisel.

James Gleeson: Like an engraving technique?

Murray Griffin: Yes, yes.

James Gleeson: I see.

Murray Griffin: I don’t know whether you can see it. Oh, on this one.

James Gleeson: Rabbit trapper’s daughter.

Murray Griffin: Yes. You’ll see a lot of very fine cutting in the grades of these–

James Gleeson: Trees in the background.

Murray Griffin: Yes, of those trees. I used to cut the blocks, and sometimes click out a graded form just by flicking out–

James Gleeson: I see, like (inaudible).

Murray Griffin: Yes, and getting the grade that way.

James Gleeson: Yes, I see.

Murray Griffin: You know, there are all sorts of ways of getting that grade.

James Gleeson: Modelling.

Murray Griffin: Yes, yes, or just a gradation.

James Gleeson: Yes, a gradation.

Murray Griffin: One of the two.

James Gleeson: Golden dark, that dates also from the ‘33 period.

Murray Griffin: Oh, that’s an early one. Yes, yes, that’s an early one. Then I think I followed–

James Gleeson: Did you use the monogram in the early–

Murray Griffin: I think that was a Japanese influence, you know, with their little blocks, which is a very handy thing to balance a bit of colour or from a designer’s standpoint. I used to use that. I sort of cut it out of later years for some reason.

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