Lynne Roebuck (Handwritten) 
A Gannet and other seabirds make their way to the cliffs from the sea

Bird colony linocut:‘Seabird Cliffs’

On the East Coast of Yorkshire, there's a remarkable colony of seabirds nesting high above the waves on sheer 400ft chalk cliffs. It inspired this linocut print.

The RSPB site is near the seaside town of Bridlington. It's called Bempton Cliffs, and it's host to the largest accessible seabird colony in the UK.

Gannets, Puffins, and Kittiwakes, are among the almost half a million seabirds that nest on these towering cliffs each year.

It's a delight watching the bird migrating along the coast toward this reserve, and there's definitely another painting and/or print to do that captures the scene.

Flamborough Head, just down the coast from here is one of my favourite places to be on a sunny day.

The whole area is beautiful and varied, with Bempton Cliffs it's crowning natural wonder.

  • Image size: 13cm x 35cm (5.11" x 13.8")
  • Edition size: 28
  • Medium: linocut
  • Method: reduction-cut
  • Passes through press: 5
  • Paper: Magnani Litho 310gsm White

I happen to have a fear of heights, that's triggered immediately by edges and sheer drops. It means I choose my sketching/painting spot carefully when there's a dramatic cliff top artwork involved.

This one was not so bad as some. Despite how it looks in the linocut, I was well back from the slope down to the edge.

Though the colour scheme of this original linoprint is what's called 'limited', there are five distinct colours involved. Two for the ocean and two for the land. This means each print has been hand‑cranked through the press five times.

There's also a subtle difference between the sea/sky and the land. I used what's called a 'dry' roller for the sea. That means the layer of ink was so thin that the texture of the paper shows through creating a subtle texture. This contrasts with the land where the ink applied was thicker.

This print was made with another at the same time. They go together well, but are also strong individually.

The other print looks along the coast to Bridlington, at a point South of this location. It's called Walking the Coast.

I've also made an oil painting of the distinctive outcrop at the base of Bempton cliffs called Early Birds, Bempton Cliffs.

Its a wonderful, beguiling, and dramatic place, with diverse and mesmerising nature. There's no doubt I'll be back for more sketching and painting action!