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Artist Talk with Neil McClelland at Winchester Galleries

Neil McClelland’s talk features the thinking and processes around the current body of his work in the exhibition: Into This Mirror World, the ideas and images that inform it, and his studio practices.    

Ceramic sculpture

Using earthen substance to create art and functional items was common since the time of earliest cave paintings. Clay is one of the oldest materials for sculpture, either used as the main medium or the cast for other later materials like bronze. It has developed in different periods from ancient times to the modern and contemporary era.

Encaustic painting


Encaustic painting involves using hot wax colored with pigments on a surface (wood panel, canvas or other materials). The word Encaustic is a Greek word which means “to heat or burn in” (enkaustikos). Artists sometimes use beeswax and dammar resin in the encaustic technique. For coloring the wax, they add pigments or oil paints. The artist melts the wax and applies it on a designated surface with a brush or other tools. For achieving an integrated form, the artist reheats the previous layer before adding a new layer. Therefore, all the layers will fuse together.

Etching Printmaking

Etching is a technique of Intaglio printmaking (which is the opposite of relief printing). Traditionally, the artist used a metal plate (copper, zinc or steel) covered with a protective layer of wax. Today, many artists still use this technique for printmaking. William W. Alexander was a founding member of the Association of Canadian Etchers in 1885. Although this was a short-lived foundation, it revived in 1916 as the Society of Canadian Painter-Etchers and Engravers. Jo Manning is one of the most famous Canadian etchers. She was an executive member of the Canadian Society of Graphic Art from 1960 to 1980. She is also a founding member of the Print and Drawing Council of Canada.

Woodcut printing

Woodcut is a technique used for printmaking since ancient times. The artist needs a block of wood, gouge (the cutting tool), ink or paint, and a surface (like a paper or a panel). Woodcut can be used for multiple colour printing by holding the paper with a frame and using different woodblocks for each colour.