Manuel Vermeire has always been drawn to Italian landscapes and Flemish clouds – probably because of his roots in Italy and Belgium. And interestingly, he draws inspiration from artistic traditions in these two regions that have a rich legacy in art.
His trail of work experience is like a travelogue – having lived and worked in Italy, Ireland, Belgium, Austria, England, Slovakia and Russia. More recently he has based his studio in Prague in the Czech Republic.
Manuel tried his hand at different printmaking techniques, until he began to focus on Burin Engraving – at first on copper, then on wood. He studied printmaking at the international School of Graphic Arts ‘Il Bisonte’, Florence, Italy.
I had a freewheeling discussion with Manuel, about his work, his interests, his public showings and the direction his passion is moving towards. Here are some brief takeaways from that interview.
Did you start with painting first, before you focused on Wood Engraving? How did you make an entry in this field? I don’t think my work horizon ever included painting – wasn’t among my core interests. My primary focus was on working on and improving my drawing skills.
I started to make woodcuts and linocuts at the age of 15. Even in those early days, I did see myself developing as a printmaker and eventually honing and perfecting my working technique. When I was around 21, I chanced upon end grain wood as a base engraving option – and I realized that it was easily the most pliable and workable surface for my craft.
My debut in this field was very spontaneous and natural. And to make a beginning, I began sending my works to wood engraving competitions and graphic art exhibitions. From the very beginning, my prints have often been selected and sometimes rewarded with recognition and prizes.
This interview was originally published on Linkedin
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