The Reader Series

Intermittently from Summer 2017 and intentionally starting in Fall 2019, Creative Director Brianna Tosswill has been making prints featuring readers. As any burgeoning draftsperson knows, a person reading is the most convenient human subject matter after self-portraiture. Consider the exchange "Can I draw you?" "Sure... Do you mind if I read, though?" 


The first couple of readers are the dual portraits of Joy from Joyce Jodie Kim's Caterpillar Portraits. They are the first and last illustrations. Each has two layers of linocut reduction.

Joy from Caterpillar Portraits Joy from Caterpillar Portaits


The second reader "Pages Too Bright" came from a Mokuhanga Woodblock Printing weekend class.

Pages Too Bright - Brianna Tosswill

 You can see the colour separations below, one carved on either side of the birch plywood substrate. That is not a trick you can do with linocut!

Birch Plywood for Mokuhanga Printing Carved Plywood Sheet for Printmaking


The second reader has no title and was among our holiday ornament offering in 2019. It's a linocut measuring about 4.5" wide.

Cozy Reader Holiday Ornament


The third reader was also a holiday treat, this time a card for 2019. On the inside it reads "Faithful friends who are dear to us gather near to use once more." It's a linocut measuring 4.5 x 6.5"

Cozy Sweater Reader Card


The fifth reader "Reading Nook" was a slightly more ambitious linocut project undertaken as a studio warm-up when Brianna started as Emerging Artist in Residence at SNAP Printshop in the Fall of 2019. She's a linocut reduction with five or six layers, measuring 12 x 12"

Reading Nook - Brianna Tosswill

Have a peek at the process:

Reader Prints on the Drying Rack Lino printing on the Vandercook
Lino block printing on a Vandercook Press Detail of Reading Nook - Brianna Tosswill


The sixth reader "Transported" followed within a month of the previous one. There are at least six layers in this reduction linocut and it measures 5.5 x 7

Transported Reader Series Brianna Tosswill

You can see some of the stages here:

Lino block for Transported Reader Early stage of Transported Reader
Transported Print Early Stages Transported (in progress) Brianna Tosswill


This print prompted Brianna to reminisce about old projects.

Printmaking Progress, An Artist Evolves

"I actually still like the graphic quality of the 2014 print but it's nice to have the 2019 technique in my toolbox." -B


Penrose Press is seeking photo references for Brianna to continue The Reader Series. Snap a photo of yourself or a friend with a book (with consent) at send it to Do especially send us racial, gender, and body diversity! Thank you <3


(Looking for props? Find some books here.)