Diana Tonnessen is a Gainesville, Florida-based artist whose hand-colored, limited edition linoleum block prints combine whimsical compositions, luminous colors and the rustic texture of the linocut to capture the charm and allure of Florida’s rich natural history and cultural heritage.
My creative process begins with an original photograph, sketch or composition, which is transferred to a block of linoleum and carved by hand. Each impression, or print, in an edition is created by applying an oil-based ink to the block with a hand-held brayer. I then place a sheet of archival quality paper over the block and manually feed it through a hand-cranked press. When the ink has dried, I hand-color each print individually with acrylic washes or watercolors.
All of my linoleum block prints are made with archival quality materials and papers. Each signed print in an edition is considered an original work of art.
- My Heritage Highways collection of handcrafted linoleum block prints celebrates America’s love affair with the automobile and the irresistible appeal of the open road. The collection, created using the linocut fine art printmaking technique of the American Arts & Crafts era, includes classic cars, campers, motels, gas stations, diners, roadside attractions, neon signs and other ephemera of early- to mid-20th Century American car culture.
Inquiries welcome! Please contact me about the availability and price of any of the prints in the Gallery.
Where to find them:
My linoleum block prints are available for sale in Gainesville at the following locations:
Artisans’ Guild Gallery
201 SE Second Place, Suite 113
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m.
Sweetwater Print Cooperative
117 South Main St.
Linoleum block printmaking grew out of the centuries-old tradition of wood-block relief printmaking, also known as the woodcut. Linoleum, developed as a floor covering in the mid-19th century, soon found favor as a carving substrate among artists and fine art printmakers. Made from linseeds, this soft, pliable substrate is easier to carve than wood, and it frees the artist from having to consider how the woodgrain and other natural anomalies of wood would factor into the work. Today, artists can purchase burlap-backed “artist’s grade” linoleum—mounted or unmounted, and pre-cut in a variety of sizes—from art supply stores.
The linocut as an art form enjoyed its heyday during the American Arts and Crafts Movement around the turn of the 20th Century and through the Modern era of the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. During that time, numerous high-profile artists experimented with this medium, including Pablo Picasso.