Jonathan Gibbs learnt various printmaking methods as an undergraduate at the Central School. However, it was his interest in sculpture that led to wood engraving. After art school he began to cut and engrave wood blocks for printmaking. Following the Cheltenham Painting Fellowship, he began to exhibit drawings and paintings, and eventually wood engravings. This way of working introduced a more pictorial strand of image-making, which remains the case to this day. He continues to make abstract work on a larger scale, in contrast to smaller monochromatic prints. These images are sometimes imaginative, figurative and representational, in relation to abstraction. His printmaking is also inspired by pattern and the graphic arts. He works to commission, for books, magazines, writers, designers, and publishers, however, many of his prints are created for their own sake, in the studio.
Recently, he has been using oak panels and Baltic Pine; pieces of reclaimed shelving from the Advocate’s Library in Edinburgh.
Jonathan was a full-time lecturer for many years, and continues as a visiting artist, and external examiner. An event that he feels changed his life was meeting Jim Ede in Cambridge on a school trip in 1971, Ede’s presence, Savage Messiah and Kettles Yard combined as highly significant influences with subsequent connections that have informed his work.