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Douglas Reed

Artist Printmaker

About Me

I trained as a biologist, studying insects, before following a career in IT. Art, and especially drawing, has always been important to me.

I am an artist and a scientist.

When I moved to Edinburgh, some years ago, I enrolled in an evening course in etching taught by Bronwen Sleigh at Edinburgh Printmakers — an open-access studio that champions the use of safer, less toxic and more environmentally friendly printmaking methods. I was immediately hooked, and have been building and expanding my printmaking skills ever since.

My main printmaking focus is still etching. At Edinburgh Printmakers this means using much safer mordants like ferric chloride and copper sulphate, rather than the traditional concentrated nitric acid, and ink-based grounds and spray-acrylic aquatint instead of bitumen and powdered tree resin. I enjoy the challenge and experimentation in using these alternative methods, while appreciating the safe and pleasant creative environment that they promote.

Linocut is something I’ve taken up more recently as a printmaking method I can do easily at home, while I also like to make cyanotypes whenever the fleeting Scottish sunlight allows!

My interest in biology means that I am drawn to natural forms in much of my work. A knowledge of natural history informs my appreciation and understanding of the subjects I am depicting. I am also interested in geometry and pattern, resulting in more abstract work.