Colin Bailey is a UK artist and printmaker living and working in Hastings, East Sussex. He lived previously in Rye for ten years and before that in Kings Cross, London for fifteen years . Colin is a fine art oil painter and master etcher with a love of traditional painting and printmaking methods, techniques and skills. With a printmaker’s instinct for multiple images, Colin also utilises modern fine art technology and uses digital photography and archival quality giclée printing to reproduce his paintings as limited edition prints.

Traditional etching

Colin is first and foremost a printmaker specialising in etchings on copper plate using traditional methods and materials, he still uses etching plates bitten with Dutch Mordant (acid) and hand prints his etchings using a heavy manual etching press.

Limited edition etchings

Modern digital printing

More recently he also now scans his original paintings in high resolution on an A3 flatbed scanner and prints them as fine art giclée limited edition prints.

Kings Cross to Rye

Whilst living in London Colin was known mainly for his series of Kings Cross etchings These were first printed whilst an etching tutor at Working Men’s College and then on various rented presses around etching studios in London. On moving to Rye in 1994 Colin Bailey realised the wider appeal of this small picturesque area of the UK’s south east coast and his first purchase was an Intaglio etching Press.

Birth of Ryepress

Later the two events were combined to form the name of his website and the Ryepress website was established in 2000 as an online portfolio to exhibit the St Pancras station limited edition etchings as well as newer limited edition prints of Rye and its coast. Later this was expanded the site started to offer limited edition prints for sale to a wider audience than the UK.

Move to Hastings and new technology

In 2005 Colin moved to Hastings, acquired a giclée printer and scanner and began producing limited edition prints of his paintings. Between 2008 and 2013 Ryepress opened as a small gallery in Hastings. Unfortunately this had to close and the large etching press was swapped for a more “portable” Polymetaal press

Although, less traditional in appearance than the Larger etching presses these smaller table top presses are a triumph of modern design and can exert a hefty pressure! I have had no difficulty in printing all my plates except the very largest.

Polymetaal table top press

Giclée prints

On moving to Hastings I was keen to make use of the new opportunity to reproduce my oil and acrylic paintings that the new technology of giclee gave me. Probably the best known images I produced were the series of Hastings Roofs:


Ryepress has experienced some drastic changes recently and the website is undergoing a well needed overhaul starting with a migration to WordPress. Technology has moved on and the Times, they have indeed changed. The old website had become an out of date, sprawling monster, a horrible experience on tablet or smart phone and almost impossible to maintain. I apologise for the tardiness in addressing this and hope that returning visitors and customers will bear with me while I climb the new learning curve!

Limited edition prints now for sale – Gallery/shop

The new Gallery/shop, is a small selection of work available for sale. it will include only work that I have in stock, and feature mainly etchings for the time being. I hope to rotate these works regularly and am planning to introduce a private view feature whereby regular visitors and followers can enjoy a discount for a short period. Images that are available as prints are indicated by a blue “Prints Available” link at the end of the caption under the image and link to the relevant Paypal box on the Gallery /shop page.

Colin Bailey 27th Dec 2020

Keyworks- Paintings and prints from the past

Today I introduced a new blog post category; Keyworks. Here I will rummage in my dusty portfolios, dig about under the bed and dredge my drawers and cupboards. I will shuffle through my memory and attempt to reconstruct my own history through some of pictures I have produced: the artistic starting points, stopping points, turning points, cul-de-sacs and laybys; I will showcase pictures that have had exhibitions built around them, led to a series or were a technical breakthrough. Some of the ones that I love, even if no-one does!. Some have made money and some have lost money. This is their story. I also hope to tell a little of mine.

Colin Bailey 31st Dec 2020

What is a etching, limited edition print or giclée print

I have added a few more informational pages! Although rather cumbersome on the menu bar the pages prefaced with “what is” are explanatory pages describing the various terms and the processes I use. They are by no means comprehensive and I have mainly kept to processes and media I have personal experience of (or at least tried)

Colin Bailey 8th Jan 2021

Sharing images

It has taken took me a while to appreciate the way in which the internet was changing how people digest media. While checking to see how Google has reacted to my recent changes I came across my images scattered far and wide. I was at first aghast that people had copied many of my images and saved them to the new “social media” I thought I had taken great pains to compress the quality, and limit the size of the pictures. This was more to make my site load quicker. I assumed pictures would be shared but also assumed I would be credited!

Broadband speeds are so much higher these days and I am now embarrassed by the fuzzy, pixelated, low resolution pictures that were released to the world, (or escaped!). This time round I have decided to upload much better quality files to better represent the detail in my pictures – still not good enough to print off at any re-sellable size (I hope!).

So please feel free to share , re-blog, post, tweetagram, whatever – accreditation would be appreciated, though!

Colin Bailey 16th January 2021


The terms Limited Edition Print, Original Print, and Reproduction Print are often confusing, because printing has always been associated with the mass production of the written word or image and so the phrase original print seems a contradiction in terms.
Printmaking as a term used in fine art has become distinct from printing in general. As technology has progressed the process of reproducing multiple images has become more large scale and automated. Photographic processes have made printing of mass media commercially commonplace. Printmakers have become left behind using often virtually unchanged traditional techniques and equipment and working at a much more limited scale.
Printmaker is now the term used to describe an artist who works directly with the medium that will be printed from; as opposed to reproducing an image created in another medium. Please see What is Etching for a details explanation of the etching process.