Archive | March, 2019

Easy Peasy Quick Ink

31 Mar

prep 4

I often print small blocks at home as I can do them by hand and don’t need to use the fabulous Columbian press at Swansea Print Workshop. This is how I set up a little inking station without fuss or mess.

Stick some newspaper onto your work surface with a bit of masking tape.

Stick a piece of ordinary white paper down onto it, with masking tape. I used a sheet of A4 size white computer printout paper.

Stick a sheet of thin but sturdy PVC / plastic / acetate over it with some masking tape. I used acetate document covers you get with comb binding machines.

There it is. Easy Peasy.

 

 

Registration

30 Mar

prep 2

Yeah I know, really boring but so vital for printmakers. I’ve been printing up a simple one-colour linocut with chine collé as a small edition  so the registration is fairly simple.

 

 

After you’ve cut your printmaking paper to size for your edition, use one of the sheets as a guide to draw it out onto a sheet of ordinary white paper.

Then place your block where you want it positioned on your final print and draw around that.

Finally, stick it onto your work surface with a bit of masking tape AND THEN…

Cover it with a sheet of thin but sturdy plastic / acetate – I used one of those clear PVC covers you get with comb binding machines but any thin sheet of smooth, clear plastic will do.  Stick it down with a couple of pieces of masking tape.

 

Ready to print…

 

 

Chine Collé

29 Mar

chine 4

I have just printed an edition of my little Mari Lwyd linocuts with chine collé to add flashes of colour. I use hand-made paper made from recycled silk saris, a lovely range of colours and lots of fibres.

 

 

From left to right: ripping up the paper for cine collé, putting it onto an inked block – it must be glue side UP; taking the print with a traditional Japanese baren.

 

I used Cranfield Caligo Safewash oil-based relief ink in black, Japanese Hosho paper and Pritt Stick glue. Don’t skimp on the glue – I always use either Pritt or UHU. The combination of Safewash ink and Hosho paper is excellent for taking relief prints by hand. This little edition is heading off across The Pond to Wingtip Press in Idaho USA for the Leftovers IX print exchange.

Little Lino Leftovers

28 Mar

Leftovers

I had a busy afternoon printing up my little “Mari Lwyd” lino block for the annual “Leftovers” print exchange organised by Wingtip Press in Boise, Idaho, USA. Wingtip’s founder, Amy Nack, describes it’s beginnings,

After cleaning out the flat files and finding dozens of little scraps of printmaking papers jamming up the file drawers, the folks at Wingtip Press in Boise, Idaho realized they probably weren’t alone with the dilemma of what to do with all those too-precious-to-toss leftover paper scraps.
An invitation went out to fellow printmakers to participate in a print exchange to use all those lovely little leftover scraps to create a small edition of prints. Artists submit an edition of 15 prints of any size up to and NO LARGER than 5″ x 7″ and receive a dozen prints in return. One print is held for exhibitions and one print is included in a silent auction to raise funds for the Hunger Relief Task Force.”

It’s now in it’s ninth year and attracts entries from printmakers all over the world and also exhibits the prints internationally, across the USA, New Zealand, China and Wales.

Andraste

27 Mar

Andraste is a warrior goddess of the ancient Britons; she was invoked by Boudicca before battles with the invading Romans around 2,000 years ago. She is the Britons’ equivalent of the Irish / Celtic war goddess Morrigan.

May 6

Andraste The Warrior

For over a decade now I have been working with a male life model who is also a soldier and have developed a large body of work, drawings and various forms of printmaking, around the concept of The Warrior. I have also more recently been drawing a female retired soldier and I am thinking of developing these drawings … and more to come … into another body of work focused on The Warrior, but this time the female aspect. And I’m interested in linking this to the ancient mythology of the war goddess. Early days yet.

Next Steps

27 Mar

Phew! Finally, my commission for Sky Arts TV channel’s UK-wide arts project, ART50, ended tonight with the broadcast of the visual arts films, including the one about my artwork, “Here Be Dragons”. And now I have to decide what my next creative steps will be. I liked working with giant woodblock and text and chine collé so I think I will develop some ideas that have been popping up in my head from out of the ether, I might develop a text piece in Welsh. I’ve been playing with my original on Photoshop, cutting, pasting and redefining segments to make a new image. I might bring this, or something similar, into the real world.

Dragon eye 2

And I want to pick up my figurative work as well. I haven’t done any formal work with nudes for well over a year but now I have some very definite ideas based around a particular model. Time to get back in the saddle and make some new art!

June 5

Andraste – The Warrior

So Excited!

25 Mar

I’m getting excited now. The Sky Arts TV project I started working on what seems like aeons ago …. about 9 months …. is finally being aired tomorrow, Tuesday March 26th, along with the other visual arts projects from 9pm.

 

I was commissioned to create a new flag for Britain – that’s opening up a can of wurms as I’m Welsh and we Welsh have never been represented on the Union flag. The film shows my creative process, how I researched and developed what eventually turned out to be a massive woodcut print. It’s called “Here Be Dragons” which not only reflects the dragon on the Welsh flag, but it’s also an ancient phrase that used to be written onto maps to mark “dangerous and unknown territory” which is where I feel we are in the UK now.

 

Here Be Dragons small

 

“Here Be Dragons” also works as a spoken word piece, read aloud and the colour is a combination of chine collé and specific inking. If you subscribe to Sky TV or NOW TV, please drop by tomorrow at 9 and have a look at it.

 

A Bit More Cosi

24 Mar

cosi fan 2

Here are a couple more drawings I did at the opera the other evening, Cosi Fan Tutte at The Taliesin on Swansea University’s Singleton campus. It was very dark so I could hardly see the paper, an A4 brown paper spiral bound sketchbook. I used white and sanguine conté crayon, turning the white on its side to block in large areas and then scribbling with the sanguine.

cosi fan 1

My giant woodcut “Here Be Dragons” is going to be featured on Sky Arts TV channel on Tuesday 26th March at 9pm. If you’re a Sky TV subscriber or if you have NOW TV you’ll be able to see a short film of me going through the creative process, with lots about Swansea and footage of Swansea Print Workshop too. It’s part of a whole week of arts programming showing how artists across the UK have responded creatively to Brexit.

finished

 

 

The Pit And The Uniform

23 Mar

It was a new one for me last night as I went with my Mam-in-Law to the opera. I’ve never been before and to be honest, being an ageing headbanger and rock chick, it would never have occurred to me to go except that Husb joined a choir recently and had the chance to perform in the chorus of Cosi Fan Tutti at the Taliesin. He has a lovely voice which he’s never gotten out in public before and he also looked rather spiffing in his Hussar uniform! Of course, I had a scribble.

cozi fan 1

It wasn’t easy scribbling into my little cloth-covered red notebook as it was dark and I was surprisingly engrossed in the opera. I enjoyed it far more than I expected. It was good fun and I was impressed by the quality and skill of the singing. And there was an orchestra! In a pit! I never even knew that Taliesin had a pit!

I drew with a ballpoint pen, very quickly, unable to see much on the paper so it was a surprise when I looked at them. I wouldn’t mind seeing more opera, but the tickets are terribly expensive and if it comes down to a choice between opera and metal, I know which one I’d buy tickets for. (That’s metal, by the way).

 

 

More En Plein Air

21 Mar

Glynn Vivian

 

Sometimes life gets in the way of art and it can be difficult to do something creative every day. If I’m working on a commission or developing an exhibition, it’s easy because I’m at it all the time, but in the in-between times like the past week or two, I find it hard to get motivated. Husb and I went to the Glynn Vivian art gallery this evening, with lovely young nephew, to hear the author Andrew Green give a talk about his new book, “Wales In 100 Objects“. Great stuff. I had a quick scribble. It was dark in the lecture room so I couldn’t quite see what I was doing. Never mind. It’s enough to put pen to paper and do a bit of a drawing every day at the moment.

 

Andrew-Green-Cymru-mewn-100-gwrthrych

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