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Four Females And A Film Festival

5 Mar

cinema co 1

I cut this MDF woodblock a couple of months ago and got round to printing it today, using Cranfield Caligo Safe Wash relief ink in black onto Japanese Hosho paper, using a Japanese bamboo baren instead of a press. It’s my interpretation of the logo of local independent picture house Cinema & Co.

It’s a great place that supports local culture in many ways including giving artists free space to show our work. They don’t charge commission, all they ask is for artists to make a piece of work relating to the cinema. So here’s mine.

IWD

There’s a fantastic evening coming up on March 12th to celebrate International Womens’ Day. From 5.30 to 7.30 there’s the launch of an exhibition by four local artists (above) – Sally Davies, Esther Ley, Patti McKenna-Jones and me (FREE with home-made cake).

Feminista

And that’s followed by the Feminista Film Festival from 7.30 to 9.30 (info and tickets here). This series of shorts tells the most inspiring stories about women and girls around the world, from America, Syria, Greenland and more. Here’s the trailer….

 

 

 

Onto The Next Block ……

23 Feb

herstory 1a

As one art project comes to an end, the next one gets started. I’m cutting a new little lino block – something for International Womens’ Day #IWD2020 . I’m using hard brown lino and I’ll fix the block to a stamp base that I bought in the Modular store in Berlin a while back.

And here’s a very short video of me finishing printing my last little lino block on my antique Sampson Mordan & Co press. It’s a gorgeous chunk of cast iron with lush Victorian styling and rather Steampunk.

 

 

This little block in the video is part of a print I am editioning, designed by Jamie Reid for GS Artists, who are showing an exhibition of his radical art in Swansea at the moment.

 

dragons-revenge

A Sharp Tool And A Strop

19 Feb

stamp 1

When I’m cutting blocks for printmaking, whether it’s lino, vinyl, wood or foamboard it’s vitally important to keep my tools sharp. Once a tool goes blunt it’s a dickens of a job to sharpen it again. Sharpening your tools as you work slows you down a bit but it is more efficient than sharpening tools from scratch. I use Flexcut tools and the Flexcut strop system to keep them sharp. Here’s a short video of my sharpening strop in action.

 

 

 

This little block is part of a print I am editioning, designed by Jamie Reid for GS Artists, who are showing an exhibition of his radical art in Swansea at the moment.

 
dragons-revenge

Messy!

18 Feb

printing 1

I’m onto the messy stages of screenprinting now … squeegeeing ink through the stencil on the silk mesh on to the paper below. I’m almost half way through the edition, hope to have it finished by the end of the week.

printing 2

 

Here’s a short video of me using the vacuum screenpress to print the image at Swansea Print Workshop.

 

 

I’m developing an edition of mixed media prints for GS Artists from an original by Jamie Reid. There is a great exhibition of his work running until March 1st and here’s some more info about the show and the prints, which will be in a limited edition of 75.

dragons-revenge

What’s That When It’s At Home?

24 Nov

I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for decades, just getting on with it, doing my art, mostly sketchbooks from reality, life drawing and printmaking, while working with marginalised people – the homeless and the drug and alcohol dependent. As far as I was concerned, these were not two different things, but are inter-dependent. When people asked what I did, it took ages to explain. Now, apparently, I’m a socially engaged artist. So there we are.

Afghan refugee children

It isn’t just about how I integrate living as an artist with working with people at the edge of society – it also informs the artwork I do. For example, I made this monotype (above) from my first visit to Pakistan over a decade ago now. It was a relatively peaceful period and we were visiting the Khyber Pass and I was inspired by Afghan refugees travelling back to their homes.

walking to greenham

In my sketchbooks, I draw from real life, both the ordinary that’s around me every day and the special events like demonstrations and meetings. Here’s a drawing I did on the march to commemorate Greenham Common back last year.

Here Be Dragons small

Sometimes my work is directly political, like “Here Be Dragons” that was commissioned last year by Sky Arts TV channel.

Flag final

And the flag of Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd designed for the AUOB Cymru marches.

b

Recently, I’ve become an artist-in-residence and researcher in the FIRE Laboratory in Swansea University’s Department of Bioscience, working at the interface between art and environmental science.

Or I just draw people getting on with their lives on the streets of Swansea….

 

So when people ask what I do, now I say “I’m a socially engaged artist” and they go “So what’s that when it’s at home then?”

 

And it takes ages to explain …..

We’re Not Proud

9 Nov

From November 9th at Cinema & Co, Swansea, the new BogArt exhibition by me and Patti McJones.

caco 1

Art is mostly exhibited in galleries and museums that can be quite intimidating to many people, so Patti and I took up an offer by Anna, the owner of Cinema & Co, to use her substantial toilets to exhibit some of our work. We call it BogArt – art in the bogs – and it’s very democratic because people don’t have to go to a gallery but everyone has to go to the toilet. We’re not too proud to show our work here.

The work will be up for a few months but please look at Cinema and Co’s website for opening times. And here’s a short film of us talking about it …

 

 

 

 

A Gig On #Caturday

24 Aug

omnichron 3

 

Husb and I just got back from a gig at Cinema & Co with the fabulous psychedelic band Omnichron. Of course, I had to have a scribble.

 

 

Here’s a lovely song for #Caturday  by Omnichron – it’s about a cat called Marmalade…

 

 

 

Heavy Metal

15 Aug

metal

I spent a happy afternoon at Swansea Print Workshop, starting to prepare for a new series of printmaking for my artist residency at The FIRE Lab. I’m planning a mixed bag of techniques based on my drawings en plein air of Victorian culverts. I rummaged around in the drawers of my plans chest to find some metal plates and came up with three copper (one partially used) and an aluminium. So my next stage is to prepare them for use. I’ll use Andrew Baldwin’s Sandpaper Aquatint technique for the copper and then a coffee resist combined with spit-bite for the aluminium.

Here’s a short video of Andrew demonstrating how to do Spit Bite.

And here’s one about the Sandpaper Aquatint

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.

 

It’s All About The Technical Details!

6 Mar

Dragon eye 2

March 16th and 17th at Swansea Print Workshop I’m running a course in woodcut printmaking using MDF.

“Q. Can you use MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) for woodcut prints?

A. Yes you can – as long as you get the technical details right.

Q. And how do I make sure that I get a nice quality print?

A. Again, it’s about getting the technical details right.

Q. And can I make these prints at home, without needing a specialist press?

A. Oh yes. But only if you get the technical details right.”

This short course covers:  safety, cutting, tools and tool maintenance, sealants, choosing the right papers and inks, printing with chine collé, printing by hand and press. At the end of two days you’ll have at least two original prints, one monochrome and one with colour, and enough know-how to get stuck into making your own original woodcut prints with MDF.

And you’ll get a chance to use this fabulous Victorian Columbian Press …

 

Please follow the link here if you’d like to book a place or find out about other courses coming up ….

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