Tag Archives: @CoastalHousing

Back To The Drawing Board

7 Nov

Literally, back to the drawing board. I worked up a full scale drawing yesterday, ready to transfer to a block for cutting. But I’m not happy with it. There’s so much text to fit into the space and I think it’s too busy and cramped so today, back to basics, redrawing each word so the text is more abstracted. Tomorrow, I’ll work it up onto another full size sheet of paper and see where that gets me.

reworking a

 

This is a commission for Sky Arts television.

sky-arts art 50 mash up

And Nearer ……

6 Nov

Moving into the final stages of my commission from Sky Arts ART50 now, drawing up the design to full scale before transferring it onto a wood block for cutting …..

final 1 d

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up

 

 

 

 

Phew! Cracked It!

2 Nov

test ink 3a

Finally, all the teccie, geeky stuff has been sorted. I did a third test block, carving a fraction of my final design onto a shard of MDF, coating it three times with a 50:50 mix of shellac and methylated spirits, inking it up with Cranfield Caligo Safewash Relief ink and printing it, using a Japanese baren, onto Hosho paper. PHEW!!!!!! Cracked it!

This is a first, trial, proof which shows me if the carving is satisfactory. I can see where I need to cut more away around the lettering and maybe increase the ‘scales’ around the dragons eye, but it’s not too bad at all for a first proof.

This is another stage in my commission for Sky Arts ART50, you can read more about it here

sky-arts art 50 mash up

 

Open Studio Days And Cake

31 Oct

216 high st 1

You are welcome to pop in to one of my Open Studio days where I’ll be working on a commission from Sky Arts television channel, called “Here Be Dragons”, which means dangerous or unknown territory!

216 High Street
Swansea
SA1 1NW

Saturday November 3rd from 11 until 2 pm
Thursday November 8th from 3 until 6 pm
Sunday November 11th from 2 until 5 pm

It will be lovely to show you around and there will be tea and cake, home made of course.

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up big

 

 

Yesterday’s Package

30 Oct

test ink 2c

Yesterday’s package was tins of new ink! Caligo / Cranfield Safe Wash litho / relief ink in black, for my test blocks. And here’s the second of my test blocks cut into MDF. The first, last week, gave unsatisfactory results but one of my WordPress chums, Siver Black, gave me a tip, to apply three coats of a 50:50 mix of shellac varnish and methylated spirits.

I’m delighted with the results. I used Hosho Japanese paper and took the print by hand, using a Japanese baren.

test ink 2d

I did a second proof print with chine collé, using a hand-made banana paper in dark red. This is part of the commission I’m working on for Sky Arts Art50.

sky-arts art 50 mash up

 

Oooh! A Package!

29 Oct

test ink 2a

Ooohh!!! A Package! What am I going to do with that?

Test Blocks And Neck Ache

26 Oct

test block 2

So I’m getting seriously into the development of my woodblock now and going through some testing stages; working out whether to have the image cut into the block, so it prints light, or cutting the block away around it, so it prints dark; which of my cutting tools to use; should the cutting be controlled and formal or dynamic and expressive?

I cut two blocks over the past two days. The first (above) is currently in the garden shed having had three coats of shellac mixed 50:50 with methylated spirits to seal it (thanks to fellow blogger Siver Black for the tip). Hopefully I’ll be able to take a test proof this weekend.

The second is a more complete design and is now ready to be varnished. I’m getting better at cutting because I am being more rigorous about keeping my tools sharp with my leather strop. It makes a huge difference.

test block 3

But after two days of block cutting, I’ve got a stiff neck. A lot of people don’t realise how physical art is. I keep fit by alternating between weights and Tai Chi each morning but even so, it takes it’s toll, especially as you get older. I think I need to soak in a hot, herby bath.

 

 

Many Words……

24 Oct

words 1

Yesterday I showed how I started out developing a new piece of art, working though a process which ended up with lots of words rather than pictures. Today I took those words and started playing with the shapes of the letters and the shapes between the letters…..abstracting from the original letters in the same way that I might abstract from a visual image like a sketch. In doing so, I am working towards making the letters into visual images. Tomorrow, I’m going to cut one or two of these into a woodblock to see what they look like.

 

words 1

And Then There Was The Word

23 Oct

last day 1

The process of developing a new artwork sometimes takes some surprising twists and turns. When I started working on my new commission for Sky Arts Art50, I thought I’d be doing visual motifs, but after humming and haahing for a while, and reading loads of research, I found myself writing on walls, all over the walls in the elysium studio I had throughout September. A few visuals popped up, but mostly the words kept flowing. I thought I’d develop imagery from the words, but it just wasn’t happening.

words

So then I started putting the words together. It took a while trying out different combinations but then I came up with a grouping which sounded pretty good when read aloud. But no visuals. Then I thought, “Why do I have to have visual motifs?”, and I did a bit more research, looking at artists like Bob and Roberta Smith, the printmaker Paul Peter Piech and Ghada Amer whose work incorporates text. So I started experimenting with these words.

design 3

And I think I’m starting to get somewhere. But I wasn’t happy about the words just being … well … written. I know that sounds weird but I’m a visual artist and I see patterns in things, it’s what I do.

 

But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what’s occurring because I want to spend a bit more time working on my ideas ………

 

 

 

 

 

Foxing!

22 Oct

watercolours

I’ve been developing ideas for my commission from Sky Arts Art 50, working out my thoughts using my home-made walnut ink and Winsor & Newton watercolours onto Waterford watercolour paper. It’s a heavy, deckle-edged paper that withstands the very wet medium without needing to be soaked and stretched. I wouldn’t normally use such high quality paper for working though ideas, but this is vintage paper that I was given, that hadn’t seen the light of day for about a decade and it has signs of foxing .

Talking of foxing reminded me of one of my favourite film scenes, Garth from Wayne’s World dancing to Jimi Hendrix’ Foxy Lady. Here it is for those who can see YouTube 😀

 

design 3

 

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