Tag Archives: covid19

Herstory And The Artist Support Pledge

14 Sep

kathe-final-2

A while back I did a series of screenprint portraits, I call them “Herstory”, of women artists I greatly admire. I don’t like to have favourites but perhaps top of my list – just – is the incomparable Käthe Kollwitz, active in Germany from the late 19th century to the end of World War 2. Her life, her work and her politics are fascinating and I think that she should be far better known than she is. But unfortunately that’s true of many women artists. Her work is profoundly moving. She suffered the tragedy of losing her son in World War 1 and her grandson in WW2 and her war memorial, ‘The Grieving Parents’ in the Vladsio German War Cemetery is imbued with a terrible sadness and hopelessness. But she was also an energetic political campaigner and social rights activist. A wonderful artist and human being.

SONY DSC

These are the original 8, I’ve always intended that the series will be ongoing and I’ll be adding to them soon. I’ve only exhibited them a couple of times – so many galleries don’t want a series of work, just one or two pieces. I’m going to be releasing these for sale over the next couple of months, beginning with Käthe this week, through the  Artist Support Pledge which was set up to help artists sell work through these uncertain Covid19 times.

 

 

 

Sharpening Tools

17 Aug

august

Just carrying on cutting blocks today for my pandemic printmaking project. I’m still in the early stages but I know what I need to do and that’s most of the battle, to be honest. I keep my tools super sharp as I’m carving the lino, using my Flexcut Slip Strop.

Twenty eight blocks

I’ve cut almost a third of the little blocks. The whole piece will be made up of text printed onto fabric.

Calligraphy set

I treated myself to this Chinese calligraphy set. I don’t like shopping unless it’s for tools and art materials – oh, and books. I don’t know how to use it but I’ve been getting advice from over on Facebook and Instagram. I don’t think I’ll be trying it out for a while as I need to crack on with my lino project and I’m also doing a weekly painting session to improve my skills. But this is something to look forward to.

Not Just Faking And Baking

11 Aug

fake and bake

I’ve been looking at my blog posts over the past few months and it looks as if I spend most of my time baking or faking (with the Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Fridays) or drawing trees. But behind the scenes I’ve been carrying on with my pandemic-inspired project which involves, in the first stage, carving around 100 little lino blocks. Well frankly, that’s interesting to blog about occasionally but it would be pretty boring if that’s what I posted day in, day out. So I’ll just drop it in now and again.

Columbian

This morning I was at Swansea Print Workshop, we’re starting a slow and measured re-opening with no more than two artists at any one time, masked and sanitised. I get to hang out with this big beast – The Columbian 😀

My Cat Is A Chonky Cat

18 Jun

Chonk

It’s pouring down and there are floods locally, so I’m not going on my government-sanctioned lockdown walk today. Which means I won’t be going to the park to draw some dramatic trees. So I grabbed some willow charcoal and scribbled my cat instead. Looking at her objectively, I think the vet might be right, she might be a little on the chonky side. Just a little. I do my best to keep her on a diet, but she goes visiting …. and she’s a real charmer …..

Carving And A Wriggly Cat

14 Jun

zoom home

More of the same today, designing text for my little lino blocks then transferring and cutting. These are numbers 19 and 20 so I think I might stop cutting for a while and get on with printing them onto fabric and making masks.

charcoal cat 2

And I did another quick charcoal sketch of Sparta Puss. She was lying down in the sun, but not asleep so she kept wriggling. I’m giving myself a maximum of 2 minutes to do these sketches of her. She’s a bit on the tubby side….

 

Carving Blocks And The Charcoal Cat.

13 Jun

social kind

More of the same today, transferring words to little lino blocks, in reverse, and carving them. I’ve compiled a list of words and phrases as we’ve travelled through the pandemic lockdown. Eventually I’ll have a whole load of these printed up and made into masks.

eighteen

I’ve cut 18 so far, there’ll be at least another 60 to go, depending how long lockdown lasts.

charcoal cat

For a bit of light relief, I sketched the cat in charcoal.

Compromise, Cat And Cheese

12 Jun

Wash Bday 1

The text on the little lino blocks I’m cutting goes through changes at each stage of the process, partly because of the materials I’m using, from pencil, to ink and brush, to tracing transfer, to carving with cutting tools. But along the way I make adjustments, a curvier bit here, a shorter bit there.

The brush gives me very flowing, curvy marks while the cutting tools give me something more jagged. So the final cut that will be printed is a process of development and compromise.

cheesy cat

And a parcel arrived from The Welsh Cheese Company today. It’s not easy going out shopping at the moment and many smaller food producers are struggling – the supermarkets can weather the storm. So Husb and I have been shopping for some of our food online, which we had never done before, not from the big conglomerates though but from the independent sector. This is our third lockdown parcel from The Welsh Cheese Company, it’s insanely delicious stuff. Sparta Puss was very interested, not in the cheese, it’s the box she fancies.

And an added bonus is that they use wool to protect the goods – and I just happen to need some blankets for my printing press. How cool is that?

blanket

Here’s my press, now I have a blanket, I can try it out.

press 1

Cat Watching

11 Jun

cat watching

I carried on cutting little blocks of lockdown text today, with Sparta Puss overseeing the work. She’s tough on me.

 

From Paper To Block

10 Jun

make do 1

Yesterday I showed the a page of text designs I did for small lino blocks (here) so today I selected the first two that I’m going to carve. I started the process by painting the text onto paper with an Isabey watercolour brush and walnut ink, then I traced the text using 90gsm tracing paper and a 2B pencil.  Then I turned the tracing I wanted to use onto a lino block and drew over the back of the lines with a 4H pencil. This is important – the original in 2B is soft and when I press on the back of the line with the 4H, the hardness of the 4H pencil presses the dust from the 2B onto the block. Once that’s done I draw over the lines on the block with a ballpoint pen because the pencil lines will rub off once I get started on the carving.

make do 2

 

The text goes through several stages, from ink and brush, to pencil tracing, to ballpoint pen and eventually to carving. At each stage I refine the text. Once the lettering is in reverse, I sort of lose sight of the words and start to see the letters as individual pieces of design, which alters them yet again. The first one is cut, tomorrow I’ll do the second. I must work faster because there are an awful lot of these to be done. Eventually I hope to have one block for each day of UK lockdown, which is about 79 days so far.

 

Writing The Changes

9 Jun

phase 2

Now that I have a fresh supply of new grey lino – smells gorgeous – I can carry on with cutting little blocks of text. I have been writing down a list of words and phrases since the pandemic started, well since lockdown I suppose, and it’s been interesting how the spirit and feeling of these words has changed over the weeks, very enthusiastic at the beginning, but things started to fray a bit after quite a few weeks, and then there’s been an explosion of anger over the weekend. To start with, I’ll be working my way through them, transferring the text to lino, cutting and printing onto fabric. It’s going to take a while, there are over 70 so far ….

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