Tag Archives: Epona

Exhausted But Happy!

9 Sep

plate prep

Just back from a very tiring weekend printmaking course at Trefeglwys Print Studio. It was fantastic. I learned so much and came away with a number of prints I’d be happy to exhibit and two new etching plates to edition and an etching plate to work on and finish. Result. I’m shattered now though. The first thing we did was prepare a copper plate for a ‘faux’ mezzotint, a process invented by Trefeglwys printmaker Andrew Baldwin. I think the plate is a work of art in itself.

plate prep2

I had some drawings to work from, I decided to develop three plates from my sketches of the Mari Lwyd and the faux mezzotint will be based on the middle drawing. More tomorrow, off to bed now ……..

 

 

May Day, Beltane And The Horse

1 May

mono 11 chine

It’s May Day, Beltane, and in some parts of Britain the Hobby Horse, or ‘Obby ‘Oss, is part of the festivities marking the beginning of Springtime fertility. There is a long tradition, predating Christianity, of celebrations involving horses, possibly linked to the ancient Celtic horse goddess, Epona. Here in Wales we have the Mari Lwyd, or Grey Mare, although this is a New Year tradition. Here’s a monotype from sketches of the Ystrad Mari I did earlier this year.

Chuffed To Bits

22 Nov

mono 10 chine

 

I just heard today that I have had 2 artworks accepted into the Swansea Open exhibition, running from December the 3rd to January the 6th. It’s returned after a gap of about 5 years, while the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery was closed and being refurbished, and it’s great to see it back. I’m chuffed to bits as Swansea is full of talented artists and the competition is stiff.

 

mari 2

 

I submitted two monotypes of the Mari Lwyd, based on drawings I did in my sketchbook at the end of last year. The Mari Lwyd is an ancient Welsh tradition, where groups of revellers wander the streets and pubs accompanied by a life size puppet constructed around a decorated horse’s skull. It may hark back to the worship of the Celtic horse goddess, Epona.

The Sinister Skull

27 Jan

mono-12

I thought I had blogged all the monotypes I made from my Mari Lwyd drawings but I overlooked this one. It was the last that I did that day and maybe because I was tired and hungry, it’s probably the most sinister of the series. Mari Lwyd is actually quite a fun tradition, with lots of banter, drinking and skittishness although people unfamiliar with it are often spooked by the horse’s skull!

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

The Last Mari For Now

20 Jan

mono-11-chine

Here’s the last of the monotypes I made recently at Swansea Print Workshop based on my drawings of the Mari Lwyd. I used a vintage paper made by J Green and Sons supplied by the rather wonderful company The Vintage Paper Co in The Orkneys. The ink is Caligo Easy Wash Relief and the chine collé is hand made recycled sari paper stuck on with YES Paste. I used cotton buds (Q Tips), wooden barbecue skewers, scrim (tarlatan) and cotton rags for the mark making.

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

The Right Combo

17 Jan
mono-10-chine

Mari Lwyd (with chine colle)

Spent the day at Swansea Print Workshop making more monotypes based on the drawings I did while I followed around two local Mari Lwyd in December and January. I’m experimenting to find the right combination of ink, paper and glue (for the chine collé). I originally used Bockingford, Somerset then switched to a vintage paper by J Green & Sons (supplied by the Vintage Paper Co in Orkney). Today I just used the J Green paper which doesn’t need soaking, just a little spritz of clean water

Last time I tried out Intaglio Printmaker’s Litho / Relief oil-based ink with varying amounts of Extender but found it too tacky, it was quite hard to work the drawing onto the plate and it didn’t want to release the chine collé when it went through the press, so today I gave Caligo Easy Wash Relief ink a go. It worked much better although it was too loose to hold fine detail through the printing press.

Previously, I tried Pritt for the chine collé but today I used ‘YES’ paste which was much easier to apply and stuck the light tissues to the main print perfectly. Very impressed with it. I’ve changed everything from my starting point, it can take some time and experimentation to get the right combo.

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The ‘ghost’ print

After taking the first print with chine collé, I put another sheet of the dampened J Green paper onto the plate and took a ‘ghost’ print which I will work into with artist-quality oil pastels or maybe collage.

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Printing The Plate

16 Jan

mono-9-chine

After preparing the plate with my image of a Mari Lwyd, I printed it on one of the smaller etching presses at Swansea Print Workshop. For this one I used a vintage paper, by J Green & Sons that was manufactured between 1969 and 1974, sourced from the Vintage Paper Co. I didn’t have to soak it, just a spritz with clean water from a squirty bottle. That saved some time and hassle. It gave a good dense black and plenty of definition.

mono-9-ghost

I put another piece of spritzed paper through to take a ghost print which didn’t, of course, have any chine collé. I’m thinking of working into this with top quality oil pastels.

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Prepping The Plate

15 Jan

mono-9-plate

Working from my recent drawings of the Mari Lwyd, I developed some of them into monotypes. I used a piece of perspex (acrylic sheet) and litho / relief ink mixed with Extender (by Intaglio Printmaker). This was rollered very thinly onto the perspex and I drew into it with cotton buds, wooden skewers, scrim and rags.

mono-9-plateb

I wanted to include some colour to represent the ribbons and flowers that decorate the Mari skull so I ripped pieces of handmade papers made from recycled saris and placed them face down onto the prepared plate. Before putting them down I covered the upper side with glue – I used Pritt – as this is will stick it to the paper I will print the plate on.

More to come ……

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Getting Ready

14 Jan

getting-ready-1

I’ve been popping down to Swansea Print Workshop since Xmas, experimenting with reductive monotypes based on my recent sketchbook drawings of the Mari Lwyd. As with most things, preparation is everything and here are some of my photos of getting ready. I’m trying out different papers to print on – Somerset, Bockingford, BFK Rives and a lovely vintage paper from the Vintage Paper Co by J Green & Sons that was manufactured between 1969 and 1974. All these papers are top quality and 100% cotton.

getting-ready-2

As I want to include some colour in the monotypes, to reflect the colourful decorations on the horse’s skull, I have a collection of hand made papers to be used for chine collé, some Khadi handmade papers and some lightweight fibrous papers made from recycled saris.

getting-ready-3

I’m using two pieces of perspex (acrylic sheet), one for inking and one for the actual monotype and I’ve set these out onto a newspaper-covered table with my palette knife, roller (brayer), oil-based litho / relief ink (by Intaglio Printmakers) and a selection of materials to use to make marks onto the plate – cotton buds (Q tips), scrim (tarlatan), rags and wooden kebab skewers.

Ready to go!

 

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

Echo From The Past

10 Jan

mari-1

This is the last drawing I did of The Mari Lwyd, Y Fari Lwyd, at Gellionen Chapel last Sunday. Sitting in the pew during the visit from Mari Ystrad (the Mari Lwyd from Ystradgynlais) gave me the time and space to do more detailed drawings than I was able to do a couple of weeks ago when I followed Mari Trecopwr (Coppertown Mari) around pubs in North Gower, which was raucous and hectic but loads of fun.

The tradition of Mari Lwyd was very common until the 1960’s when it had almost died out but it’s now having a revival and it’s terrific to see and draw this echo from the past.

I drew with white, black and sanguine conté crayons into my A4 brown paper sketchbook. I’m enjoying this sketchbook, it gives me a good mid tone to work into. I really like this drawing, I might eventually develop it into a screenprint.

 

 

I am putting my series of drawings of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to buy one, you can see them by clicking on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

St Elvis

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