Tag Archives: Frida Kahlo

The End Of The Experiment

1 May

19 Frida cartridge

So here’s the last stage of my experimenting with home-made printing ink based on Nori (seaweed) paste. Above is a block cut into vinyl, inked with a roller (brayer) and the print taken with a traditional Japanese bamboo baren. I used a Daler Rowney cartridge / drawing paper, 95gsm and had better results with the paper used dry, rather than dampened on the back with a quick spritz of water from a spray bottle.

20 Kathe cartridge

Then I tried printing with a stamp, inked with a roller but simply pressed onto the paper by hand. Again, it’s the Daler Rowney cartridge and gave a better result on dry rather than damp. I’ve used the ink with these two blocks onto a lightweight Hosho Japanese paper, a vintage J Green British paper and lastly, the Daler Rowney, which has given the best results. It’s an economy paper so that’s a good result.

21 Washing up

And finally, cleaning up. In water. Easy peasy. All in all, a good experiment. I still prefer a top quality oil-based ink for archival gallery prints, but this is an excellent alternative for using outside the studio or where you want to use something that’s more environmentally friendly.

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

A Bit Of Vintage

29 Apr

18 Kathe vintage

And ….. back to my experiments with home-made printing ink. After disappointing results with a lightweight Japanese Hosho paper, I tried a lovely vintage British paper, J Green & Sons sold by the Vintage Paper Co. Above, I used the ink with a rubber stamp made from a design I did of the artist Käthe Kollwitz, applied with a roller (brayer) and stamped by hand. On the left is a slightly dampened paper, spritzed on the back with a water spray bottle. On the right is one onto dry paper. The damp one is the best.

17 Frida vintage

Then I tried the ink with a vinyl block based on a screenprint I did of artist Frida Kahlo, applied with a roller and the print taken using a traditional Japanese bamboo baren. Again, the print onto dampened paper (right) is better than the one on dry (left). Pretty good results but still one more paper to try. More tomorrow ……..

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Ideas Forming

15 Nov

frida-1

I recently did a short residency at the lovely Galerie Simpson in Swansea and experimented with developing three dimensional forms from paper, print and text. I started out by making some little maquettes to try out techniques and I’m starting to think about how I might use them. Husb hung an LED bulb into one of them and I photographed it against a dark background. Ideas are starting to form. Hhhmmmmmmmm……

 

The three dimensional artwork I made during my residency is now being displayed in Cardiff at the Women’s Arts Association exhibition until December the 12th.

waa-invite

Breaking Out Of The Frame @ The Workers Gallery

15 Mar

See my print installations and more artwork by me and the gallery artists throughout March and April at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in The Rhondda Valley. It’s a great place to visit.

I’ve been a printmaker for a long while, I majored in Printmaking in Art College back at the end of the 1970s and my lecturer, Andy Charlton a fantastic artist, was proper old school. Nothing wrong with that, but in recent years I’ve become disillusioned with the conventional way of exhibiting prints, in a frame on a pristine wall in a gleaming white gallery.

horizontal

 

I’ve always preferred art to be inclusive, rather than exclusive and so many galleries actively promote exclusivity, which puts a lot of people off even entering. And when someone does step over the doorstep, it’s very easy to walk by the rows of neatly framed artwork arranged on the pristine walls without stopping for a closer look or understanding the processes that have gone into the piece.

window 2

I’ve been trying to break out of the frame and display my printmaking in a way that develops a more interactive relationship with the viewer and also to move it into a viewing place that is more accessible than a conventional gallery. I’ve been experimenting with assembling multiple prints, starting with a work based on the cyanotype technique, a pattern for a Victorian corset and a series of sketchbook drawings of elder women.

I have exhibited them in sequence, hanging on a wall, and I also took it all apart and tied it to a clothes horse as you can see above.  I really liked the clothes airer scenario so I decided to do another.

frida paper

A while back, I had a small rubber stamp  made up from a silkscreen print I did based on the fabulous Frida Kahlo, an artist I admire very much. I printed it onto small leftover pieces of a beautiful Japanese Shiohara paper that I had been using for another print job .

I had been wondering what to do with them and I finally decided on making them up into a self-contained installation. I made a start by sewing them onto a very robust handmade paper – 300gsm – that I’d bought at the Tate Gallery a few years ago on an antique Singer sewing machine.

And then I assembled them onto a clothes airer. People seem more willing to walk around something three-dimensional and they look at the work far more than when it’s in frames on a wall.

hung

So far these works have been exhibited in an arts café, a conventional gallery, a pop-up artspace in a socially deprived area, and a shop window and will soon be going to The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley, a much-loved community-oriented artspace in what was, until the austerity cutbacks, the local library. The challenge now is to continue to break out of the frame and to find even more socially relevant places and ways to show my work.

World of Work Workers Gallery Poster

Met A Monkeh

9 Jan

Went to a wedding, met a monkeh! Seemed like a nice chap.

monkeh

On the arts front, I have finally finished the print installations that I’ll be taking to the Penarth Pavilion Gallery for a new show that opens next week, with work from Swansea and Cardiff Print Workshops.

hung

These small stamped images of Frida Kahlo were developed from a screenprint I did last summer. I did a series on nine women artists who inspire me and I made the rubber stamp of Frida as an experiment and I really like the result so I’m hoping to do the rest of the artists in the series. I printed these on Shiohara paper and stitched them to a heavyweight Tate Gallery Indian paper and sewed ribbon onto them so I can tie them to the wooden clothes horse.

constrained

These cyanotypes from drawings I made of elderly women are printed onto pieces of Bockingford paper cut to a Victorian corset pattern and I’ve used eyelets and ribbon to tie them to the wooden clothes horse. I’ve been working on these for ages and it’s been lovely to get away today for a family wedding, my wonderful nephew and his beautiful wife. Top wedding and great food at the Oxwich Bay hotel on the Gower Peninsula. Spectacular scenery despite the torrential rain.

Stitching And Tying

6 Jan

I’m working flat out to finish this print installation made up of almost 50 small prints on Shiohara paper sewn onto handmade Tate Gallery Indian paper. I’m assembling them onto a wooden clothes horse. I had originally intended to put them on with wooden pegs but the bars are too thick for pegs so I’m stitching ribbon onto the prints and then tying them on. I’m getting there ….. maybe another couple of hours of sewing to go.

nearly there

I’ve been using a gorgeous antique Singer sewing machine, Edwardian and over 110 years old, and here’s a short video of it in action. I love old machines – I get mechanics, so easy to fix, just a screwdriver and maybe a pair of pliers. This installation will be exhibited soon at the Penarth Pier Pavilion Gallery as part of a joint exhibition between Swansea and Cardiff Print Workshops. Please click here for more details.

The Beautiful Machine

31 Dec

sewing 1

A while back, I had a small rubber stamp made up from a silkscreen print I did based on the fabulous Frida Kahlo, an artist I admire very much. I printed it onto small leftover pieces of a beautiful Japanese Shiohara paper that I had been using for another print job.

sewing 6

I had been wondering what to do with them and I finally decided on making them up into a self-contained installation that I will be building over the next week.The first stage is to make them more robust  – the Shiohara is a lightweight tissue and won’t take a lot of handling. However, it’s also a well-made natural fibre paper and can be sewn so I made a start by sewing them onto a very robust handmade paper – 300gsm – that I’d bought at the Tate Gallery a few years ago. I’d been wondering what to do with that as well! They really suit each other.

sewing 3

I’m sewing them on an antique Singer sewing machine. It’s Edwardian and dates from around 1904 and it’s a great piece of mechanical engineering as well as being extremely beautiful. It’s so finely balanced, it’s a joy to use. I’ll be carrying on with this in a couple of days, after the holiday.

So a very happy New Year to everyone, I really appreciate you looking in at my blog. Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi gyd.

 

 

In The SPace

5 Dec

Space 1

Swansea Print Workshop has a temporary artspace, The SPace, in the heart of the city and one of the benefits is that it gives our members a pop up gallery. Here are my series of screenprinted portraits of women artists who inspire me and four of my drawings of ancestral burial sites in Pembrokeshire – I drew them in the rain a few weeks ago. There’s also a collagraph fox by Kara Seaman and a drawing by Hannah Lawson.

The SPace is open to the public Wednesdays to Saturdays, 11.30 – 5.00 until the middle of February.

Get Over Yourself

3 Dec

her place 1

 

I recently had a rubber stamp made from a screen print I did a few months back (here) and tried it out today for the first time on some leftover pieces of lovely Shiohara paper. It came out like, well, a rubber stamp. Being a geeky and rather obsessive printmaker, I of course wanted it to be absolutely perfect, like a lino block through a fine Victorian Columbian press.

 

Then I got over myself! A rubber stamp is a completely different animal and the effect of stamping gives a very different finish to a press. And then I started enjoying myself, stamping away. I hung them to dry on my clothes airer, using plastic pegs and cotton wool pads. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them – maybe a 3D piece?

I did it at The SPace, a temporary artspace by Swansea Print Workshop at 217, High Street, Swansea. Open 11.30 – 5.00, Wednesdays to Saturdays until mid-February.

Waste Not, Want Not

1 Dec

frida paper

“Waste not, want not” as my Nana used to say, along with “Make do and mend”. She survived two world wars and the great depression of the 1920s and never threw anything away. I’ve been tearing some beautiful Japanese Shiohara paper for an edition of woodcuts and there are a load of small leftovers about 7 inches by 4. Cut in half they’ll be the ideal size to try out a little rubber stamp I made a few months ago with a laser cutter. I scanned a screen print I did of the artist Frida Kahlo and scaled it down then followed the complex instructions to operate some extreme machinery and out popped this stamp. I haven’t tried it out yet. I’ve been waiting for the right paper.

%d bloggers like this: