Tag Archives: Kathe Kollwitz

Something Of Myself

18 Jun

rose drypoint watercolour[2]

I have always done a lot of teaching with adults and I think that an important part of my  technique is demonstration. I always work alongside the people I teach, going through the same processes as them, and facing the same highs and lows.

 

I was running a weekend course at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, linked to their Käthe Kollwitz exhibition. We went into the gallery to draw from her work and then went back into the studio to develop drypoint plates and woodblocks inspired by her prints. I drew directly onto a paper drypoint plate with a fineline pen, studying a small section of her etching ‘Raped’ from 1908, a few square inches around a foot and some sunflowers. Once I had incised the lines into the surface of the plate, I inked it up (Intaglio Printmaker’s Drypoint Shop Mix) and printed it onto wet paper (Somerset) and while it was still damp, I worked into it with some light watercolour washes (Winsor & Newton). Her original is monochrome so I’ve put something of myself into it.

Gazing Darkly

17 Jun

Rose woodcut

Today I printed up the woodcut I carved out earlier in the week. I used Intaglio Printmaker’s Caligo Easy Wash Relief ink mixed 50:50 with Extender and took the print by hand on Hosho paper using a Japanese Baren. This self-portrait was inspired by the late, great Käthe Kollwitz, an artist who produced loads of self-portraits during her long career. That’s a very dark gaze I’ve got going on there!

 

process 2

 

bamboo baren

A Japanese bamboo baren

 

Four Inch Screw And Some Masking Tape

16 Jun

kathe foot wip

Today was the first day of a course I’m teaching at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, linked to the excellent Käthe Kollwitz exhibition. We spent some time drawing from her work before going back into the studio to develop drypoint plates and woodblocks inspired by her prints. I drew directly onto a paper drypoint plate with a fineline pen, studying a small section of her etching ‘Raped’ from 1908, a few square inches around a foot and some sunflowers. It is incredibly complicated and detailed, the entire etching must have taken her ages to do. I love to study from the great masters, you learn so much. Once I was happy with the drawing on the plate, I started to incise the lines with the low-tech tool I made – a four inch screw and some masking tape. Cheap as well. Tomorrow we print!

Drawn To Monotype

5 Jun

sleeping woman

I’ve been searching through my older work today. I do it from time to time because I find it helps me to analyse what I’m doing now. And also it reminds me what I have tucked away in my plans chest, often things I had forgotten.

SONY DSC

These two reminded me how crucial drawing is to my art practice. The first was done during the weekly life drawing session at Swansea Print Workshop. I liked the composition so much that I used it to develop this monotype, a technique I often use when I want to work in colour. I’ve never been particularly interested in painting, I’d rather use a printmaking process any day. You can find out more about this process in my Techie Stuff section here.

 

WAM night June 2018

Just a reminder about this night coming up fast in the Rhonddda Valley

Kollwitz, Drypoint And Woodcut. What A Weekend!

31 May
Kollwitz stamp

A stamp based on a screen print I made from an original drawing of Kathe Kollwitz

Coming up, June 16th and 17th, I’ll be running a printmaking masterclass at Swansea’s gorgeous Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. Over the weekend we’ll focus on two print techniques, drypoint (intaglio) and woodcut, linked to the fabulous Käthe Kollwitz exhibition. Book now if you want to come as tickets are selling out fast….

 

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A digital drawing I did based on Kathe’s woodcut, The Widow.

On Day 1….

We’ll start with my illustrated talk about Käthe Kollwitz’s life and art (I’m a huge fan) and then we’ll go into the gallery to look at Käthe’s specific pieces that support drypoint and woodcut, the exquisite line of her etchings and the drama, chiaroscuro and simplicity of her woodcuts. We’ll make some quick sketches of her techniques.

After a tea break, off to the studio to look at individual work and start to transfer drawings to the drypoint plates and / or wood blocks and start cutting the images.

After lunch, we’ll continue cutting and prepare the paper for the next day and get our materials ready. This will be a chance for artists to chat about ideas, ask questions, get familiar with new materials and machinery.

 

On Day 2 ….

It’s all about the printing…. We’ll soak paper the paper, ink the plates and/or blocks, print a small edition for each artist and put them to dry. We’ll learn about ways of doing these print techniques at home; about signing and numbering an edition, why and how; and there will be handouts designed to help you to continue printmaking afterwards.

And all in the surroundings of the beautiful Glynn Vivian Art Gallery….

 

If you want to book onto the course, please click here … and if you want to read a bit more about Käthe, please click here and here.

Not As Simple As It Seems

24 May

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I have been enjoying the Käthe Kollwitz exhibition at Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and I bought the exhibition book. I wanted to study her woodcut technique in more detail so I laid a black ground in the Markers drawing app on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet and then drew into it with white brush and line functions, to emulate the lines she had originally cut into a block of wood. When you look at the original, it seems very, very simple but when you study it and try to copy it, it’s a lot more complicated than it appears.

Knickers In The Sun

5 May

Knickers_in_the_sun

The Sun Is Shining!!!! And it must be all of …. 20° Celsius. A Heatwave! And what happens here in the UK in a heatwave? People take their clothes off. That’s what. It doesn’t take much sunshine to get us to drop our inhibitions …. and our clothes.

So today was really busy, but in a nice way. Husb and I went to a brilliant talk at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery about the artist Käthe Kollwitz, currently exhibited there. Then onto the Street Food festival at The Waterfront Museum. Nice grub. The Swansea Gay Pride event was also there and we ended the day at the opening of Alison Lockhead’s radical and moving installation at Volcano, on Swansea’s High Street. And managed a couple of family visits. In between, we sat on the grass in the sun, opposite a rainbow coloured police car, sipping cold drinks and watching the world go by. I had to have a scribble of course. A very short skirt, undulating thighs and red knickers caught my eye.

sketchbook

I drew into my small cloth-covered Laura Ashley sketchbook (above) with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen (size F) and added a flash of red knicker afterwards in Adobe Photoshop.

Inspired By Käthe

3 May
WAA exhibit

My three-dimensional form made from cut and stitched Shiohara paper, with hand writing and Kathe Kollwitz stamps developed from an original screenprint.

 

In June, I will be running a two – day masterclass at the Glynn Vivian art gallery, linked to their excellent Kathe Kollwitz exhibition.  Exploring her life and political activism through her drawings and printmaking, I will be covering two techniques, drypoint and woodcut, drawing inspiration directly from her magnificent work and using the exhibition as a catalyst to create small editions over the weekend.

 

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A digital drawing I did based on Kathe’s woodcut, The Widow.

 

I love Käthe’s work, I have admired her for decades, I’m so chuffed that she has her own exhibition in my local gallery.

Please click here if you want tickets for this masterclass.

Resisting …..

30 Apr

MDF 1

 

 

 

I’ve been carrying on with my attempt to get more randomness in my work, to be more expressionistic and less controlling. I spent a bit of time over the weekend priming (gesso) and undercoating (white acrylic) some pieces of MDF. Today I brushed one of the pieces with a loose mixture of Daler-Rowney Georgian black oil paint and linseed oil.

 

I greatly admire the German Expressionist artists, especially Käthe Kolliwtz and I’m envious of artist friends who seem able to sit and doodle and produce lovely drawings straight from their imaginations. So I tried not to control what I was doing, not to fall into the trap to try and make it realistic.

 

I worked into the black oil paint with rags, cotton buds (Q Tips), bubble wrap and scrunched-up tissue paper, resisting the temptation to do something representational. I rubbed away and removed the black paint, a reductive rather than additive method.

 

 

 

On the left, my work station and on the right, the loose oil paint brushed onto prepared MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard.

 

 

Two close ups showing some of the detail of the reductive paintwork.

 

Ripped From The Darkness

20 Apr

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Our local art gallery, The Glynn Vivian, is showing a fabulous exhibition of drawings and prints by the formidable German artist Käthe Kollwitz. I have admired her work and life for so many years, I’m beside myself to see this exhibition so close to home. I like to study artists I admire and copy from the great mistresses and masters. This is a digital study I made today from her woodcut “The Widow” from the early 1920s. She is very sparing with the cutting tool, there are surprisingly few cuts which I think increases its impact, the sense that the image has been ripped from the surrounding darkness.  I didn’t finish it, there’s another hand in the original. I can never resist a good book and I bought the exhibition book as a birthday present to myself, it’s “Portrait Of The Artist: Käthe Kollwitz” by Frances Carey and Max Egremont, published by The British Museum and IKON.

I drew this with a, now ancient, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet using a free app called Markers. I laid a black ground down and drew with white lines.

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