Tag Archives: lino cuts

Rebecca And Her Riots

17 Jan

Dinefwr 3

Husb and I went to a fabulous exhibition that opened this evening at the National Trust’s Newton House in Dinefwr near Llandeilo. It’s by Cardiff artist and printmaker John Abell. Called ‘Becca And Her Children’, it’s inspired by the Rebecca Riots that happened in the area in the early 19th century.

Dinefwr 2

John has been doing a residency there, producing paintings, small drypoint prints and huge linocuts. They are lush, so complex.

Dinefwr

The historic venue is a fabulous setting for the work. The house and grounds are worth a day out in their own right as well. The exhibition continues to April the 20th.

Anointing The Apple Trees.

11 Jan

mari 4 2020

 

In two days on January 13th it will be Hen Galan, the ‘old’ New Year in Wales, which is heralded by the tradition of the Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare). It’s a pre-Christian custom rooted in the worship of the ancient Celtic horse goddess Epona, known in Welsh culture as Rhiannon.

 

mari 1 2020

 

Husb and I went to the Gower Wassail festival today, which included a parade of Mari Lwyds by torchlight, with lots of music and shouting to ‘wake up’ the apple trees in the orchard, and to anoint their roots with cider. It’s an ancient ritual meant to encourage a good apple harvest next year. Here’s Husb getting dressed as a Mari – traditionally although the Mari is female, the person inside is a man, although these days there are women puppeteers as well. You can see the horse skull on the floor.

Ready To Print

3 Jan

cut

I finished cutting a Mari Lwyd skull into my vinyl block. I’ll print it this weekend, using Japanese Hosho paper and Caligo Cranfield ‘Safe Wash‘ relief printing ink, with maybe a hint of chine collé.  I was going to do two skulls but I think the one at the back would make it too crowded so I haven’t cut it.

 

The Mari Lwyd (Grey Mare) is a manifestation of the ancient Celtic horse goddess, Epona – or Rhiannon in Wales, and might even be linked to the earliest cave paintings of shamen in their animal masks. She makes her appearance in the Welsh tradition during Hen Galan, or the ‘old’ New Year based on the Julian rather than the Gregorian calendar which is usually celebrated around the 13th of January.

You can order your own Mari Lwyd, a flat pack horse skull kit designed by David Pitt here….

A Flat Pack Mari Lwyd

2 Jan

Mari Lwyd 2020

Mari Lwyd time will soon be here and I’ve been doing a little lino cut to make some cards to celebrate. She’s a manifestation of the ancient Celtic horse goddess, Epona – or Rhiannon in Wales, and might even be linked to the earliest cave paintings of shamen in their animal masks. She makes her appearance in the Welsh tradition during Hen Galan, or the ‘old’ New Year based on the Julian rather than the Gregorian calendar which is usually celebrated around the 13th of January.

 

flat pack

A flat-pack Mari Lwyd kit designed by David Pitt and sold by ‘trac’

Horse skulls are a bit hard to come by these days, but if you want your own Mari Lwyd, you can order a flat pack horse skull kit here….

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

31 Dec

mari lwyd lino

Ce n’est pas un Mari. Ceci est un impression lino d’un Mari.” Just channelling a bit of Magritte there. Mari Lwyd traditionally welcomes in the New Year in Wales …. well, who else would wander around with a dead horse’s head on a stick at this time of year? And “Blwyddyn Newydd Dda” is Welsh for a Happy New Year. Have a good one xxx

 

 

Waste Not, Want Not.

23 Apr

lino 2

After printing up all nine of my little brutalised randomised vinyl blocks yesterday in the final, blue, colour, I used up the ink that was left on a large sheet of Mylar, or Mark Resist, film. I’d already printed up the yellow and red leftover inks.

mylar

Waste Not, Want Not eh? I’ve no idea what I’m going to do with it, maybe collage?

Surrealists, Semiotics and Fifties Frock Fabric

22 Apr

lino 1

I finally finished the random lino project I began a couple of weeks ago. I printed the final colour, Process Blue, today, using Caligo Safewash mixed with Extender in a 30:70 ratio. These were overprinted on two previous layers, Process Yellow and Process Magenta and I like the range of colours formed by the translucency of the inks. The purpose was to break through a creative block I’ve been wallowing in for the past couple of months and to take a chance with some randomness, following the example of the 20th century Surrealists, who often generated their ideas and concepts from creative exercises.

Has it worked? Well, I was hoping for something dark and insightful and what I have ended up with looks like 1950s frock fabric, but the process has certainly loosened up my approach to block (lino, wood) cut printing and germinated some ideas about developing my own semiotic imagery. Ooooh get me! This has taken me a long way to solving a particular problem I was having with one of my art projects, which was completely unexpected. RESULT!!!! 😀

Surrealists In The Bathroom

13 Apr

mylar

I was doing some experimental lino cuts earlier in the week, trying to push myself out of my comfort zone, printing hacked-up vinyl blocks randomly onto ripped paper. At the end of each session I had a bit of ink left over. Well, waste not, want not, I had a sheet of translucent Mylar film knocking around so I used up the remaining ink on it. I didn’t know what to expect when I started this, I had no plans at all. I was hoping that I would get something like the Surrealists used to get from their experimental creative exercises. But it’s starting to look like the 1950’s bathroom wallpaper that my Aunty used to have. Hmmmm ……

Nooks And Crannies

10 Apr

red c

This morning I carried on with my detour into randomness, overprinting yesterday’s yellow lino cuts with red (Caligo Easy Wipe in Process Magenta mixed 70:30 with Extender).

Because I had a moment of madness and ripped the paper with my bare hands instead of using a nice steel straight edge it was a bit awkward to take the prints with a Japanese baren, especially around the rough edges, so I used a smooth marble egg to get into the nooks and crannies.

red d

I saw marble eggs and spheres being used for hand printing when I did a residency in Pakistan a few years back, where there is a traditional marble carving industry. It works really well for small areas. The eggs are quite expensive so I’ve gotten into the habit of buying them from charity shops and car boot sales.

 

Random Ripping

9 Apr

yellow 3

So, carrying on with my experiment to loosen up and make my approach to art more random and less controlled. I have gone through a process of cutting vinyl blocks randomly, with a selection of tools, then I hacked away at the edges to get rid of the square boundaries. So the next stage is to print them up. I was lucky to have been given some vintage printmaking papers by a friend who was clearing out his late father’s studio. It isn’t watermarked so I don’t know what it is, but it’s a nice off-white, very warm colour and I estimate about 150 gsm or thereabouts.

To keep the randomness going, I gritted my teeth and ripped the paper without measuring it out and using a nice straight edge. It was a horrible experience! It felt like vandalism! I decided to go with a translucent oil-based litho / relief ink (Caligo Safewash), in Process Yellow, mixed 60:40 with Extender.

I inked up the blocks with my best roller and then took the print using a traditional Japanese bamboo baren. The ink was nice and loose because of the amount of Extender I added and the paper thin enough to pick up the ink without needing a heavy press.

yellow 5

And here’s the first print. I’ll be overlaying this with more colours in the next couple of days to push the randomness as far as I can.

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