Tag Archives: linocuts

Something Fishy In Boise

13 Jun

Print Boise River 5

A few years back I did an artist residency at Wingtip Press in Boise, Idaho, USA. It was a wonderful experience and I keep an eye out on what’s happening in printmaking in Boise. The irrepressible Amy Nack, founder of Wingtip Press sent me some information about “Print Boise River”. It’s a project celebrating the beloved Boise River by building a 150′ paper river with flip flop prints, grant funded by Boise City Department of Arts and History.

Flip Flop Fish Prints!!!!! Brilliant idea!

 

The big PRINT BOISE day will be July 13 at the Anne Frank Memorial.

Print Boise River 6

The Haul

8 Jun

 

the haul

This year I entered the Leftovers IX print exchange, organised through Wingtip Press in Idaho, USA. It’s a great premise; use up all those lovely little leftover scraps of printmaking paper and produce a small edition of miniature prints; send them off to Boise, Idaho; wait a few months; get a dozen prints by other artists through the post to add to your art collection. A nice little haul.

I sent over an edition of my little Mari Lwyd linocut prints with chine collé.

Leftovers

Oh I Wish!

8 May

Oh I wish

When I tell people that I go out regularly drawing en plein air, a common reaction is, “Oh how lovely! Tripping about the countryside in the sunshine doing some nice little drawings“. OH! I! WISH!

Here’s the reality. A photo of the minimum kit I need for my forays into the wild places of South Wales with pre-historian Dewi Bowen and filmmaker Melvyn Williams. From the left: portable drawing board; satchel containing drawing materials, sketchbook, masking tape, fingerless gloves, wet wipes, toilet roll (in case), mobile phone, purse, spectacles, sunglasses; sturdy walking boots; waterproof and windproof jacket and trousers; hat; rucksack with food and water for humans and snackage for wild ponies; portfolio with prepared papers and canvasses. That’s what I cart up mountains, across bogs and through streams so that I can do my art out in the fresh air instead of in a nice warm cosy studio.

 

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. So did you know that Elvis Presley is descended from the Welsh? This drawing below is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

The Final Proof – For Now

7 May

workers 7

Here are the last cuts I made on my new vinyl block that I carved during my gallery-sitting session at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir last weekend. I spent the day designing, cutting and proof printing and took it up to this, the fourth cut and print and for now, the final proof. I printed with a cheap water-based ink onto cartridge paper and I now need to try it out with top quality materials before I decide whether it needs more cutting. But I’m inclined at the moment to say that less is more…..

workers 8.jpg

 

 

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

The Third Cut

6 May

workers 6

Another bit of cutting and here’s my third proof of the linocut I’m developing, based on original drawings of ancient monuments in South Wales. It’s getting there, but I think I need to cut away more of the sky, so that’ll be the next stage.

 

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

Proof Printing

5 May

workers 5

I made the first cuts on my new vinyl block (while I was gallery-sitting at The Workers Gallery last weekend) and took a proof print. The first print off a new block always seems to be a bit ropey (it’s the one at the bottom right of the photo), so I took a second proof which had a better ink coverage (top right). I used a plastic baren and cartridge paper. The quality isn’t particularly good because I used a cheap-ish water-based ink and a cheap roller (brayer), but it’s good enough for proofing. The purpose of taking a proof print is to see if you need to do more cuts on the block, or to try out different inks or papers. It’s the period of experimentation. I did some more cutting because I want a lighter upper half, and then I took another proof (on the left). It’s okay, but I want to cut even more away ……… 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

The First Cuts

3 May

workers 3

Yesterday I posted about setting up to develop a linocut print while I was gallery-sitting at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir. After I did an interim sketch from my original sketchbook drawing of a Neolithic standing stone, I transferred it (in reverse) to a piece of vinyl with a white conté crayon. I’m using vinyl rather than lino because it’s softer and easier to cut and also because it’s so much cheaper. I find that I get very inhibited when I use expensive materials and I want to be free and a bit experimental with this – I don’t want to get precious about it.

workers 4

I’m not going to cut a lot away at first, I’ve ruined a lot of blocks that way. I’m going to cut in stages and take proof prints as I go along to inform any more cutting that needs to be done. I’m aiming for a rough, simple, expressionist style. Here’s the first stage cut, inked up with a cheap water-based printing ink, waiting to be printed by hand using a plastic baren.

 

 

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

Starting From Scratch.

2 May

workers 1

I spent last Saturday at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir, a fabulous artist-led artspace in the Rhondda Valley. The two artists who run the gallery, Chris and Gayle, are taking a well-deserved holiday and a rota of gallery artists are taking turns to keep the gallery open. I took a load of drawing and printmaking gear to start work on a new linocut.

workers 2

I’m making a print from one of the many drawings I’ve done over the last year of ancient stone monuments across South Wales, mostly Neolithic and Bronze Age. The first stage is to do a sketch from one of the drawings in my sketchbook, simplifying it. The final piece will only be one colour, black on white, so I can’t put in the whole range of tonal values that are in the original.

 

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

Up The Workers (with added cat)!

24 Feb

e

I have a permanent exhibition at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir where I am one of the gallery artists. Started by Gayle Rogers and Chris Williams just over a year ago, The Workers has developed into a major cultural force in The Rhondda Valley. Originally the village library, Gayle and Chris took it over after it was closed down due to massive government cutbacks that have blighted so many deprived areas.

The stages of a block print: cutting, inking first colour, inking second colour, final print

The stages of a block print: cutting, inking colour 1, inking colour 2, final print

As well as a warm and welcoming place to visit, The Workers provides studio and workshop space for artists Gayle and Chris, has a main gallery space hosting an excellent programme of contemporary art, and another exhibition space for its gallery artists. At the moment, I am exhibiting a suite of eight block prints, inspired by a visit to Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial in the snow a few winters ago. There will be a major new exhibition of work by the gallery artists opening in mid-March – more news on that to come.

Printing the first colour on the antique Columbian Press at Swansea Print Workshop

Printing the first colour on the antique Columbian Press at Swansea Print Workshop

I’ve used vinyl ‘soft cut’ blocks from Intaglio Printmaker in London and their litho / relief ink. The prints are two-colour reduction relief prints: I cut away the areas to be left white and printed a mid grey, then cut away the areas to be left grey and printed black. This is often called the ‘suicide’ method by printmakers because it destroys the block and there’s no turning back!

cat and cut

Here’s my cat, Sparta Puss, ‘helping’ with the cutting. A dangerous business, she has no concept of ‘Elfin Safety!

Cat And Cut

9 Aug

cat and cut

Greetings hairless apes. Sparta Puss here. I have taken control of the bald monkeys’ pooter box while they are distracted. The she-ape was cutting some soft floppy stuff called vinyl just now because she has to print it in the morning and I thought I’d be helpful and lend her a paw. She was not happy about it, the ungrateful chimp.  “Not a good idea with such sharp tools around”, she squealed. They all squeal you know, the monkeys. She locked me out of the room! So I got my paws on the ‘pooter box and now I can tell the world what an idiot she is.

And yes, that is a zombie garden gnome in the background. Stupid monkeys.

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