Tag Archives: monotypes

Workers’ Mates

27 Nov

2017 Punjabi Storm

I’m a gallery artist at the excellent Workers Gallery in Ynyshir where up to 20 invited artists are selected annually to have a square metre of permanent exhibition space and to work with the gallery to develop the exhibition programme and run regular residency and demo days. The Workers’ focuses on art made in Wales but also has a special programme of international artists throughout the year. It’s a lovely gallery, worth visiting.

Supporters of the gallery often become ‘Workers Mates’ for an annual contribution of £20 and in return they receive special exhibition opportunities, offers and VIP invitations. It’s an interesting model of working as it embeds the gallery in the local community through the Workers’ Mates scheme and also gives artists an opportunity to curate their own exhibition area.

I just visited last week and changed my ‘square metre’ to show these fairly new monotypes that haven’t been exhibited before. They’re based on impressionistic drawings I did during my last visit to Pakistan while I was travelling through The Punjab, and I used the 3-colour reduction technique with Caligo Safewash relief inks onto BFK Rives paper. See my Techie section for more about the technique.

 

 

Punjab To Rhondda With Cake

20 Nov

Winter Woodland artist residencies Nov 2017 b

I’m doing a one-day artist residency at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir this coming Friday so if you’re in the area, or fancy that trip up the Rhondda Valley that you’ve been promising yourself, please pop in and see me. I’ll make a cake. Maybe a Victoria Sandwich.

Victoria Sandwich

When I did a residency in Pakistan, at the Zaira Zaka Print Studio three years ago, I travelled from Rawalpindi to Lahore across the vast expanse of the Punjab through some incredible weather conditions including the most ferocious thunderstorm I have ever experienced. In the car, I did 50 very quick impressionistic drawings of the journey into a small Khadi sketchbook, and these have inspired a series of small monotypes. I have done 10 so far and I’ll be working on some more at my residency in Ynyshir.

I edited the 50 original drawings together into a short video with a soundtrack taken from the sounds around me during my month-long stay. Here it is….

A Gallery Visit

12 Aug

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Husb and I paid a visit to the lovely Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley today. I am one of the gallery artists and I wanted to change the work I’m displaying there. Each gallery artist has a bit of wall to display their work. The Workers also has a Main Gallery for curated exhibitions. It was the last day of Susan Zeppellini’s sculpture and drawing show, “The Crows Descend”, which is fantastic.

I’m exhibiting a large monotype titled ‘Scrutiny’ based on drawings I did working with a life model.

 

 

A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

Teasing

2 Aug

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Another little snippet of the beginnings of the new work I started last weekend. And now I’m putting it all in a big draw in my plans chest until the big reveal in a year or so. Oh yes …….. Such a tease …… It’s a little bit of a ‘ghost’ monotype ……..

 

You Learn Something New…..

23 Oct

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These holes at the Taxila UNESCO World Heritage site in Pakistan had been puzzling me for some time. I found out this evening what they are ….. probably. Hannah Lawson and I opened our pop-up studio at Swansea Print Workshop this evening with a Welsh / Pakistani tea and we did an illustrated talk about our residency in Rawalpindi last year. One of the people who came recognised them as an ancient type of fridge. Pits like these were lined with clay or stone and kept food cool. You learn something new every day.

Rose Davies invitation

Hannah and I will be working at Swansea Print Workshop from 10.30 – 5 tomorrow (Saturday), Sunday and Monday and we’ll be happy to show visitors around the lovely antique machinery as well as our exhibition and what we’re working on.

One From The Archives :4 The Name Game

11 Sep

The Towel

Drawing is the basis of everything I do. Sometimes it can be the finished product itself but more often it is the starting point for work in many different media.

towel small

Once I decide that a rough sketch is worth developing, I like to see how many different ways I can expand the idea.

This is a very small scribble I made in a life drawing session a couple of years ago in a sketchbook size A5. I drew the reflection of the model in a mirror.

yellow towel small

Curlicue

I developed this into a painting (size A3). I don’t often paint but I wanted to do some technical exercises with oils. This allowed me to play with colour and pattern to create a mood around the form, which led to the title, Curlicue. Finding names for pieces is always hard, in my experience.

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Yellow Towel

I then scaled up the drawing and used it as the basis for a full colour monotype, along with it’s ‘ghost’ below. I concentrated on developing a denser background and the complexities of skin tones.

yellow towel ghost small

The Pale Yellow Towel

The richness and subtlety of the colours in this technique give a very detailed surface that is endlessly fascinating. These two, Yellow Towel and The Pale Yellow Towel are larger again, A2 size. See the problems I have with naming?

When you have the basic drawing, you can also change things around and have some fun; make it darker and more brooding by using a wider variety of drawing materials or even viewpoints.  You can let your imagination and the lines run riot, like this one I’ve called Black And Yellow. I wonder if there’s a ‘Naming Art Tutorial’ somewhere on the Internet?

Black and Yellow

Black And Yellow

And finally, back to A5 and a photopolymer plate etching (below). Here I can go back to basics with the human form but transform the background into a luxurious tapestry. I called this The Towel. I know. I know.

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The Towel

I wonder where I’ll go next with it? The possibilities are as endless as the techniques available.

It would be lovely if you’d follow me on Artfinder. If you want to, please follow the link below.

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One From The Archives :2

9 Sep

The Carpet

The inspiration for a piece of work can often be the slightest of things. Drawing is all about looking and the closer you look, the more you see. At first glance you see a solid figure. Look again and the texture and pattern of the background can draw you in.

 

Carpet

The Carpet

That’s certainly what happened with this print. The technique is known as direct line monotype, it produces a unique artwork in the style of a line drawing. Here I have used archival-quality oil-based litho ink onto Zerkall paper.

The technique is similar to using a piece of old fashioned carbon paper but with much better ink and paper.

It allows me to be very free with my pencil, to follow the patterns and shapes in front of me with a spontaneity that more technology dependent printmaking methods might stifle.  I like to roam with my pencil so the fantastic, almost fractal markings on the carpet let me explore to my heart’s content.

You can see more about the techniques in an earlier blog here.

If you would like to own this drawing is it available from Artfinder.

AF logo

To see more work on Artfinder please follow the link below.

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Ghost. Cake.

29 Oct

blue ghost

Yesterday I posted about the new monotype I made, based on a drawing from my travel sketchbook. The monotype process produces an unique piece in full colour, but it’s possible to put a second piece of paper (BFK Rives 250 gsm) through the press and take a secondary ‘ghost’ print which is much paler and more ethereal. The prints are taken in sequence, first the Process Yellow, then the Process Magenta and finally the Process Cyan. Some of the Impressionists, notably Degas and Monet, used to use ghost monotypes as the basis for some of their pastel drawings.

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I had visitors this afternoon. So I made cake. A classic Victoria Sandwich with my homemade loganberry jam. I grow the loganberries in my garden and on our allotment, I’ve never seen them for sale. Husb is piling into what’s left. He takes no prisoners!

Victoria Sandwich

 

 

Ethereal Ghosts

21 Oct

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This is the last of the four monotypes I made on one day last week. The effort nearly killed me! I’m not young anymore. Anyway, this is the one I’m least happy with. I think it’s because I thought too much about it and tried to do too much detail. I was much freer with the other 3 monotypes and I think they worked better. It’s useful to know.

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The process starts with printing the yellow plate, then overprinting that with the magenta, then finally the cyan, which gives a full colour range because the inks are translucent. The plate and paper are put through the press a second time at each stage to give a second, ‘ghost’, monotype. Some of the Impressionists used to work over their ghost monotypes with oil pastels, notably Degas and Monet, although I generally leave them, I like their ethereal quality.

More Of The Same

17 Oct

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I had a marathon monotype session at Swansea Print Workshop yesterday and produced 4 full colour monotypes and 4 ‘ghost’ monotypes which is a record for me. I was corpsed at the end of it though. I drew the yellow and red plates in broad strokes with cotton rags and scrim (tarlatan). On the final, blue, plate I worked with tiny strokes and stabs with the scrim, covering the surface of the ink with tiny, tiny marks. When this was printed over the other two colours, it gave a soft twilight effect.

 

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The slides show the prints taken from, firstly, the yellow plate, then the red overprinted onto the yellow, then the blue printed over the yellow/red. Finally, the ghost is produced by putting the plate through the press a second time to pick up the faint remaining ink, resulting in a ghostly image. I used Caligo ‘Safewash’ oil-based litho/relief inks, which give lovely intense colours with the added advantage of being easily cleaned in warm soapy water. Takes ages off the cleaning process. You can read more about the process here.

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