Tag Archives: printmaking

Looking Back (With A Kitten)

3 Sep

SONY DSC

Oh the glamour of being an artist. Sorting through my drawers. I decided to spend a bit of time this evening organising my plans chest, which meant rediscovering some of my older work. It was good, remembering how I’d done things a while back. This mixed media piece started as a drawing with a life model – my cat Sparta Puss, who was a kitten at the time, ran in playing with a ball of rolled up paper. I was going through a phase of preparing large sheets of beautiful paper – Bockingford, Somerset, BFK Rives, with random squeegeeing (a bit like Gerhard Richter) and screen prints to build up layers of background textures. Then I collaged and drew on top. The blanket that the model is lying on is made up of a ripped up linocut print that I ended up not liking. I painted all the little fragments with oil glazes before I stuck them down. Waste not, want not.

 

A Chance To Own One Of My Artworks

I have some small screenprints for sale, inspired by my drawings of the taxidermy collection at Swansea Museum. I have given these antique artifacts a modern twist by combining them with images of rubbish – old fruit nets, bubble wrap and plastic – highlighting the problem of human pollution and how it affects wildlife.

To buy my work on the Swansea Print Workshop site please click the image to the left.

In this one, I combined the image of the bird with snippets of text of things my Nana used to say. She used to take me to Swansea Museum a lot when I was small and I could hear her voice in the back of my head as I was sitting and drawing the birds and bugs.

20 percent of the cost of each screenprint sold goes to support Swansea Print Workshop, which receives no public funding.

 

Sharpening Tools

17 Aug

august

Just carrying on cutting blocks today for my pandemic printmaking project. I’m still in the early stages but I know what I need to do and that’s most of the battle, to be honest. I keep my tools super sharp as I’m carving the lino, using my Flexcut Slip Strop.

Twenty eight blocks

I’ve cut almost a third of the little blocks. The whole piece will be made up of text printed onto fabric.

Calligraphy set

I treated myself to this Chinese calligraphy set. I don’t like shopping unless it’s for tools and art materials – oh, and books. I don’t know how to use it but I’ve been getting advice from over on Facebook and Instagram. I don’t think I’ll be trying it out for a while as I need to crack on with my lino project and I’m also doing a weekly painting session to improve my skills. But this is something to look forward to.

Tonto The Dog And A Pochoir Design

15 Aug

Jack 2

I don’t often take on design work but I need to put together an adult education instruction pamphlet, cutting stencils and building up layers of acrylic paint for a finished “pochoir“. It’s a word that’s hardly ever used now, it’s a multi layered stencil print. It was very popular in the first half of the 20th century and Picasso, Matisse, Braque and Miro are some of the artists who used the technique.

Jack 1

I started with a simple sketch of a Jack Russell, then I worked out how many colours I am going to print, which will give me the amount of stencils I need to cut. Then I had a practice doing some bones for the background, in gouache. I haven’t used gouache for yonks – years and years – but I had some in a box. They’re a good make, Winsor & Newton, so they’re still in excellent condition. I’d forgotten how much fun gouache is to play with.

That’s the guts of the design worked out, I’ll refine it as I’m cutting the stencils and decide on the final composition when I’m ready to print.

I love Jack Russells. My favourite is Tonto, who appeared on UK television in adverts for John Smith’s bitter. He was a great little dog. Here he is on video.

Not Just Faking And Baking

11 Aug

fake and bake

I’ve been looking at my blog posts over the past few months and it looks as if I spend most of my time baking or faking (with the Cheese and Wine Painting Club on Fridays) or drawing trees. But behind the scenes I’ve been carrying on with my pandemic-inspired project which involves, in the first stage, carving around 100 little lino blocks. Well frankly, that’s interesting to blog about occasionally but it would be pretty boring if that’s what I posted day in, day out. So I’ll just drop it in now and again.

Columbian

This morning I was at Swansea Print Workshop, we’re starting a slow and measured re-opening with no more than two artists at any one time, masked and sanitised. I get to hang out with this big beast – The Columbian 😀

Pollution And The Seagull

28 Jul

 

gull 2

I spent the morning at Swansea Print Workshop – we are doing a very limited re-opening now that the Covid19 restrictions are relaxing. I want to finish an edition of screenprints I made from a drawing of a stuffed seagull back last Autumn. I printed a load of seagulls on newsprint while I was getting the strength of the ink right so I used a couple of these today to try out different backgrounds. I’m thinking of making a photoscreen from fruit nets to create the background. There’s so much rubbish in the environment, loads of plastic pollution, so I’m going to use some with the seagull. I’m not necessarily going to use these colours but at the moment I’m trying to get the composition right.

 

Baps, Blocks And Book

20 Jun

grow group

Had a bit of a spurt with block cutting today, I carved until my shoulder started hurting. As I age I am more and more aware of the physicality of making art and the need to keep healthy and exercise, especially my arms, hands, shoulders, neck and back. Well that’s most of me I guess 😀

baps

I did some more baking, bread dough, and made half a dozen baps and a pizza, which was a damn fine pizza even if I say so myself. It’s not really practical to go to the shop every day for bread and I’m getting right into making my own from scratch – whoever invented instant yeast deserves a medal.

Colour

And I read and made notes from one of my favourite books by Victoria Finlay, “Colour, Travels Through The Paintbox”. Husb and I are going to start a podcast, an arty one, but also one that’s not highbrow and this is what I’m hoping to base the first few on. We’re planning to go live with it sometime in the next week …. I’ll let you know 😀

 

 

Carving Blocks And Charcoal At The Castle

15 Jun

Lockcook 1

Today was pretty productive. I inked, traced and transferred seven texts onto little lino blocks and cut two of them. These are part of my series of words and phrases I’ve written down through the course of the Covid19 pandemic, from the first day of lockdown. Eventually, I’ll be printing them onto home-made cotton masks.

Lockcook 2

It was really hot and dry so Husb and I waited until early evening before we went down to our allotment. I did a quick sketch before we left the site, of Oystermouth Castle and it’s grounds using Winsor & Newton willow charcoal into a Khadi sketchbook.

4 oystermouth

I like working across two pages, especially with square sketchbooks. I take a can of fixative with me when I draw with charcoal, it’s manky and the drawing would smudge badly without being fixed.

 

 

Carving And A Wriggly Cat

14 Jun

zoom home

More of the same today, designing text for my little lino blocks then transferring and cutting. These are numbers 19 and 20 so I think I might stop cutting for a while and get on with printing them onto fabric and making masks.

charcoal cat 2

And I did another quick charcoal sketch of Sparta Puss. She was lying down in the sun, but not asleep so she kept wriggling. I’m giving myself a maximum of 2 minutes to do these sketches of her. She’s a bit on the tubby side….

 

Carving Blocks And The Charcoal Cat.

13 Jun

social kind

More of the same today, transferring words to little lino blocks, in reverse, and carving them. I’ve compiled a list of words and phrases as we’ve travelled through the pandemic lockdown. Eventually I’ll have a whole load of these printed up and made into masks.

eighteen

I’ve cut 18 so far, there’ll be at least another 60 to go, depending how long lockdown lasts.

charcoal cat

For a bit of light relief, I sketched the cat in charcoal.

Compromise, Cat And Cheese

12 Jun

Wash Bday 1

The text on the little lino blocks I’m cutting goes through changes at each stage of the process, partly because of the materials I’m using, from pencil, to ink and brush, to tracing transfer, to carving with cutting tools. But along the way I make adjustments, a curvier bit here, a shorter bit there.

The brush gives me very flowing, curvy marks while the cutting tools give me something more jagged. So the final cut that will be printed is a process of development and compromise.

cheesy cat

And a parcel arrived from The Welsh Cheese Company today. It’s not easy going out shopping at the moment and many smaller food producers are struggling – the supermarkets can weather the storm. So Husb and I have been shopping for some of our food online, which we had never done before, not from the big conglomerates though but from the independent sector. This is our third lockdown parcel from The Welsh Cheese Company, it’s insanely delicious stuff. Sparta Puss was very interested, not in the cheese, it’s the box she fancies.

And an added bonus is that they use wool to protect the goods – and I just happen to need some blankets for my printing press. How cool is that?

blanket

Here’s my press, now I have a blanket, I can try it out.

press 1

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