Tag Archives: scribblah

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.

Reality And Virtuality.

3 Nov

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I’ve been at the Print Workshop grafting on some  full-colour monotypes for the new exhibition. Here’s the second one finished. I posted stages one and two yesterday; this is what it looks like after the final, Process Blue, layer. I’ve used Intaglio Printmakers relief/litho oil-based pigment onto BFK Rives 250gsm paper. Back in the summer, I wandered with Husb along the Lower Swansea Valley river path, sketching and photographing industrial ruins. I noticed that most of them had graffiti so I merged some drawings I’d done of characters around town with the buildings and created my own tag, #uglv. I’m posting updates onto that hashtag on Twitter. I like the idea of linking the traditional art of printmaking (the Impressionists used this monotype technique) with 21st century social media, so that the work has a life in reality and virtuality.

Two Down, One To Go…

2 Nov

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Back at Swansea Print Workshop for a long shift to do another 3-colour reduction monotype in time for the new exhibition in a couple of weeks. Above is the first layer in Process Yellow and below, the monotype after the second, Process Red, layer has been printed.

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Tomorrow I’ll post the final print, after the third layer in Process Blue. If you want to find out more about this technique, I show the process on my website here.  And now I’m absolutely cream-crackered after being on my feet almost constantly for 10 hours. Time to chill out in front of the telly 😀


31 Oct

uglv 5

I was back at Swansea Print Workshop this evening to put the final layer of ink onto my monotype – the Process Blue. It’s this final stage that either pulls the whole thing together or results in me sobbing inwardly and resolving to get a job filling shelves in a supermarket instead of ever doing this stupid art thing ever again! But I’m very happy with the final print. And also with the ghost below. I don’t normally like the ghosts but this is quite a strong one. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, there’s an explanation of the technique on my website here.

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The piece is based on drawings and research I did into the industrial past in the Lower Swansea Valley and drawings I did of people round the city. If you’re wandering about the graffiti in the piece, come and visit on #uglv on Twitter.

Monotypes Across The Pond

22 Sep

I’ve been working with an international collaborative group of artist/printmakers to develop a portrfolio of full-colour monotypes for the Rocky Mountain Printmaking Symposium Biennale in Utah, USA next month. It’s been a good experience to work with such talented artists from Swansea Printmaking Workshop and I’m really excited that these prints are going across the world. There are also USA artists making work for this portfolio, which is being organised by Wingtip Press in Boise, Idaho. If you want to know more about the monotype technique we’ve been using, click here.

Self Experiment

21 May

21 me

After the manic amount of work I did during my residency in Boise, Idaho earlier in the month, I’ve hit a bit of a slump, probably not helped by jetlag, so I gritted my teeth and sat in front of a mirror this afternoon and scribbled what I saw. I don’t usually do self-portraits but I wanted to experiment with some portrait drawings using black and white media – conte crayons, compressed charcoal, carbon, oil pastels. I also wanted to get away from the usual detailed, fine pen work I use for portraits and develop a much more scribbly style.

I’m very influenced by Kathe Kollwitz, a brilliant scribbler and printmaker, and she did lots of self-portraits. makes sense, I don’t have to pay myself. But it’s not a comfortable thing to do. I noticed every single wrinkle, every bit of flab, every blemish eeewwwwww. I haven’t got the likeness right yet, but I’ll keep practising. This is on a piece of A3 Bockingford, 250gsm, prepared with an ink wash and drawn in black and white conte crayon, carbon and white oil pastel.

Calico cat’s comfort zone

31 Jul

Sparta on a pile of blankets

Sparta is our youngest of two tortoiseshell [calico] cats and typically loves her creature comforts. I’ve noticed over the decades of sharing my home and life with cats that there’s a hint of the ‘Princess and the Pea’ about them. They won’t settle for sleeping on a soft settee or bed if there’s a newspaper, towel, folded-up blanket or pile of washing on it – just in case the prince has slipped a dried pea under the edge of the mattress I suppose?

Here she is on top of a pile of folded blankets on top of a cushion on top of a couch. One day I’ll put a dried pea under a carefully arranged pile of soft stuff to see if they notice.

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