Tag Archives: text

Still Slogging Away….

10 Nov

final 2a

 

Still slogging away. I have redrawn this yet again and now I think I’m finally happy with the way the textual imagery flows. This is the third version that I have worked up, and I did it lightly in graphite first.

 

final 2b

 

Then I covered it with detail paper (tracing) and copied it through with compressed charcoal, which will help when I turn it over to copy it onto a sheet of wood – it has to be carved in reverse of course. Off to the DIY centre next, to get a sheet of MDF. This is the reality of doing art, reworking and refining and slogging away, not very glamorous, eh?

 

 

 

 

Back To The Drawing Board

7 Nov

Literally, back to the drawing board. I worked up a full scale drawing yesterday, ready to transfer to a block for cutting. But I’m not happy with it. There’s so much text to fit into the space and I think it’s too busy and cramped so today, back to basics, redrawing each word so the text is more abstracted. Tomorrow, I’ll work it up onto another full size sheet of paper and see where that gets me.

reworking a

 

This is a commission for Sky Arts television.

sky-arts art 50 mash up

And Nearer ……

6 Nov

Moving into the final stages of my commission from Sky Arts ART50 now, drawing up the design to full scale before transferring it onto a wood block for cutting …..

final 1 d

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up

 

 

 

 

Getting Nearer

5 Nov

adapted text 1a

I’m getting along with my commission for the Sky Arts ART50 programme, “Here Be Dragons”. I have reworked every single piece of text that will be on the final woodcut, redrawing each word until it forms itself into a visual image that I like. The letters sometimes become so abstracted that it can be difficult to read the final word, but that’s okay, I’m making a piece of art, not an illustration or a piece of design, so I don’t have to worry if something is readable, only that it works as a visual motif. These words will change again when they’re painted onto the surface of the woodblock and yet again when I carve them and print them and use chine collé on them.

Next phase is to work up a full-size drawing onto paper, prior to transferring it onto the woodblock. So getting along nicely…..

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up big

Phew! Cracked It!

2 Nov

test ink 3a

Finally, all the teccie, geeky stuff has been sorted. I did a third test block, carving a fraction of my final design onto a shard of MDF, coating it three times with a 50:50 mix of shellac and methylated spirits, inking it up with Cranfield Caligo Safewash Relief ink and printing it, using a Japanese baren, onto Hosho paper. PHEW!!!!!! Cracked it!

This is a first, trial, proof which shows me if the carving is satisfactory. I can see where I need to cut more away around the lettering and maybe increase the ‘scales’ around the dragons eye, but it’s not too bad at all for a first proof.

This is another stage in my commission for Sky Arts ART50, you can read more about it here

sky-arts art 50 mash up

 

Yesterday’s Package

30 Oct

test ink 2c

Yesterday’s package was tins of new ink! Caligo / Cranfield Safe Wash litho / relief ink in black, for my test blocks. And here’s the second of my test blocks cut into MDF. The first, last week, gave unsatisfactory results but one of my WordPress chums, Siver Black, gave me a tip, to apply three coats of a 50:50 mix of shellac varnish and methylated spirits.

I’m delighted with the results. I used Hosho Japanese paper and took the print by hand, using a Japanese baren.

test ink 2d

I did a second proof print with chine collé, using a hand-made banana paper in dark red. This is part of the commission I’m working on for Sky Arts Art50.

sky-arts art 50 mash up

 

Oooh! A Package!

29 Oct

test ink 2a

Ooohh!!! A Package! What am I going to do with that?

Test Blocks And Neck Ache

26 Oct

test block 2

So I’m getting seriously into the development of my woodblock now and going through some testing stages; working out whether to have the image cut into the block, so it prints light, or cutting the block away around it, so it prints dark; which of my cutting tools to use; should the cutting be controlled and formal or dynamic and expressive?

I cut two blocks over the past two days. The first (above) is currently in the garden shed having had three coats of shellac mixed 50:50 with methylated spirits to seal it (thanks to fellow blogger Siver Black for the tip). Hopefully I’ll be able to take a test proof this weekend.

The second is a more complete design and is now ready to be varnished. I’m getting better at cutting because I am being more rigorous about keeping my tools sharp with my leather strop. It makes a huge difference.

test block 3

But after two days of block cutting, I’ve got a stiff neck. A lot of people don’t realise how physical art is. I keep fit by alternating between weights and Tai Chi each morning but even so, it takes it’s toll, especially as you get older. I think I need to soak in a hot, herby bath.

 

 

Many Words……

24 Oct

words 1

Yesterday I showed how I started out developing a new piece of art, working though a process which ended up with lots of words rather than pictures. Today I took those words and started playing with the shapes of the letters and the shapes between the letters…..abstracting from the original letters in the same way that I might abstract from a visual image like a sketch. In doing so, I am working towards making the letters into visual images. Tomorrow, I’m going to cut one or two of these into a woodblock to see what they look like.

 

words 1

And Then There Was The Word

23 Oct

last day 1

The process of developing a new artwork sometimes takes some surprising twists and turns. When I started working on my new commission for Sky Arts Art50, I thought I’d be doing visual motifs, but after humming and haahing for a while, and reading loads of research, I found myself writing on walls, all over the walls in the elysium studio I had throughout September. A few visuals popped up, but mostly the words kept flowing. I thought I’d develop imagery from the words, but it just wasn’t happening.

words

So then I started putting the words together. It took a while trying out different combinations but then I came up with a grouping which sounded pretty good when read aloud. But no visuals. Then I thought, “Why do I have to have visual motifs?”, and I did a bit more research, looking at artists like Bob and Roberta Smith, the printmaker Paul Peter Piech and Ghada Amer whose work incorporates text. So I started experimenting with these words.

design 3

And I think I’m starting to get somewhere. But I wasn’t happy about the words just being … well … written. I know that sounds weird but I’m a visual artist and I see patterns in things, it’s what I do.

 

But you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what’s occurring because I want to spend a bit more time working on my ideas ………

 

 

 

 

 

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