Tag Archives: Wales

The Re-Cut

6 Dec

dragon block 1

During the process of developing my recent commission for Sky Arts TV channel, as part of their Art50 programming, I did a number of test blocks to try out different combinations of wood, sealer, ink and paper to find the combo that worked best. It also gave me a chance to experiment with the carving, trying out different tools and cutting styles. Most of the blocks are disposable, just fragments of experimentation, but I took this one to a fairly finished level and I returned to it again today, doing some re-cutting to sharpen up the lettering and give greater definition to the symbolic eye and barbed wire. I’m thinking of printing it up in black on white with red chine collé.

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up

Relaxing

2 Dec

 

cake and jam

I’ve had a weekend off! It’s hard to do that when you’re self-employed so it’s a real treat when it happens. I saw lots of family and friends and I also did one of my favourite things when I’m relaxing, I did a load of cooking. I emptied the freezer of the last of our allotment fruit from the summer and I cooked up some preserves – apricot, damson and a cheeky jostaberry gin jam. And I made a chocolate buttercream sponge, topped with Maltesers, as a present for our niece who recently had a beautiful baby boy. She deserves it. Husb made the buttercream – he’s some sort of buttercream genius.

cawl

Then I cooked up a large pot of Cawl (a traditional Welsh stew) so thick I could stand the wooden spoon in it. I served it with suet dumplings, proper comfort food for the weather we’re having. Back to work with a vengeance tomorrow!

And Breathe!

30 Nov

So, after two and a half months of research, preparation, creative blocks, blood, sweat and a lot of hard work, I finally finished carving my very large block of wood and did the first print. And breathe! The block has been sealed with three coats of shellac and methylated spirits (mixed 50:50) and I am using a Japanese lightweight paper, Hosho, in white for the main print and mulberry papers in red and blue for chine collé. The ink is Caligo / Cranfield’s Safe Wash and I’m taking the print by hand with Japanese barens.

 

I inked up mostly in black with some words picked out in red that I did with a different roller. I also prepared and applied mulberry chine collé. Then Husb lent me a hand to put the Hosho paper onto the block and to rub the back with the Japanese barens.

5 first proof

And here it comes. The first proof. The rest will be revealed in the New Year 😀 This is a commission for the Sky Art 50 programming which is scheduled for March 2019.

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up

 

 

The Swansea Open

29 Nov

mari siglo

The Swansea Open, December 8th to February 2nd 2019, Glynn Vivian art gallery.

I just heard today that I have had 2 artworks accepted into the Swansea Open exhibition and I’m chuffed to bits as Swansea is full of talented artists and the competition is stiff. I submitted two monotypes of the Mari Lwyd, based on drawings I did in my sketchbook at the end of last year. The Mari Lwyd is an ancient Welsh tradition, where groups of revellers wander the streets and pubs accompanied by a life size puppet constructed around a decorated horse’s skull. It may hark back to the worship of the Celtic horse goddess, Epona and has links with Wassailing, May Day hobby horses and Yule celebrations..

Mari thumbnail

The two pieces are intaglio prints – an etching and a mezzotint – that I made during a weekend course with accomplished printmaker Andrew Baldwin at Trefeglwys Print Studios a couple of months ago. It’s a beautiful studio in an ancient building in Powys and I learnt so much from Andrew. He has developed an innovative low toxicity etching ground – B.I.G. – that can be used in both traditional and inventive ways. You can find out more about it here.

Drawing Blood!

25 Nov

cut 3

I draw lots of things. Today I drew blood! I’m back to reality after our short break to Italy and cracking on with carving my large woodcut (80 x 120 cms), a commission from Sky Arts TV channel. One of the occupational hazards of carving blocks for relief printing is the razor sharp tools that I use. I keep them in good condition with a leather strop and abrasive wax (below).

strop

My attention slipped for a split second, the tool slipped for a split second, and blood spurted out of one of my fingers. Oh well, could be worse. I’ve almost finished carving and it’s my first injury, so I’m not doing too badly.

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up

 

 

It’s All A Bit Zen.

13 Nov

cut 1

 

The carving begins! The final drawing has been transferred in reverse onto the MDF block in compressed charcoal. Then I redrew everything with a brush and walnut ink. And now I’m cutting. After all the rush and stress of the past few weeks, it feels a bit Zen to quietly carve into the wood, carefully scribing the lines and curves with nothing but the sound of my breathing to accompany me. It’s very meditative.

 

cut 2

This is a large woodcut commissioned by Sky Arts television channel for ART50. You can read more about what I’m doing here.

 

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up

 

 

 

 

A Head In The Gallery

16 Oct Male portrait showing character

artist

Another face scribbled in the gallery the other evening…… always good practice to draw when I’m in an audience ….. using a ballpoint pen into a small notebook …..

 

A Head In The Audience

15 Oct Drawing of a female head from the side with glasses pushed up

carys

Husb and I went to our local art gallery, the Glynn Vivian, last week to listen to the artist Simon Periton, currently exhibiting at Galerie Simpson, speak about his art practice. Of course, I had to have a scribble……

 

Ghoulies, Ghosties And Bellies

14 Oct Drawing of the torso and head of a belly dancer

belly 3

Husb and I checked out a few events at Swansea Fringe last weekend and went to the Waterfront Museum for some readings by two authors who write about ghostly matters, Owen Thomas and Mark Rees.

There was also a spooky appearance by the ghostly Lotus Sisters belly dancing troupe. Of course, I had to have a scribble!

 

 

 

Just a quickie

14 Oct

Just a quickie from the theatre the other evening – sketching someone in the audience …

theatre

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