Tag Archives: woodcut

It’s Physical!

11 Mar

Here Be Dragons small

Here Be Dragons – March 26th at 9pm on Sky Arts TV channel.

Finally, the end of all the months of work! The programmes showing over 50 commissioned artists across the UK are being aired during the week beginning March 25th and the film featuring me and my work is on Tuesday, March 26th at 9pm.

2 inking up

I was commissioned to come up with a new flag for Britain and I made sure that Wales is on this one. Please follow the links here and here to read more.

Here’s the block of MDF while I was inking it up. It’s 80 x 100 centimetres, took about 3 weeks to cut, although I couldn’t physically do more than about 3 hours a day because my hand and arm started seizing up. Many people don’t realise just how physical art is and the toll it can take on your body. When I was travelling in Pakistan a while back I visited an art school where some of the students specialised in classical miniature painting. Their lecturer told us that years ago, the artists would develop a distinctive deformation of the spine because of the way they sat and painted and eyesight problems were common. They use ergonomic chairs and daylight lamps now to stay safe and healthy.

 

It’s All About The Technical Details!

6 Mar

Dragon eye 2

March 16th and 17th at Swansea Print Workshop I’m running a course in woodcut printmaking using MDF.

“Q. Can you use MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard) for woodcut prints?

A. Yes you can – as long as you get the technical details right.

Q. And how do I make sure that I get a nice quality print?

A. Again, it’s about getting the technical details right.

Q. And can I make these prints at home, without needing a specialist press?

A. Oh yes. But only if you get the technical details right.”

This short course covers:  safety, cutting, tools and tool maintenance, sealants, choosing the right papers and inks, printing with chine collé, printing by hand and press. At the end of two days you’ll have at least two original prints, one monochrome and one with colour, and enough know-how to get stuck into making your own original woodcut prints with MDF.

And you’ll get a chance to use this fabulous Victorian Columbian Press …

 

Please follow the link here if you’d like to book a place or find out about other courses coming up ….

Playing With Words

5 Mar

annibyniaeth

I was really inspired to do more text-based work after completing “Here Be Dragons”, my recent commission for the Sky Arts TV Channel. I find myself doodling words and letters and making them more visual, more pictorial. Here’s the start of a new woodcut – maybe. I’m working it up in my home-made walnut ink onto a piece of vintage Somerset watercolour paper. It needs a lot more working out, but the potential’s there. “Here Be Dragons” was entirely in English so I want to try out a Welsh word this time.

Unveiled!

24 Feb

Yes Cymru

So, over a year since the initial idea, four months in the research and making, my artwork “Here Be Dragons” finally unveiled at the Sky Arts ART50 festivals in Newcastle and London. Here I am with the original at The Barbican in London yesterday talking to visitors about the concept – a new flag for Britain – in printmaking natch – a woodcut actually – biggest one I’ve done but more on the tecchie stuff later.

Newcastle 2

And up in Newcastle they printed up a whole load of them and covered the place!

I met so many lovely people at The Barbican who were really interested in my sketchbook and my printmaking – if you’re looking in THANKS FOR STOPPING BY.

And also many thanks to all the people who have been encouraging me over the past year and more to push out of my comfort zone and create “Here Be Dragons”. Crikey, it’s like the flippin’ Oscars lol 😀

 

Here Be Dragons At The Barbican, London

20 Feb

A free arts festival at London’s Barbican Centre on Saturday February 23rd from 12 noon to 8pm. My work, “Here Be Dragons” will be featured alongside many other artworks commissioned by the TV channel Sky Arts for their ART50 project about post-Brexit Britain.

finished

I did this humungous woodcut print with chine collé inspired by the concept of a new flag for post-Brexit Britain. My work is dystopian, I cannot remember the nation being so fractured and divided. One of the roles of an artist is to hold up a mirror to society and reflect back what’s going on. That’s what I’ve tried to do here.

 

The Sky Arts series of films and programming will be aired in the UK on March 25th.

sky arts 50

Carry On Carving

24 Jan

cut 2

Carrying on carving my block of MDF, it’s very slow…..

The First Cut

20 Jan

 
20190120_115551-1169128395.jpg

The first cuts, carving my new woodblock (MDF), removing the bits to remain white. I’m using the smallest gouge from my Flexcut carving tool set and it’s going to take me ages at this rate, so I might rethink things a bit.

Getting Ready To Carve

18 Jan

block prep 6d black

I carried on preparing a sheet of MDF for my next woodcut. After I’d reversed my original drawing and traced it onto the wood, I painted in the different colours that I need to cut away. It’s a reduction print, often called the “suicide” method by printmakers as the process results in the complete destruction of the block.

Left to right: Tracing the outline onto the MDF sheet; blocking in the white areas with acrylic paint; and the mid-tone areas with dilute walnut ink. This is the basic design, I’ll put a lot more detail into the block as I’m carving it.

In At The Start

23 Dec

sketch 1a

So I’m thinking of doing some more large woodcuts in the new year, inspired by my drawings of the Mari Lwyd and Neolithic stone monuments in South Wales. I’ve done a lot of work on both of these so there’s plenty to inform anything I do. I begin by making little thumbnail sketches, lots of them, trying out different compositions. To me, that’s a primary function of a sketchbook, trying out ideas and establishing a starting point.

sketch 1 small

Well, I’ve started, but there’s a long, long way to go… If you want to find out more about the Mari Lwyd tradition in Wales please click here. And here’s a short film about my en plein air drawings on Neolithic and Bronze Age sites across South 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

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