Tag Archives: woodcut

Getting On With It

12 Nov

DSC_1843

I’m on the last leg now with “Here Be Dragons”, my commission for Sky Arts, getting my final design transferred into a large sheet of MDF. I’m back in my studio at home, with Helen Finney’s portrait of me looking down as I work.

 

DSC_1846

I transferred it using detail paper, that had a tracing of the design in compressed charcoal. Once that was on the MDF, I went over each line with a good quality squirrel hair brush and home-made walnut ink. Tomorrow, the cutting begins!

 

sky-arts art 50 mash up

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

Moving Along

20 Oct

dragons eye 1

I spent a couple of days doing test prints from a sample woodblock I cut, but today I decided to get on with the design for the commission, working it up onto a large sheet of Waterford watercolour paper with my own home-made walnut ink and some watercolour paint. I’m still in the early stages, each time I redraw my ideas, the whole thing develops and matures but I’ve a long way to go.

window

But I’ve come a long way too. Here’s my starting point, in the window of my studio, from about 4 weeks ago.

 

Taking Proofs

19 Oct
interior 1

Inside my new studio on a warm and sunny afternnon

I did some test proof prints from my sample woodblock, using Caligo Safewash relief ink onto MDF. I did a few printings onto different papers and using different densities of ink – I mixed extender in for some of them. To be honest, I don’t particularly like any of them, they’re a bit too faded. I need to try out some different inks and papers to see if I get a better result.

 

From left to right: inking the block: rubbing the back of the paper with a Japanese baren, the prints hanging to dry on a clothes rack.

 

 

Geeky stuff

18 Oct

I’m starting to do some test wood blocks for my commission for Sky Arts Art50. I’m cutting into MDF, using a facemask as it’s a bit dodgy, although it won’t be generating any dust. I’ve tried MDF before and when I inked it up it soaked up the ink and I had to make 3 prints before I got a decent one, the ink sank into the porous surface. I asked around and was told to try sealing the block, so I cut a test piece earlier and I brushed parts of it with Shellac. Once it’s dried I’ll ink up the whole thing and take a few proof prints to see how the sealed and unsealed bits of the block print up. I love doing stuff like this. I’m so geeky.

test block 1

I’m three days into my month-long residency at 216 High Street, Swansea, a very roomy shop with a generous subsidy from Coastal Housing Group – thanks very much.

216 high st 1

 

Here Be Dragons! Have Your Say!

17 Oct Sky Arts, Art 50, Brexit
Sky Arts, Art 50, Brexit

Commissioned by Sky Arts TV for ART50

Filming on Thursday November 8th (15.00-18.00) and Sunday November 11th (14.00-17.00)

Come and be on the telly! I’m doing a commission for Sky Arts called ‘Here Be Dragons’ and part of it is filming 1-minute interviews on what people think it means to be British – or Welsh – or something else altogether – for programmes in March 2019. Please pop in to my studio for tea and cake and if you want to do a quick interview – you don’t have to – it would be lovely to see you.

Here Be Dragons” at 216 High Street, Swansea

I’ve been commissioned by Sky Arts television to make a new artwork for an arts festival and TV programme early next year. It’s Art50, where over 50 artists or art organisations (in music, theatre, literature and the visual arts) have been commissioned to produce new art exploring the question, “In post – Brexit Britain, who are we?

Coastal Housing Group has kindly given me a subsidised space to work in and I’m developing a large woodcut, but I’ll also be having four Open Studio days as well so that people can come in, have a cuppa and a bit of cake (home-made of course) and see what goes on in an artist’s studio. They’ll also have a chance to do a one-minute vox pop interview to camera, if they want, giving their views on what Britishness is at the moment. I’ll keep you all posted when they’re going to be.

Check out more about what I’m doing here

 

 

 

The Proofing Dilemma

19 Nov

 

Here’s a dilemma. I’ve done enough hacking on my new woodcut to try a first proof. But I really like the piece as it is, with the colour of the natural wood contrasting with the creamy whiteness of the carved areas and the grey/black of the bits I’ve coloured with ink and wash; done to help make the cutting easier. Once I get the black ink onto it, the brown and grey tones will be lost forever. Still, it’s a woodcut. It’s destiny is to be printed.

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