Tag Archives: woodcuts

Gazing Darkly

17 Jun

Rose woodcut

Today I printed up the woodcut I carved out earlier in the week. I used Intaglio Printmaker’s Caligo Easy Wash Relief ink mixed 50:50 with Extender and took the print by hand on Hosho paper using a Japanese Baren. This self-portrait was inspired by the late, great Käthe Kollwitz, an artist who produced loads of self-portraits during her long career. That’s a very dark gaze I’ve got going on there!

 

process 2

 

bamboo baren

A Japanese bamboo baren

 

A Wooden Selfie

10 Jun

process 1

I started a selfie today, a self portrait woodcut, using a piece of plywood. I transferred my drawing onto the wood and commenced hacking away with my Flexcut tools, they’re pretty good but plywood is quite tough and takes some effort.

I did a rubbing, with tracing paper and a graphite block, as I cut, to keep tabs on how it was progressing. Tomorrow I’ll do a first proof print to see exactly what’s going on and then finish the cutting, if necessary.

 

 

Kollwitz, Drypoint And Woodcut. What A Weekend!

31 May
Kollwitz stamp

A stamp based on a screen print I made from an original drawing of Kathe Kollwitz

Coming up, June 16th and 17th, I’ll be running a printmaking masterclass at Swansea’s gorgeous Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. Over the weekend we’ll focus on two print techniques, drypoint (intaglio) and woodcut, linked to the fabulous Käthe Kollwitz exhibition. Book now if you want to come as tickets are selling out fast….

 

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A digital drawing I did based on Kathe’s woodcut, The Widow.

On Day 1….

We’ll start with my illustrated talk about Käthe Kollwitz’s life and art (I’m a huge fan) and then we’ll go into the gallery to look at Käthe’s specific pieces that support drypoint and woodcut, the exquisite line of her etchings and the drama, chiaroscuro and simplicity of her woodcuts. We’ll make some quick sketches of her techniques.

After a tea break, off to the studio to look at individual work and start to transfer drawings to the drypoint plates and / or wood blocks and start cutting the images.

After lunch, we’ll continue cutting and prepare the paper for the next day and get our materials ready. This will be a chance for artists to chat about ideas, ask questions, get familiar with new materials and machinery.

 

On Day 2 ….

It’s all about the printing…. We’ll soak paper the paper, ink the plates and/or blocks, print a small edition for each artist and put them to dry. We’ll learn about ways of doing these print techniques at home; about signing and numbering an edition, why and how; and there will be handouts designed to help you to continue printmaking afterwards.

And all in the surroundings of the beautiful Glynn Vivian Art Gallery….

 

If you want to book onto the course, please click here … and if you want to read a bit more about Käthe, please click here and here.

Not As Simple As It Seems

24 May

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I have been enjoying the Käthe Kollwitz exhibition at Swansea’s Glynn Vivian Art Gallery and I bought the exhibition book. I wanted to study her woodcut technique in more detail so I laid a black ground in the Markers drawing app on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet and then drew into it with white brush and line functions, to emulate the lines she had originally cut into a block of wood. When you look at the original, it seems very, very simple but when you study it and try to copy it, it’s a lot more complicated than it appears.

Inspired By Käthe

3 May
WAA exhibit

My three-dimensional form made from cut and stitched Shiohara paper, with hand writing and Kathe Kollwitz stamps developed from an original screenprint.

 

In June, I will be running a two – day masterclass at the Glynn Vivian art gallery, linked to their excellent Kathe Kollwitz exhibition.  Exploring her life and political activism through her drawings and printmaking, I will be covering two techniques, drypoint and woodcut, drawing inspiration directly from her magnificent work and using the exhibition as a catalyst to create small editions over the weekend.

 

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A digital drawing I did based on Kathe’s woodcut, The Widow.

 

I love Käthe’s work, I have admired her for decades, I’m so chuffed that she has her own exhibition in my local gallery.

Please click here if you want tickets for this masterclass.

Ripped From The Darkness

20 Apr

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Our local art gallery, The Glynn Vivian, is showing a fabulous exhibition of drawings and prints by the formidable German artist Käthe Kollwitz. I have admired her work and life for so many years, I’m beside myself to see this exhibition so close to home. I like to study artists I admire and copy from the great mistresses and masters. This is a digital study I made today from her woodcut “The Widow” from the early 1920s. She is very sparing with the cutting tool, there are surprisingly few cuts which I think increases its impact, the sense that the image has been ripped from the surrounding darkness.  I didn’t finish it, there’s another hand in the original. I can never resist a good book and I bought the exhibition book as a birthday present to myself, it’s “Portrait Of The Artist: Käthe Kollwitz” by Frances Carey and Max Egremont, published by The British Museum and IKON.

I drew this with a, now ancient, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet using a free app called Markers. I laid a black ground down and drew with white lines.

It’s #Caturday!

10 Sep

Caturday, an Internet phenomenon. Like cats. I read a theory a while ago about why the Internet has been taken over by cats. It reckoned that dog owners have always had a chance to meet other doggy types because they walk their dogs and take them to training schools and there are dog clubs and networks in the real world. Well, as anyone who shares their lives with cats knows, walking and training the cat is just laughable. Okay, there are a few people who persevere and manage to do both, but you still don’t generally bump into people walking their cats, because the streets are full of people walking their dogs and that usually doesn’t go down too well with cats.

So when the Internet came along, we cat people could come out of our real-world isolation and share cat pictures, stories, cute kitty merchandise and the Internet phenomenon was born. And continues unabated.

Here’s mine.

"Get Off Those Curtains #1"

“Get Off Those Curtains #1”

Sparta. A woodcut. You can get this on Artfinder if you like.

Working Together

12 Dec

pot border

I spent a second day at the Creative Bubble artspace with fellow artist Sylvie Evans. We started with no plans except to collage on top of recycled paper. I’ve very little experience of making collages and I’ve discovered that it’s far more complex than I ever thought. It’s been an interesting experience, working intuitively with someone else in an unfamiliar medium. I like the imagery we’ve come up with, I’m getting ideas for doing drawings from these and maybe develop some prints – possibly woodcuts. It’s a new way of working for me, a new way of developing ideas.

Pulling The Columbian

22 Nov

columbian

I had a very busy Sunday pulling some woodcut prints down at Swansea Print Workshop. I used the beautiful old Columbian press, an antique dating from the 1850s, when Queen Victoria was on the British throne. How many prints have been pulled off this press? How many hands have pulled the lever?

It’s not only lovely to use, but also lovely to look at, with beautiful cast iron decoration, brass inlays and large, smooth wooden handles. Invented by American George Clymer around 1813, it took over from the Stanhope Press and allowed a whole newspaper page to be printed in one pull. It didn’t sell well in the USA so Clymer moved to Britain a few years later and established a very successful business manufacturing and supplying the Columbians across Britain and Europe. Many of them, like this one, have a bald eagle as a counterweight.

 

Here’s a video of it in action:

A friend who is an antique furniture expert went into raptures about the patina on the wooden handle and said to never ever clean and polish it. That sort of patina is only acquired with age and enhances the value of the piece.

Paper Geekery

9 Nov

block 1

I spent a happy hour fondling beautiful papers and sniffing oil pigments and pulling on my favourite antique printing press. I was doing some trials on four lovely Japanese papers. This is an Atsukushi White, just 39 gsm. Above is the back of the paper on the woodcut block just after I’d put it through the press.

block 2

And here it is, peeled off the inked surface. I also tried out ShoinBis, Shiohara and Sekishushi. I’ll check them out when they’re dry and see which performed best.

The image is from a little wood block I cut a few years back when Sparta Puss was little. She used to run up the curtains and totally wrecked the nets. One day I grabbed the camera and photographed her pulling shapes as she slid down the curtains. I did some drawings from the photos onto plywood, got out my Flexcut tools and hacked away and then hand printed a small edition of 30, currently available through Artfinder.

 

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