Wednesday, 11 July 2012

More Good News

Just had an e-mail from The Royal Society of Painter Printmakers. Quite pleased.

Dear Kate

Thank you for entering the RE OPEN exhibition 2012.

The exhibition received submissions from 729 artists; just over 100 international artists and the rest from the UK. With each artist submitting up to 6 works, the selectors had the difficult task of making their selection from more than three thousand entries.

We are delighted to inform you that at least one of your works has been selected for the RE OPEN exhibition.

We will contact you again shortly with the details of which work(s) have been chosen and to confirm instructions for delivering your work in an exhibition-ready state to the Bankside gallery.

Many congratulations on having your work selected from such a strong submission!

Best wishes

Margaret Ashman, RE OPEN Organiser


Dr. Bren Unwin, RE President


Monday, 9 July 2012

I Won a Print.... the WinaPrint fundraiser run by 'Pushing Print' in Margate. It's a screenprint by Paula MacArthur.

What a fabulous surprise!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Grand Day Out in Oxford

Spent most of last Saturday mooching round Oxford which was just what I needed (and we didn't get wet!)

We went specifically to see the Jenny Saville exhibition at MAO. Her famous mountainous, fleshy nudes are even bigger than I realised and quite awesome. 
Also on show were a series of more recent drawings called Reproduction which were made after her children were born. They reference nativity sketches by Leonardo and Michaelangelo but are informed by her own experiences in that they are not idealised at all, but are nevertheless quite magnificent (and also very large). Two of the more Madonna-like drawings are temporarily hanging in the Ashmoleon sandwiched between works by Veronese and Titian. Very interesting to compare and contrast. I can't believe this is her first solo show in Britain.

I can never resist a visit to the Pitt Rivers Museum when I'm in Oxford and we came across a charming exhibition called 'Out of the Woods: Prints and Wood Sculpture from Wytham' in the Natural History Museum next door. It was especially interesting because several of the carved lino and woodblocks were on show.  
Printmakers Robin Wilson and Rosie Fairfax-Cholmeley, and wood sculptor Simon Clements are currently artists in residence at Oxford University's Wytham Woods. They are working with the Conservator of the Woods and his team to create woodcuts, linocuts and sculptures which respond to the landscape, natural history and science of the woodlands. Its on till 30th September.


We also had time to go to The Last Bookshop where all the books are £2 (another weakness of mine). The stock changes all the time but there is always an interesting selection in the 'art' section. Amongst others (!!!) I bought 'Other Worlds - The art of Nancy Spero and Kiki Smith' and 'The Remembered Present - Andrzej Jackowski'. I was really chuffed because Kiki Smith is an all time favourite of mine and I have only recently noticed the work of Andrzej Jackowski and there was a book about him! I really recommend this bookshop if you come across it. I know there's one in Bristol as well. The only problem is how to squeeze them on to the already bulging bookcase when I get home.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Maddening Collagraphs

"I was walking along the road with two friends. The sun set. I felt a tinge of melancholy. Suddenly the sky became a bloody red. I stopped, leaned against the railing, dead tired. And I looked at the flaming clouds that hung like blood and a sword over the blue-black fjord and city. My friends walked on. I stood there, trembling with fright. And I felt a loud, unending scream piercing nature...."

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Bird Man Collagraph

Yesterday I printed a collagraph plate I had been working on at the weekend. It didn't come out too well - not enough contrast - no matter how I inked it up. Rather than just abandon the plate I decided to work on it a bit, then cut away the background and reseal it.

I printed it again, thinking perhaps I could use a different background eventually.
Marginally better, but not much. (and they look better on here than they do in the flesh)

Then I worked into some of the other prints with various media - just to experiment really. This one has been worked on with a white water soluble crayon.

This one has been worked on with black soft pastel and the print cut out and photographed on black paper.....

.....and white paper.

(Click on images to enlarge)

Oh well, onwards and upwards....At least I have learned quite a lot from my experiments. But still feel deflated. But now I want to start on a new plate of the bird man. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Art Degree Shows

I've been to two Art Degree shows in the last few days. One at Cardiff  Metropolitan and one at UWE, Bristol.

We were at the first day of the one in Wales because my daughter was exhibiting. (see post on 17.5.12) It was very busy and I was unable to take photos but there was some really good stuff there, paticularly in 'Printmaking'. At the 'Sale of Work' stall we bought a great screen print from one of Hannahs classmates, Amber Kelly.

The Degree show at UWE was much quieter and we were able to have a good look round. I always love to see the work of the 'Multidisiplinary Printmaking MA' graduates and they kindly let me take some photos. I sometimes daydream about what it would be like to do that course. There was also a fair amount of printmaking in evidence from the 'Drawing and Applied Art' and the 'Illustration' students and I took a few snaps of my favourites there too. (Click on the images to enlarge them)

Page from an Artists Book by V. Farrance (DAA)

Print from series by A. Parsons (DAA)

Print from series by A. Parsons (DAA)
Page from an Artists Book by B. Dunbabin (DAA)

Mixed media print by J. Poole (DAA)

Screen print and printed enamel by J. Lynch (MDP)

Printed enamel moths by S. Brown (MDP)
Printed enamel by S. Brown (MDP)

Printed ceramic plate (MDP)

Ruby Taylor (Illustration)

Printed textiles by G. White (Illustration)

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Huge woodcuts at Holcombe Mill

I recently went to Holcombe Mill in Nailsworth to see the ArtsAid exhibition raising money for the Cotswold Care Hospice. I was particularly interested to see the large scale relief prints by sculptor and printmaker Simon Packard.

The black and white prints on show at the Mill are vast (between about 4 and 7ft tall) and were made using plates made from MDF . The images of bridges and city buildings look bold and spontaneous but in fact they must have taken ages to make. The way the exhibition was installed was interesting as well. The unfurled prints were suspended on hooks and wires from the ceiling, very unfussy and completely frameless. The exhibition has officially ended but I believe Simon's prints are returning there soon.

Simon taught us a couple of times when I was on the Access Course at Stroud College. His way of working then was very 'hands on', organic and painterly. He encouraged us to experiment, go large, make lots of monoprints and ghost images and work on top of them. We only had him once or twice but he certainly made an impression. We also went to see his studio which was in a deconsecrated chapel near the college. I haven't forgotten that either. An amazing and awe inspiring space.

College visit to Simon's studio in 2010

Sunday, 10 June 2012

First prints out of the studio!

At last I have done some printing! I produced this series of small collagraphs earlier in the week. They were sort of inspired by the patients in the natural health practice where I help out sometimes. I wanted to capture how they seem to feel relaxed and held and comforted. I tried to make them look as if they are wrapped in a soft duvet or big blankets but that hasn't worked quite as well as I'd hoped. I might do some more next week. The first one is loosely based on a sketch of a sculpture I saw in France years ago but I don't know who it was by. 

Click on images to enlarge

As my family have gleefully pointed out I have had only limited success with the 'blankets'. I do accept that the one above looks rather snake like (I was trying to get the texture of one of those cellular baby blankets). And number 3 looks a bit like a meditating monk. But it is a bit harsh that they refer to the prints collectively as my 'poopoohead' series!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Damp studio and a purple hare

I can use my studio at last and we've moved my press in there now. We had a huge condensation problem but it has not recurred since we raised everything up on blocks of wood to increase ventilation and put up extra guttering. I was in a dreadful panic when I found all the water on the floor but Stephen was very calm and practical. I just couldn't believe that it was actually the sudden warm weather which was the problem (after all, the studio stayed so dry even in all that non stop rain we had).

That's my little press on the side there. I've got it out ready to print some collagraph plates I've been working on today.

Before the flood I had a go at making some screen prints using drawing fluid and screen block. The instructions seemed fairly straightforward and I prepared 2 screens. But I was a bit disappointed with the results and I just found the process rather unpredictable. The design is painted straight on to the screen freehand and the rest is blocked out. Looking at them again today I think this purple hare didn't come out too badly. He's just lost some detail on the right hand side (including his whiskers) but I don't know why. He's about 15 inches tall. You can't really do anything small or with lots of little details. Maybe I'll give rhe process another go some time.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Stroud Open Studios 2012

Stroud Open Studios 2012 continues this weekend. I managed to take a quick peek at some last Sunday but didn't have much time to linger. However I did pop over to Frogmarsh Mill to see the studios of printmakers Barbara Webb and Jen Whiskerd.

Barbara was a founder member of Camden Printmakers and specialises in etching. She was so gracious and welcoming when we visited, showing us work in progress and describing techniques and processes. Her subject matter is fairly traditional but she has a light touch which makes the charming images hard to resist. Prices range from £10 to about £35 for unframed etchings.

Completely different in style, the studio above Barbara's is occupied by an amazing relief printer. Jen Whiskerd's large, bold woodcuts of animals are full of humour and narrative. I bought one of her cards as a Good Luck card for my daughter.

Hopefully I'll have more time this weekend to look inside other wonderful studios and see some of the huge diversity of work which is created in and around Stroud.

To view the Open Studios catalogue click on the link on the right. (Barbara is on page 12)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Almost there!

'50 people I've never met'  (2012)  Hannah Williamson

Went to Cardiff on Tuesday to help my daughter hang some of her work for her final degree assessment. Everything is due in  tomorrow so anxiety is reaching fever pitch. Couldn't resist showing you a photo of the piece which is going in the degree show. (And another one which is on the show poster). I'm very proud of her.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Curious crow doll

I finished the 'Big Cawdelia' doll today. She's the same pattern as the one I made for my daughter only 4 times bigger. She's even got the some of the same RAF braid on her dress.

I eventually took some photos of her sitting on the newly grey Ronnie Rhino. (the pink wasn't very popular). At first Cawdelia wasn't very sure about Ronnie and she refused to come down from the bird table for about an hour. But crows are by nature very curious creaures and by the afternoon hers had got the better of her. Now they are best of friends and settled by the window in the sitting room watching the goings on in the garden and dreaming of the adventures they're going to have together....

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Three printmakers at Prema

Three exhibitions started down at Prema in Uley this week - and the artists are all printmakers! Or at least printmaking is a large part of their artistic practice. Just shows how much interest in the medium has increased from the public (and artists) over the last few years.

The three exhibiting artists pretty much cover all the print processes between them (including etching, drypoint, woodcut, lino and screen printing) and there is some really beautiful work. Well worth a visit.

In his subtle etchings and watercolours Ali Yanya  has caught ordinary people going about their business. I found the still, shadowy figures strangely moving, the sense of isolation and transience is really strong.

In the cafe Sarah Young is exhibiting some of her colourful relief prints. The illustrations for the Greek Myths book are particularly eyecatching. Having checked out her website I am in awe of her productivity and creative repertoire. (and she has an Etsy shop!) Something for me to aspire to.
Emily Hogarth is one of the growing number of artists creating intricate paper cuts which really lend themselves to screen printing and are very popular at the moment. She has created packaging and artwork for Cadburys, M&S and Lloyds TSB among others. A short video about her design process can be found on the Nivea website. Bit twee, but it's always interesting to see how artists get inspiration for their work.

Another reason to go (if you need one) is that the new cafe is open. Yummy cakes!   

Prema is a family friendly Arts Centre, promoting performance, live music and art exhibitions, as well as accessible workshops, classes and creative experiences for kids and adults. Prema, near Dursley in the Stroud valleys, offers an afforadable day out for all folk in the South West. 

Monday, 30 April 2012

Everything is going to be OK!

When a close friend was getting extremely stressed about her work for her final Art Degree show recently I gave her a little screen print to pin on her studio wall. The writing was added freehand with letterpress letters.
Even when there's only one magpie things can still turn out fine!

My daughter is also in the final year of a Fine Art degree and a couple of months ago I sent her this little screen print. It was made using paper stencils. The print is A4 size so I could add the writing by putting it through the computer printer.

Click on image to enlarge

I created these simple images down at a workshop down at the Gloucestershire Print Co-op. I can't wait to be able to do some larger pieces. Shouldn't be long now before I can move in to the studio (if it ever stops raining!)

Friday, 27 April 2012

WINAPRINT Pushing Print fundraising event

Pushing Print is a not-for-profit organisation set up to promote and raise awareness of traditional and contemporary printmaking. They do this by hosting a month long printmaking festival in Margate which includes the Open Submission Print Exhibition.

A couple of months ago they asked if I would donate a print for their fundraising WINAPRINT event. They've just e-mailed me to say the website is up and running and ready for business. All the prints can be viewed at Only £10 per ticket.

Last year these two collagraph prints of mine were selected for the Pushing Print Open Submission exhibition when Anne Desmet was one of the judges. You can see the rest of the series on my Gallery page.

Meditations on Intimacy and Solitude I
Meditations on Intimacy and Solitude II

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The studio so far.....

I'm back from the seaside and work on the studio has resumed. Just before we left I took these photos.I am so lucky to have had so much help. It already looks amazing!

I taped up the joins in the plasterboard and gave the room two coats of white paint. There are four windows which let in loads of light - especially now that the years and years of  yuck have been scrubbed off. I don't think the chickens were very houseproud! My old plan chest needs a good sort out. All manner of random stuff has got put in there since I moved.

My lovely brother fitted the secondhand catering sink which I bought on ebay. The splashback behind the sink is an offcut of printed vinyl-covered hardboard which I found in the freebee bin at Ikea. The handsome stable door was already there, luckily.

Most of the work has been done by my wonderful partner, Stephen, including fitting the worktop (£35 from B&Q), and the splashback. He also sorted out the electrics and customised the drawers (donations from two friends) so they fitted under the work top.

On one side of my new space is the old wooden chicken shed (which we now use as a log store). On the other is Stephen's workshop.