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.