Sunday, 28 April 2013

Mini Print Exhibition

Mini Print opens this Friday.

Here's my favourite little print that I've made for this show

'Snowy steps' etching 10 x 10 cm
I'm fond of this print because I captured the scene in just two 'takes' and because there is something of the essence of the place:
'Likeness can be obtained by shapes without spirit, but when truth is revealed, spirit and substance are both fully expressed'
(from a story about the Chinese artist Ching Hao)
It's what we all aspire to.
Mini Print is open throughout May, in conjunction with Stroud's major Site Festival

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Has the water finally settled on this path?

A little while ago I showed the development of my print 'water pooled path' (link)

We left it with white margins, and some pencil scribble to see if it might be better with extra dark textures in the side areas.

I printed a short 'stage 1' edition and then with more trepidation than I thought I would feel, back it went into the Ferric. Now I'm so glad I took the risk:

'water pooled path'
- a little path that leads away from the Maple collection at Westonbirt Arboretum

Now the puddles are the focus, and the reflections speak for themselves. The viewers gaze is drawn up through the image rather than roaming side to side. This was a risk which paid off (and that doesn't always happen!)

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Getting organised for Mini Print

I'm underway on making a series of mini prints for an exhibition at the Printmakers Gallery at Gloucestershire Printmaking Co-operative.

Over the last 6 months or so I've been doing a lot of sketches in a lane above the village, and I've decided this is the lane for the mini prints. Its called Steps Lane, a great name for all sorts of wordplay opportunities. Each print has to be a maximum of 10 x 10 cm, here's the first completed one:

'steps ahead' Etching 10 x 10cm

I've been really pleased with the sketchbook feel to these little plates - I've been getting freedom in the marks which I'm very happy with.

I recently read this by Brett Whiteley, "a great drawing is either confirming beautifully what is commonplace, or probing authoritatively the unknown."

I'm not so confident about the 'confirming beautifully', but I love the idea of aiming for it by drawing the commonplace, which in my case are the everyday views I share with lots of other people in the village. Allowing the freedom in the marks is definitely probing the unknown, I'm never completely sure if I've quite got what I hope for.

I'm sure there are going to be lots of interesting little prints, please make a diary date for:

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Sennen sketchbook

We've had a lovely few days at Sennen Cove in Cornwall. The weather stayed dry and we were able to walk on the beach every day - who could ask for more?

We even saw a fair bit of sun, the photograph above looks like it was taken on a mid summer day rather than the end of March. It was roughly the spot where I chose to sit and draw each day.

It was however a bit more difficult to draw because of the freezing cold wind. The wind doesn't show in the photographs we took, but it showed in my drawing...

This was a particularly blowy 10 minutes, stormy water and the waves rushing into where I was perched.

The weather was gloomier the next day, same view but visibility was poor, however the air was a lot calmer, and I had more feeling in my fingers.

The final drawing is the same view, slightly different angle, and a much brighter day. there was some warmth in the sun and I could sit for longer.

Drawing the same view is fascinating, its an illuminating and addictive process. The weather played a stronger role in these drawings than I expected. The rougher the weather the more vigorous my drawing; the calmer weather produced a more considered drawing, with gentler mark making. The rough weather drawing has a good energy, I may have to brave the gales again!

I miss the view now I'm home, but I have found another rather charming corner in the lane behind the house..