Saturday, 13 December 2014

All squared

Continuing with my new sized square print. I'd put a hard ground on but had been too tentative with the line work.
Another hard ground required...

hard ground line work

Much better, the grasses no frame the path, and the line tracing the route taken by walkers makes better sense. Strangely I found it much easier to create fluidity in the lines on this second hard ground, maybe the first set of lines gave me a structure to work with so my mark making could be more relaxed.

Spit bite aquatint

Next I need to sort the confusing shapes in the tree canopy and strengthen the shaping of the path floor. I put an aquatint over the plate and used spit bite to create a variety of tones. Its all a bit flat in places so a bit of gentle scraping is the next step.

"July 6th, Sunday" 20 x 20 cm etching

The scraping and burnishing worked a treat in the distant trees, bringing a bit of light through past the furthest tree trunks, creating a satisfactory focal point. And voila - done!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Squaring up

I enjoyed the size and the square format for my 20:20 print so much I decided to cut down a plate destined for another project and started work on another square, 20 x 20 cm .
The sketch for this was made in the summer back at Westonbirt Arboretum

sketchbook page

This was drawn on a lovely sunny day,sat on the clover dappled grass with loads of butterflies about. 
This path is a quiet spot; the view to the tree trunks is towards one of the main paths.

Free drawn stop out wash, open bite

Some good shapes on the ground and a good starting point in the trees but the focal distance area is a bit of a weird figure like blob which needs bringing under control - softening or obliterating.

Hard ground line

The hard ground line gives me more of an idea about what needs doing in the background, but just like the last print I've been a bit sparse with my line drawing - another hard ground on the way...

Sunday, 30 November 2014

20:20 print 2014

A couple of posts ago I put up my print which i'd made for the 20:20 print exchange and the lovely comments mentioned how spontaneous the image looked. Knowing my print was anything but spontaneous, but having worked hard to try and get that 'sketchbook fresh' feel I decided to post the how I got there sequence.

It starts with the sketchbook

Then some free drawn open bite

Next a hard ground line

Oh too spindly, not enough line, so more hard ground line

Now I need more tone - a nice rich spit bite aquatint

And to give more light and shade - some judicious burnishing
And there you have it - 6 steps to achieving sketchbook freshness and movement in a little etching

When I'm reading other blogs I'm most fascinated by the process shots of art work developing so I'll try and do more of this myself...

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Gallery tour Autumn 2014

As my part of my day job I organise a 4 day Art Study Trip for A level Art students. This year we went to Manchester, Liverpool and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, among other places.

We saw a fabulous selection of artwork; here are some favourite drawings and prints,  Apologies for the reflections in the glass.

Manchester City Gallery's show 'The Sensory War' is a moving collection of imagery from 1914 to 2014.

CRW Nevinson
Spohie Jodoin's haunting metamorphosed drawings

CRW Nevinson capturing the bleakness

Seeing Kollwitz prints at first hand was a real treat

The Imperial war Museum North showed a great picture show of childhood experiences of war.

Artist, Jane Stobart, at the Bloomberg Contemporaries Show in Liverpool

Ursula von Rydingsvard's drawings at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

It was a thoroughly inspiring few days.
Now I need to get sketching, I need to make a piece of work to go into a joint teachers and students exhibition...

Sunday, 28 September 2014

20:20 edition day

With plate complete, paper torn down, and a variety of ink combinations tested I'm ready to go. The sketch I was working from was a quick plein air drawing completed on a summer afternoon when the grasses growing in the middle of the lanes had reached their tallest. My sketch had soft watery passages combined with linear work, kept quite minimal.

This crop from a proof was the key affect I hoped to achieve across the plate - a combination of  smudginess, expressive line and texture.

proof - cropped
Here we go then...
Inking up/Wiping
Hot off the press
'Aug 7th - grass tufted lane'
The final print measure 18x18cm on 20x20cm paper

So much for printing the edition on one day - who was I kidding, it took me two attempts to get it finished! Now all ready to be packed up and delivered now before it wings it way to Hot Bed Press. This link takes you to their website where you can read about the fab 20:20 print exchange.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Charcoal drawing - Looking back, looking down

A new charcoal drawing

This is a similar view to one I've played around with before, and looks back down the lane towards home, and also looks back to the weather we had earlier this year. Fortunately this lane hasn't looked like this at all this summer and is as hard as nails at the moment.

I'm playing with returning the emphasis to the foreground, putting the ground first, showing the path I'm about to step on... hopefully bring the viewer along on the walk.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Coast sketchbook

I've enjoyed two energising breaks away this summer, to the Cornish coast and the Welsh coast. On occasion sketching was done in spite of the weather, but there were some wonderful views...

After a bracing walk
Lunch break, mid way on a much longer walk
A sunny half hour caught by chance after driving through rain
The rock formations really appealed on this colder, windier day

Sunday, 17 August 2014

is rust a must?

Rust prints moving forward...

These small plates also start to explore essential marks in my larger prints.

The print, below, is done on paper which was pressed against a strong fresh rust stain - rust as monoprint? I like the subtle transfer of colour.

These two final images show rust on the more complex print - the control of the rust marks needs to be carefully done - it just doesn't work as well if its too random.


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Rusty techniques

A fever of rusting has afflicted some creative friends recently. The shapes and marks they have achieved have been both fascinating and intriguing but the colour is the thing that piqued my interest - maybe this is the way to introduce some natural colour to my prints.

First rust print- washers, screw heads and alan keys all found in an old tin in the garage.

Leaving things sat on the paper overnight made shapes too strong to over print.

Randomly placed pieces, lifted before the rust print is too strong and then re-placed to create overlaps has better potential for me.
I found that spraying a much recommended tea solution added too much colour to the paper, but a very salty solution sprayed from a plant mister released the rust print in a controllable way.

Delicious marks in close up.

A large washer, found appropriately in the print co-op car park, produced rust that was too strong for the final image, but shows there could be potential.
Next step is to print on the testers shown above.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Revisiting Tremenheere, Cornwall

We had a glorious week in Cornwall last week and eagerly whizzed back to Tremenheere Gardens (previous post 2 years ago), near Penzance. There is a wonderful new cafe, shop, and new sculptures including an understated line of grasses by Richard Long, beautifully positioned overlooking St Michaels Mount. This piece provides a deft take on his early work "a line made by walking".

The James Turrell skyspace has had an interior refit which enhances the experience wonderfully well.

I loved the camera obscura, the colours were beautiful, reminding me of faded photographs.

Another good tip if you are heading to Cornwall - Tate St Ives is open late on a Thursday evening. The idea hasn't properly taken off yet so the gallery is a calm quiet oasis after 6pm; its a great exhibition and so nice to look at great pieces in a peaceful environment.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Lucky escape

Last week almost saw the demise of the print co-op due to a massive chemical factory fire next door to where we are housed.

Griffin Mill and the Nu-Pro factory remains

The red brick mill building houses not only the print co-op but many artists studios, arts businesses and Pegasus Art suppliers.
Gloucestershire Fire Service did the most amazing job cooling the mill with water while foam was used to suppress the fire. No one was injured in the fire. There has been some water damage which has affected a few people, and for them it has been a traumatic week, but we are all thankful that it wasn't much, much worse.

The fire ravaged factory

The factory now looks like the remains of a large boat. The walls have curved inwards and the front area, which looks like like it has been cut open with a tin opener, now looks like the bows. The power of fire is awe inspiring. A lucky escape indeed.