Only a mere 3 years since I have last added something to this site(!) Woops. But I have good reason, I have had a baby and now a toddler , who is keeping me busy.
Time is precious, precious time spent with him is not wasted , but it means time for making things and being creative for personal things is in short supply. My focus has shifted away slightly from printmaking more towards bookbinding/ bookmaking as these are easier to pick and put down quickly.
So there is not many new prints to show you but lots of books!
These are some pics of my ready made mini concertinas. which are a palm sized 8 x 6 cm .
These are fun to do as they each are unique as I use paper marbling scraps or misprints or just decorative paper I find in my drawers.
The big thing I am doing this year in terms of my personal work is taking part in Cheltenham Open studios.
Since a few weeks before having my baby we built a log cabin studio in the garden, which is my workspace.
This is what I will be opening up to the public to come and have a look around, perhaps pick up some bargains direct from me and have a look at what I do. I also hope to have some equipment set up so visitors could have a go at printing as well!
Any way just wanted to update any passers by to this website about what’s going on around here.
I was gifted a wildlife camera in the autumn of this year. We suspected we had hedghogs, ( kept seeeing poop) but getting the wildlife camera, plonking it down on the patio, and then waiting, we had no idea!
October they were soo busy every night we had at least two Hedghogs visiting and we started feeding them so they would visit more. The pictures can sometimes be out of focus or the animal barely on screen, but it a magical view of your garden as you cant see it, because you being there they wouldn’t do the things they do on the camera.
Any way , November has pretty much been and gone, and I wanted to do something with all the lovely bits of film we have, so I have made a compilation video on youtube with the best bits.
Its not fast paced, but lovely views of things living.
A few days ago we had a surprise visitor on there as well. A grey wagtail , which I have never seen in the garden before. We have gotten a close up view of it with this camera, as its quite skittish.
Following on from my Siskin linoprint, I have finally finished carving the first block of a Dunnock linocut.
Its about a5 size. And now I’ve carved it, I need to decide what to do next. I hear you cry, but didn’t you have a plan!? Well yes I had in mind what I thought I wanted this print to look like. But now I have printed the proof of this first layer, the black background again is very striking.
In my idea I would carve it out of the surrounding lino. But leaving it stark black and white with the inky blackness behind has an appeal. I found this with the siskin print, so left the block so I could print it like that as another option.
Any who, decisions to be made and my troble is I usually quite like all the options so find it hard to choose. I should do some sampling to help me decide, but that usually leads to me being distracted and not finishing original idea. Arrrgggh . These are all nice problems to have though, and this is just a nice place to write then down and have a think.
Putting things into the public domain makes me finish things more so than if I don’t share them , so thanks person reading this 😂
I have for a while now been trying to do most of my cleaning of oil based inks with vegetable oil. The interest in safe wash inks, so called eco friendly and non toxic, is because they are easier to clean up . You can just use soap and water even though they are oil based. Great! But this special ability, being water soluble means it reduces its range of uses as a printmaking ink in my opinion. I have bought a few tubes myself , and have used them for monoprinting, or Kitchen Litho, forgetting about the water soluble nature, and then stuff starts bleeding and not working … and THEN I remember about the safe wash inks, Doh!
Looking into non toxic ways of printmaking , I came across the technique of using veg oil to clean up. Gave it a try and have been using it ever since.
Here is my video on Youtube where I give a really quick demo of this. ( really quick as my camera battery was about to die!)
By removing white spirit from cleaning up oil based inks, you remove the biggest reason that it is deemed toxic for the printmaker. And arguably the thing that would make it the most un-environmentally friendly. The traditional oil based inks I use, the base is linseed oil, a plant based oil , so less fossil fuel usage.
Safe wash my not be all its cracked up to be is all I’m saying. What do you think?
I have started a new ongoing project to print my favourite birds from the UK ( possibly elsewhere) in detailed linocuts.
I wanted to challenge myself with this project, so it is technically challenging as I am also printing them as multi block prints. Which means tight registration from separate blocks of lino carved to make the other layers of colour. In this case, yellow, green and the background for example. Something which I have not done before to such a high level of accuracy, and it took a long time to get right on this first print!
As I said though it is a learning experience for me as well as the chance to make some hopefully beautiful prints. They are for sale on my Etsy site, PrintPaintDrawMake and I will be donating a portion of the price of the sale of these to my local wildlife animal charity.
I have started my next lino cut in this series and was thinking that due to lock down I would get loads done, but actually I have not made much progress on it. I have noticed that my work is in fits and starts, sometimes due to time commitments elsewhere, as I have been working from home during this time. But projects like this can’t be pushed, I find I need to be in the right frame of mind, otherwise risk ruining it.
Something which is very important in my work is the amount of recycled materials I can possibly use in the process. I like the idea of making something beautiful from essentially rubbish. Thats why I love collagraph making as I tend to use old cardboard packets. another bonus of this is the fact that its a very cheap material, so the pressure of potentially messing up materials you have bought just for the task are not there.
Collagraph print made with recycled card. £20.00
These fish were made from a used coffee cup. the plastic coated card great for wiping ink off of.
Anybody else that have found recycled materials that are great for printmaking? or anything crafty really ?
I have posted a new video on my YouTube channel. I finally finished putting my pasta machine press together and thought I would try out printing from plants with it, and why not do it in the garden as it is a very mobile press!
So please check it out if interested.(Link below) I think the pasta press works remarkably well for soft thin items, like you would mono print with. The idea to mount it on its side came from Snake artist who has great fun art videos on you tube.
This print I started back in spring, based on flowers that were my nan’s, though she has passed away a few years ago now. I find plants and nature very comforting for their demonstration of life and death and life again. This was about 5 layers and 7 or 8 different colours ( I lost count) and I am happy with the final result , the vibrant pink colour and the shape of the leaves were the main things I wanted to showcase in this print.
Some of the photos from the printing process….
The final print is just a bit smaller than A3, entirely printed by hand at home, using my trusty spoon. I used traditional grey lino and oil based inks.
It is an edition of 6 variable prints ( the last layer I changed the colours for some of them) and if you really like it you can find it on my etsy shop.
Also available to see it in the flesh at Painswick Artburst event , from the 17th of august!