"The artist...is also a born adventurer. His explorations, unlike those of a tourist, are rewarded by the discovery of beauty spots unmentioned in the guide books, and with tireless curiosity and an exceptional proneness to wonderment, he will come upon objects of remarkable interest overlooked or even shunned by more disciplined observers."

Augustus John, R.A.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Wild Wet and Windy at Malham

Just got back home after spending a very enjoyable weekend at the Malham Tarn field centre teaching a linocut workshop for the Field Studies Council. The weather was a little wild to say the least; gales, floods and hail. But unlike the 6th form students who were also at the centre we didn't have to go out in it and study geography, other than to walk up to the bar in the evening. It's a bit of a big ask to produce a multi-colour linocut in two days considering I take around two weeks to make mine. But after some intensive work we managed to create some really good work. We printed flat colours, blended rolls and did some pretty complicated cutting. Each student printed editions of 10 and of the fifty odd prints created only around five or six were lost to mis-registration which is a better average than I manage sometimes.

Christina's sunset scene inspired by the view from her home in Richmondshire.

Lynne's lovely sunlit scene of a beach on Iona.

Liz's wonderfully atmospheric sunlit sheep on the top of Malham Cove.

Sue's skilful use of blends created this print in just 3 stages.

Marie's frog leaping from his Escher inspired ripples, who also found time to do a little mono-printing. I certainly had a good time in wonderful company and I hope everyone else did too.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Sgurr an Fheadain

Sgurr an Fheadain
200mm x 150mm

Finally started to edition this mezzotint. Decided to print with a blend of Prussian blue and green rather than just black and really pleased with the atmosphere in the print. Its a slow process though, after 3 hours of inking, wiping and printing  I have 8 prints nicely drying off. I'm not sure of the edition size yet though as I don't know how many prints I will get before the plate starts to degrade.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


It's not often that I have 3 projects on the go at the same time but for once I've been juggling images around. The Fountains Abbey print is now completed.

Fountains Abbey
10 colour reduction linocut
252mm x 342mm
Edition of 8

The new mezzotint is almost finished. Just a few little tweaks and it will be ready to edition.

and I've begun work  on the next linocut

Doesn't look much at the moment, just  a blended roll from grey through buff to blue grey.

These next couple of weeks are relatively quiet before the rush of November which is looking to be quite busy. I'm at Masham Town Hall on the 1st for the Crafted by Hand fair. The Corn Exchange in Leeds on the 7th for Leeds Print Fair, teaching a two day workshop at Malham Tarn for the Field Studies Council the following weekend. At Buxton in the Peak District on the 21st and 22nd for the Artists and Designers Fair and finally back to Holmfirth on the 29th for the Art Market. Then it will be time to knuckle down and really get on with making some new work ready for next year.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

New month - new linocut

Print no 2 in my attempt to make 15 new prints in 30 weeks for my upcoming Solo show at the Abbott Hall Gallery in Kendal next March. After cutting away the white areas, colour 1 is a pale cream. Unusually at this stage there is maybe just enough information visible in the print for someone familiar with Yorkshire's crumbling relics to recognise the location.

Colour 2 is a pale grey.

Colour 3, blue and still wet hence the shine from the camera flash.

Colour 4, the first green.

Colour 5. A darker version of the first cream colour. The location is definitely recognisable now.

Colour 6. A pale purple grey colour.

Colour 7. A second green.

Two more greens and a final dark should see it finished.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The moment of truth

 After working on this mezzotint plate on and off for the last couple of months it's time to see what we have.

The messy bit


Wiping the plate

Ready to print

Well we've got something. For a first proof I'm quite happy with this. It's still too dark and needs a lot more work on it, but at this stage it's better to be too dark than too light.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Ancient Oak Tree

Into the gathering dusk
Reduction Linocut
Edition of 9
251mm x 360mm

With the addition of the final dark the print is finished. 13 colours printed  in 8 stages

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Almost there

Continuing with the latest print. The next colour is a dark orange for the wheatfield.

the inked block

and printed.

The next colour is another blend from greenish grey through to a brighter green.
The inked block

and printed

A bit more cutting and another blend from grey to darker green.
The inked block

and printed.

So far counting all the colours used in the blends I've put down 12 colours in 7 stages. One final bit of cutting and a last dark will finish the print.