"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, 25 January 2015

Slow start.

After what seems like an age since my last post, almost a full month. It's time for a catch up with the latest linocut on the bench.

Colour 1. A pale blue grey. At this stage it's hard to judge if I've gone too pale. Hopefully not.

Colour 2. A darker warmer grey.

Colour 3. The first pale green.

Colour 4. A second darker grey.

Colour 5. The first blue. A turquoise to ultramarine blend.

Colour 6. The second darker green.

Colour 7. A second darker blue.

Two further colours should see this print finished. In between working on this I have also been preparing another Mezzotint plate and managed to draw out and print a Drypoint.

Cliffs near Llangrannog.
150mm x 200mm
Edition of 10.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Intaglio Printing

Way back in mid summer I posted a couple of images of a proof of a Mezzotint that I had been working on. Since then things had gone a bit quite on this topic, not because I had given up on it and sold the plate off for scrap. But not having anything to print it on I had worked the plate as far as I could and then put it to one side. However, having treated myself this Christmas to a small Hawthorn etching press I've spent the last few days playing around with it.

As I haven't done any intaglio printing since I was at college (around 30 years ago), and I haven't had any experience of working on a mezzotint at all. I started off with a quick drypoint to get used to the press and to try and remember how to ink and wipe a plate (You Tube came in handy for this).

Bamburgh Castle from the breakwater at Seahouses.
152mm x 203mm

It took a bit of experimenting to get the pressure right and my inking technique was a bit rusty but after a while I got the hang of it so then I inked up the Mezzotint.

Now there is a lot that is not right with this, but as a first go at a technique that I had never done before I wasn't expecting to end up with a saleable print. It is however a better print than my first reduction linocut was. I have overworked a few areas on the wall and the hillside on the right. The pressure was a bit light and parts of the foreground are a bit vague with no definition. On the positive side the black areas are ok which means that I must have rocked the plate correctly in the first place - I wasn't sure that I had done that well enough and there is a feeling of depth to the print which I was trying to get. As a trial print I was satisfied with the outcome so I inked up a second plate that I had worked on.

This first proof came out much better than I expected. The pressure on the press again was too light and the plate needed more work on it so 5 more proofs later and I ended up with something like I had intended.

This is Spurn Point Lighthouse at the mouth of the Humber.

Just need to print the edition now.

Happy New Year.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

First Sight of the Sea

First Sight of the Sea.
8 colour Reduction Linocut.
250mm x 367mm.
Edition of 6.

I finished this print just before Christmas (actually on 21st December) but have only just got around to photographing it. It seems appropriate somehow that a print looking back to mid-summer should have been completed on the winter solstice.

An unashamedly nostalgic print, looking back to childhood holidays. When the boredom of a long car journey was forgotten about as the car went over the final hill and the view opened up to show the long blue stretch of sea along the horizon.

This print is based on a drawing done this summer of the view out across Cardigan Bay from the road along the hill top between Llanrhystud and Nebo.

The print is available to purchase from my Folksy Shop here

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Looking back to Summer with a new print

It's been a few weeks since my last post. November was a busy month with an art fair or some event taking place nearly every weekend for the last 5 weeks or so. Much of my time has been taken up with these, so I have been working on the new print in a series of fits and starts, grabbing time as and when it becomes available. Not an ideal way to work, but there has been some progress.

First Colour is a grey to ochre blend.

Colour 2 a dark to light blue blend.


Colour 3 a darker blue printed across the bottom half of the  print.

Colour 4, a blue green to light green blend

Colour 5 a darker blue green.

With apologies for some ropey photography on some of these. Not sure how much more work there is to do on this yet, certainly two more colours, maybe a third one. Tune in next week.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

An Interesting Experiment

Speeton and Bempton Cliffs
Reduction Linocut
253mm x 360mm
Edition of 3

Finished the latest print in only 6 colour passes. Although as each printing was a blended roll there are actually somewhere around 10 or 11 colours in the print. This has given it a certain colour harmony, which has gone someway towards what I was trying to achieve. And it was an interesting experiment to make an entire print using blended colourings. But looking at it against the rest of my work it looks out of place, almost as if it has been done by someone else.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Flamborough Headland

Having been busy with the preparation for a couple of very enjoyable fairs last weekend. It's been a couple of weeks since I did any work on the new print. Normally I don't like to have such a long interruption, but this print is something of an experiment in a new method of working so it doesn't really matter this time. I've felt that the last couple of prints have been a bit laboured, or at least making them has felt that way to me. So with this print I have tried, by using a series of blended inkings, to both drastically reduce the number of stages and introduce some colour harmony into the work. 

This is the block inked for the 3rd colour

and printed

and the 4th colour printed

Another 2 colours and it should be done.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Finishing a print, starting another and exhibition news

I've added two further darks to the Tynemouth print but still haven't made my mind up about it yet. There are some things I like about it but the print looks (to me) overworked and I can't decide if I'm completely happy with it. I'll give it a couple of weeks in the bottom of the  plan chest and then pull it out and look at it again with fresh eyes.

Colour 10

 Colour 11

In the meantime back to a fresh piece of lino and a slightly different approach. First colour is a blended roll from light grey to yellow ochre.

Inked block

and printed

2nd pass is another blend; light blue through blue grey to a darker ochre colour.
Inked block.

and printed.

October has been quiet for me with no art fairs or exhibitions since the Macclesfield Print fair in September. November is going to be a bit more busy. This coming weekend I will be at the Corn Exchange in Leeds for the first Leeds Printfair from 10am until 6pm. The following day it's quick trip up the A1 to Masham for Crafted by Hand at Masham Town Hall. My first time exhibiting at this event which I am looking forward to. On Saturday 15th November, I will be at the Sheffield Print Fair at St Marys Church and Conference Centre on Bramall Lane, Another new event for me. The following weekend I will be back at Holmfirth on 23rd November for the Art Market.