"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, 31 July 2011

Waste not want not

Sorting out some shelves I came across some small odd shaped offcuts of lino, and not wanting to throw them away. I decided to see if I could compose some designs to suit them. Thinking it would be easier I picked the largest of them (65mm x 282mm). This is what I came up with, a simple one colour print.

Swimming Otter. Linocut. 55mm x 210mm. Open Edition.

As this was a single colour print I printed it with a border, not something I do very often. I can't quite make up my mind about borders. I think they look great on other printmakers work but I've never been entirely happy about the few prints that I have made with a border around them.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Something you don't see much of nowadays.

Waiting for Collection.
Pen and Ink and Watercolour.180mm x 125mm.

The porch of a barn in Littondale with three milk churns waiting for the lorry from the Milk Marketing Board to collect them.
Well not quite, I think its a long time since these churns contained any milk. Once this would have been a common site at farms all over the country. Now though the milk is piped from the farms into tankers and the milk churns have become redundant. These were actually full of dried dog food for the farm sheepdogs.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Mini Prints

I came across a call for entries recently for a British Printmakers Council Exhibition, so I thought I'd have a go. I downloaded the entry form and requirements and then started doodling some designs. Then I read the entry requirements. 'Works should be no larger than 8cm x 10cm.' I read that and thought 'that seems small.' Then I drew it out and realised how small it is. I work bigger than this when I do thumbnail sketches! For printmaking the smallest I usually work is slightly under A5. Anyway, thinking that the simpler the better. I discarded my rather grand ideas for what I was going to do and drew out a design based on the Avocet sketches from a couple of weeks ago. I really struggled with this and couldn't get anything to go right. I needed an edition of a minimum of 10 prints. By the time I had finished I had 5 useable prints, and that was with only four colours! So for what its worth here is the result of my efforts.

4 Colour Reduction Linocut. 100m x 80mm.

Back to the drawing board with a bit more care than I took with this.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

North Landing, Flamborough Head

North Landing, Flamborough Head.
11 Colour Reduction Linocut. 270mm x 180mm.

With the addition of the final dark colour this print is finished, and now I really have to buckle down to preparing for the art in the pen event. Prints have to be framed and then I have to figure out a way of hanging them in a cattle pen! So there may not be time for another big linocut before then.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Next Colours on the Flamborough Print

Colour 7 is a dark brown for the shadows on the base of the cliffs and for a few patches on the beach to represent the wet sand left by the retreating waves.

 Colour 8, a darker blue for the sea and top part of the sky.

 Colours 9 above, and 10 below, two shades of green.

Which leaves us with just one more colour to go.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Elland Gravel Pits

Had an hours walk around Elland Gravel pits this afternoon before picking the kids up from school. Or to give the place its new name ; Cromwell Bottom Local Nature Reserve. It used to be one of my regular haunts but its a couple of years since I last walked round it. I didn't have much time but still managed a few record sketches and a study which I may be able to develop into something more.

The two butterflies are Ringlet and a Small Skipper, birds are male Reed Bunting, Wren and male Whitethroat. All pencil, watercolour and pen and ink.

Further along the canal I came across a large shoal of Bream idling just beneath the surface in the shadows of the overhanging trees. These two were the tail end of a shoal of about 15 or 20.

Bream and Damselflies. Watercolour.

Its not turned out quite as I intended, I started to loose control of the watercolour. But the tone of the two fish is about right in relation to the darkness of the water. Its a useful starting point for further development perhaps.