"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, 23 December 2012

Last Prints of the Year

In a brief flurry of activity before the Christmas holiday I have manged to finish both the fungi print and also another one that I had been working on at the same time. 

Autumn Fungi
12 Colour Reduction Linocut
182mm x 280mm
Edition size 6

Fruit and Veg-Doncaster Market
14 Colour Reduction Linocut
185mm x 280mm

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Colours 5 and 6

The next colours are two shades of orange brown. The main colours for the fungi caps.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The next two colours to be printed are both varying shades of green. And this is as far as I have got. I have also been drawing out another print which I want to get finished before the Christmas break if possible. Then it will be into the new year with a new project. 

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Fungi. Colour 1 and 2

A second attempt at a subject that I have already unsuccessfully tried. The drawing , offset from the block gives the composition away.

Colour 2 a pale orange.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Fishlake Church

Fishlake from the Nab
9 Colour Reduction Linocut. 183mm x 275mm. Edition of 10.

Finished the Fishlake print with one final darker green, having resisted the temptation to add more and more darks.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Another Art Scam

I received another email yesterday from someone attempting an art scam. This is the third one I've received over the last twelve months, I'm beginning to feel like I'm being picked on. Has anyone else experienced the same or had more than this? Each time I have received exactly the same email (word for word) from three different yahoo addresses. So if you receive the following in your in box delete it:

Hello seller, i came across your item on Folksy, I'm interested in immediate purchase of your item.

1) Is the item still available for sale?

2) Are you the real owner of the item?

3) What is the present condition of the item?

4) Do you accept PAYPAL as your mode of payment?

5) what is the final asking price?

Kindly get back to me with your reply to my private email :

hope to read from you soon.

Best Regards

I have also received this email from the following addresses:


I know this is tarring everyone with the same brush, but if you receive an enquiry from an Oceanographer or Oil Rig worker in the Gulf (genuine Oceanographers and Oil Rig Workers please accept my apologies for this), or anyone else currently in an isolated spot trying to buy a present in a hurry for their mum etc. Be very wary if you send a reply to them. My advice would be to just delete the email.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Nearly Finished

We are getting to the stage now when it becomes difficult to decide just how much more fiddling around to do. The next dark layer will more clearly define the trees around the buildings and the foreground grasses, but do I do another dark after that? I want to keep the tonal changes quite subtle and I certainly don't want to use black or any tone so dark.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Three more colours

After the blue, a brown colour and then the first green.

Followed by another blue and now the image is now begining to resolve itself. Only a couple of more colours and it will be finished.

Monday, 22 October 2012

First Blue

Not much progress, just got the first blue printed.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

New Print

Not much to see yet, just the first colours on a new print.

A very pale cream colour (above), followed by a cool grey, only slightly darker in tone than the cream.

and then a slightly darker grey tone.

So that's the clouds finished. Blue for the sky next.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

More Family Learning

Finally got Carlys family learning project finished, now Owen has brought one home too. So I now have to make a Greek Temple from toilet roll tubes!

Horus the Falcon God
4 colour reduction Linocut.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Family Learning Project

Carly has been learning about Ancient Egypt at school and came home the other day with some homework. A family learning project, basically an opportunity for a competition to see which family can come up with the most impressive homework. Not one to resist such a challenge, I drew out a fairly simple 4 colour design and did all the carving while Carly did the printing.

Colour 1, a nice yellow.

Followed by Colour 2, orange.

Then Colour 3, blue.

Only the final black to go now.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Relics of St Cuthbert

The Relics of St Cuthbert arriving at Fishlake.
7 Colour Reduction Linocut. 270mm x 180mm. Edition of 6.

Unusually for me this is a narrative composition and interpretation influenced by a story and historical tradition, rather than a more straight forward response to the subject matter.

Although familiar with the landscape and history of Lindisfarne and the story of St Cuthbert, I was less familiar with a connection to the village of Fishlake near Doncaster in South Yorkshire. It was only when I went there to make some sketches of the carved Norman doorway that I discovered the traditional connection.

Cuthbert was prior of the monastery at Lindisfarne living there for about 10 years before moving to live the life of a hermit on the island of Inner Farne. For 10 years he lived there before being asked by both the King and Church to become a bishop. For two years he was a travelling bishop, journeying extensively throughout Northumbria. On feeling the approach of death he retired back to his hermitage on Inner Farne where he died on 20th March 687AD. His body was taken and buried on Lindisfarne. Pilgrims went to pray at his grave and miracles of healing were claimed, a clear sign to the monks of Lindisfarne that Cuthbert was now a saint in heaven and that they should declare this to the world. They decided to wait 11 years for his body to become a skeleton and then 'elevate' his remains on the anniversary of his death. The declaration of his sainthood was to be a day of celebration, joy and thanksgiving. It was also a big surprise. When the coffin was opened they found not the expected skeleton but a complete and undecayed body. A sign of very great sainthood indeed! Pilgrims flocked to the shrine and the ordinary life of the monastery continued until the 8th of June 793 when the Vikings came and the monastery was sacked and partly burned down. After that the monastery was continually under threat and during the 9th century there was a gradual movement of goods and buildings to the nearby mainland. The monastery was finally abandoned in 875AD, when the body of St Cuthbert and other relics and treasures which had survived the Viking raids were carried by the monks to the mainland. For over 100 years the Lindisfarne community settled in the old Roman town of Chester-le-street. The Viking raids continued and fear of further attacks took the monks and their precious relics (among them the body of St Cuthbert) on a  journey south and further inland to Ripon, before moving again northwards to Durham. At some point on this perambulation around Northumbria, tradition has it that the body rested at Fishlake, hence the dedication of the parish church to St Cuthbert.

Thinking about his story as I wandered around the village and the churchyard, I tried to imagine the spirituality and dedication of the monks to their community and its saint. Always on the move, living in fear of further raids from the Norsemen, perhaps travelling by night. This is my interpretation of them having arrived by boat at Fishlake. Which in the 9th or 10th century, was probably an island of slightly higher ground surrounded by the marshlands of the Humberhead Levels.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Nearly There

Another example of some dodgy photography. The shine is from the still wet ink. This is colour 5. One or maybe two more colours to go.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

3rd and 4th colours on the new print

3rd colour on the new print is a dark blue to set the night-time atmosphere.

4th colour, a grey brown to bring out the foreground figures.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Cutting Out the Image

Spent an enjoyable day yesterday in the Lake District hanging my exhibition in the Cafe in the Forest Gallery at the Grizedale Forest visitor centre. I have 30 Linocut Prints on show in the exhibition which runs until 1st March.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

2nd colour on the new print

Colour 2 on the new linocut. A pale grey. I'm not going to say much more about the print at this stage. The subject matter is a long way from my usual topics and may come as something of a surprise.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Pendle Print Festival

Just returned home after taking part in the first Pendle Print Festival at the Higherford Mill Artists Studios at Barrowford near Colne in Lancashire. We had a lovely warm welcome from the resident artists and have had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend... and even sold a few prints! Like Art in the Pen, it was an opportunity  to meet and exchange ideas with a number of inspiring artists. Check out the links on the right to the work of Peter Smith and Lisa Moore.

Next on the agenda is a trip to the Lake District on wednesday morning to hang the prints for my solo show in the Forest Cafe Gallery at the Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre near Hawkshead in Cumbria.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Starting a new print - at last!!

After taking what seems like an age over framing and other preparations for a number of exhibitions and art fairs recently. It feels good to start work on a new print. Unfortunately my attempts to get to grips with the workings of my new camera are a bit less successful.

The first colour is a pale rose pink.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Art in the Pen - next weekend

Spent this weekend packing and sorting work to take to Skipton next Friday for Art in the Pen. I had some last minute framing to do, but finally all is ready. I've gone for a bigger pen this year. Not because I have any more work than I took last year. But I thought it would be better for people viewing the work if it was hung in a bigger space. Hopefully the extra expense will be justified.  There are 70 artists taking part this year, a wide cross-section of disciplines; Sculptors, Ceramists, Jewelers, Painters and a few Printmakers. I'm looking forward to meeting up again with some familiar faces from last year and meet some new friends.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Northumberland Interlude

Just back from a weeks holiday on the Northumbrian Coast. A family holiday but still had time to get some work done.

Bamburgh Castle from Hackness Rocks.
Pen and  Ink.
29/07/12. 1140am. Flood tide with the sun high overhead above the castle.

Bamburgh Castle.
Pencil and Watercolour. Half hour sketch before the flooding tide forced me to move off the beach.

Juvenile Wheatear and Juvenile Kittiwake.
Braidcarr Point, Seahouses.
Pen and Ink.

Adult and Juvenile Kittiwakes
Braidcarr Point, Seahouses.
Pen and Ink.

Black Headed Gulls and Curlew.
Seahouses Harbour
Pen and Ink and Pencil

Sunset over Bamburgh from the Harbour Wall, Seahouses.
2015pm, 29/07/12.

The Gatehouse, Etal Castle.
Pen and Ink.

The Gatehouse, Etal Castle.

Fishing boat returning home. Eyemouth harbour.
High Tide, 1300hrs.
Pen and Ink.

Male Kestrel, Braidcarr Point, Seahouses.
02/08/12. 2050pm.
Pen and Ink.

Alnmouth Beach
1500pm, flooding tide