"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.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Not pretty but it works

To mis-quote Neil Young. When I get big I'm gonna get me a Hon Baren. Until such time as I get big, or more appropriately can afford one. I thought I'd have a go at making one.

First step was to make the coil, that in a genuine baren is covered by the bamboo sheath. This should be a coil of plaited bamboo fibres. I made a string coil which I twisted together and then twisted back on itself to make a four strand length which I then coiled up.

To make it stiffer I painted it with acrylic primer.

I then cut 3 circles from mountboard each slightly smaller than the other and stuck them together before placing my string coil on them. The three card circles under the string help to give the convex surface of a true baren. For the cover I used a sheet of teflon that I got from the baking shelves of the local Home Bargains shop, which I cut to size and tied in an approximation of the proper manner. This last bit was a bit fiddly, an extra couple of hands would have been useful.

I used it to print a small and simple single colour print. Now to use it on something bigger.

Happy New Year.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Christmas Greetings

Merry Christmas to all readers. 

This year has been one of exciting opportunities, making new friends, seeing others that I hadn't seen for ages and developing my work.

Already next year is promising to be just as fulfilling. After a short Christmas break first job will be to deliver the work to Doncaster Art Gallery for my solo show opening on 11th January 2014. In April, on 12th and 13th, I will be at The Same But Different Art Fair in the walled garden at Temple Newsam House in Leeds. A new show which promises to have an eclectic mix of artworks. In June I have been invited to show my work in the Biscuit Factory Summer Exhibition in Newcastle and at the end of the month on the 28th and 29th, I will probably be taking part in Art in the Pen at the Borderlands Exhibition Centre in Carlise. This event, again a new one, is being organised by the same team who organise Art in the Pen at The Craven Auction Mart in Skipton, which I will also probably be taking part in on 16th -17th August.

Once again Merry Christmas and thank you for reading.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Tom Pudding Hoist

No 5 Compartment Boat Hoist - Goole
10 colour reduction linocut
290mm x 190mm
Edition of 9.

Finally finished the print of the old boat hoist at Goole docks. This was used for emptying coal barges (the Tom Puddings of the title, think a boat shaped floating skip) into bigger sea going freighters.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Colour 9

Colour 9, printed across the lower half of the block, and combined on the print below.

only a final dark to go now after a little more cutting.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Next colours

Colour 7, printed on its own, and then onto the print.

Next is another, darker grey, Colour 8

on its own and then combined on the print

Onlt two morw colours to go, a darker green and then the final black.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Next Steps

The next few stages are going to look a bit messy as I will only be inking up part of the block. Hopefully all will be pulled back together later. First up is a light green across the lower half of the print.

Followed by a second blue, again across the lower half of the print.

and then a couple of splashes of red.

this looks a bit garish. the next colour, a pale blue green should tone it down.

The next colour should pull the print back together but there is a bit of cutting to do first.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Catching Up

Its been a while since my last post so time for a bit of a catch up. The Holmfirth Art Market last weekend was a hugely enjoyable event, I am only sorry that it has taken me so long to get round to taking part in it. Sales were good and it was a chance to catch up with friends that I hadn't seen since being at Skipton in August. I will definately be applying to take part in next years markets. A couple of days ago I had confirmation of a place at a new event to be held in the walled garden at Temple Newsam house in Leeds next April. I'll post more details about this later.

As for art work, well since my last post I  have finished this.

Towards the Ouse-Old Goole.
12 colour reduction linocut
240mm x 340mm
Edition of 6

and started this.

Colour 1. A pale blue.

Colour 2. A pale grey.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

More Exhibitions

I delivered work to the Calder Gallery in Hebden Bridge yesterday for their Original Print Show. This is one of  my favourite galleries and the annual print show is always a pleasure to take part in. The exhibition opens on 1st November and will run until early in the New Year.

On 10th November I will be at the Holmfirth Art Market. This is the first time that I have taken part in this particular event, but I have heard good things about it so I am looking forward to a good time there. There is an Open Evening on Saturday 9th November from 8pm until 10pm and the Market opens on Sunday 10th November at 10am closing at 4pm.

Sunday, 13 October 2013


11 colour Reduction Linocut
190mm x 170mm
Edition of 10.

Finished the print but forgot to photograph most of the intervening stages.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Progress on the next print

With the addition of 4 colours the composition of the new print is starting to become clearer. First a dirty ochre colour which hopefully will give the impression of peat stained water

then a pale blue

followed by a darker blue and then a light grey. There are two stages on this print as I forgot to photograph the 2nd blue.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Windfarm Print

At the End of the Day.
8 Colour Reduction Linocut
174mm x 281mm
Edition of 10. 

Completed the Windfarm print and started another.

Colour 1.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Linocut - next three colours

Three more colours down on the latest print. Each mixed from the original orange colour darkened with increasing amounts of purple.

Stage 5.

Stage 6.

Stage 7.

One more colour to go.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Exhibition News

I have three prints in the Art of Printmaking Exhibition at the Cooper Gallery in Barnsley. Not only a great little gallery, which I have never visited before, but it also has a lovely little cafe. The exhibition is a group show by members of Printmaking on Line and features a range of work across various printmaking techniques. 

I have also delivered some new work to the Craft Centre and Design Gallery in Leeds and this coming weekend sees the opening of an exciting new gallery in Bowness on Windermere, Cumbria, showing the work of contemporary printmakers. The Mere Gallery

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Linocut. Colours 2-4

I added a little red to the original yellow mix used for colour 1 and began defining the sky. I had mixed up a lot of this colour, as after the next stage it will be the only colour used on this print. For each subsequent stage I am going to darken the mix using increasing amounts of purple. But first we need a little blue. This colour only appears at the top of the print so I only inked up this part of the block.

Stage 3 looks like this:

Now back to the orange mixed with a little purple.

Stage 4:

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Next Print

Not much to see after printing the first colour. So here is the reference sketch. A quickly scribbled pen drawing of the sunset behind a group of wind turbines near Carlecotes in the upper Don valley.

Not quite sure yet what I am going to do next. I have no firm idea about what this print will look like and I'm pretty much making it up as I go along.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Conisborough Castle

Conisborough Castle.
15 Colour Reduction Linocut. 
270mm x 380mm.
Edition of 4.

Finally finished the Conisborough Castle Print but had real problems with the registration on the final colour. From the ten prints that I started with, I finished with 4 useable prints and this pile of rejects.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Conisborough Castle. Nearly finished.

Another dark green, and then a darker shadow colour.

One more final green, colour 14. This has got far too complicated.

Just the last dark colour to go now.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Back to the castle print

Three more colours added and things are starting to come together.

Then back to a dark green

and then a cooler shadow tone

Sunday, 11 August 2013

New Work

I have been working solidly for the last twelve months or so, on work for a solo exhibition at Doncaster Art Gallery next January. This will have around 25-30 prints in it, all based on studies made around the valley of the River Don in South Yorkshire. Mostly landscapes but others with some Natural History content. So far I have 21 prints completed, so as I average about 2 a month I should meet my target. As all this work is for a particular exhibition, apart from posting the step by step stages on the blog, I have been keeping these prints under wraps and haven't shown them anywhere yet. However, this means that I am now running low on other work and my print drawers are starting to look a little bare. Which is good in one respect but as Art in the Pen is coming up next weekend, I am conscious that I am going there with pretty much the same work that I took last year and which I also showed at Printfest earlier this year. It doesn't look like I have done anything new for about the last 18 months! So in order to redress this over the last week or so, in and amongst other work, I have come up with a couple of new items just for next weekend.

Firstly a couple of simple prints done using the same block.

Badger 1
Linocut. 110mm x 150mm

I had been to that well known stockist of artist materials "Poundland" and bought a load of small brown paper bags, originally these were being sold as bags to put packed lunches in for childrens school dinners. I wanted them to put greetings cards and small prints in when I sold them. To smarten the bags up I printed this simple design onto the front of them all. Loathe as I was to waste a print on a "give away" I also printed a small edition of 12 onto some Hosho paper. Using the same block I also made a two colour linocut which I printed as a much larger edition of 24 also on Hosho paper. Actually my largest edition to date. I don't usually print more than 10 in an edition.

Badger 2
2 colour reduction linocut. 110mm x 150mm

These were pretty simple and didn't take much time to do so I came up with something else, slightly more complicated.

7 colour reduction linocut.
247mm x 150mm
Edition of 16.

Based on drawings made a couple of years ago of one in the River Nith in the centre of Dumfriess.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Slow going

Next two colours a light and then slightly darker shade of green printed in a band across the centre of the block. This is becoming much more complex than I had originally intended.

The next colour printed across the whole block should make all become clear.