"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, 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.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Hitting a wall

Struggling a bit with this print. I'm working on 300gsm Somerset Satin paper, and whilst it is lovely paper to print on, especially using the baren, I've had some registration problems which I can't explain. On the face of it it looks ok, but a close examination of the left edge shows that the second colour is out of registration. It's fine everywhere else, top, bottom, right hand side, it almost looks like the paper has stretched lengthways. This means that some fine white lines across the darker bit of sand in front of the waves have now disappeared.

Colour 7

Block inked for colour 8

and printed

Colour 9 inked up

and printed.

Only another one or possibly two more colours to go but the jury is still out on this one.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Catch Up

Since my last post, work on the latest print has been progressing slowly. I haven't had much time to work on the piece continuously so I've only got three more colours printed.

Colour 4. The first pale blue

The block inked for colour 5. A second blue.

and printed.

Colour 6 is the first pale green and just maybe the subject is identifiable now.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Linocut Workshop

Next years arts courses at Malham Tarn Field Study Centre in the Yorkshire Dales are now on line to book. I am running a linocut course on 13th-15th November. For anyone interested details can be found here

Monday, 6 October 2014

Stage 2

Following on from yesterdays post, here is colour 2 printed.

Followed by the block cut and inked for colour 3

A darker version of colour 2 printed in a small band across the bottom of the print.

Next colour will be a pale blue across the whole of the print to pull it all back together, but first there is some cutting to do.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Next Print

October is a quiet month, no fairs or exhibitions so I have a chance to get some new work done in time for a full calender of events in November. So here we go.

Colour 1. A warm cream to cool grey blend from top to bottom.

The block inked and placed in the registration jig. The colour blend doesn't show very well in these photos.

1st colour printed.

After a bit of cutting the block is now inked and ready for printing the second colour. A darker  yellow printed across the bottom of the block only. Unfortunately the photo of the printed colour taken under artificial light doesn't show very well. So I'll have to wait till daylight to take a better one to post.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Something Big

It's been a long time since I last posted anything here. Not because I've been sitting around with my feet up doing nothing. I have been busy for the last month or so on a commissioned work which, now it has been delivered to and happily received by the client. I can reveal on here.

The brief was for a large (and by large I mean around A2 size) print showing the 4 wind turbines at Marr village just off the A1 near Doncaster. Much larger than I would normally choose to work and completing the print was quite a challenge which stretched me well out of my comfort zone.

Registration of a print this size was a bit of a problem. The block was bigger than my printing jig and I had to cobble together a more Heath Robinson arrangement with mount board and masking tape. In the end I lost 2 out of an intended edition of 5 to sloppy registration.

Block cut for the first colour and placed against the registration marks.

The finished print

Turbines at Marr
17 colour reduction linocut.
400mm x 600mm
Edition of 3

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Angel of the North - 20:20 Print Exchange

Finally finished the small print for the 20:20 Print exchange. 8 colours on 25 prints.

This was supposed to be the final colour but after spending most of yesterday evening staring at it I decided to add a final dark.

Drying on the floor as I'm running out of space.

The final print after 8 colours with some glare from the still wet ink.

I also printed a simple 2 colour version using the same block.

Not sure which version I prefer.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Angel of the North

Almost finished this small print and after 6 colours the subject is now obvious. The Angel of the North at Gateshead. Only one more colour to go so it should be finished this weekend.

The Angel dominates the landscape around it and I was keen to retain this aspect in the print. Not easy working in such a small format. The image is only 140mm x 140mm. Hopefully this will come across in the finished print.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

20-20 Print Exchange

I have agreed to take part in the 20x20 print exchange organised by Hot Bed Press in Salford. Never done this before and it's proving something of a challange. The prints have to be no bigger than the 20cm x 20cm paper size, Which is much smaller than I normally work, the format is square which I don't find an easy format to compose within and the edition size has to be 25, which by my standards is enormous. Anyway I think I have come up with a good composition so here goes.

Colour 1; a light grey and some fluffy clouds.

Colour 2; a dark to light blue blend. The block inked ready for printing.

and the print, and just maybe there is enough information here to recognise the subject.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Working Holiday

A selection of sketches from holiday on the Ceredigion Coast in Mid Wales.

Views from the cottage in the hills above Llanrhystud. Pen and ink on the left and pencil and watercolour on the right.

Aberystwyth Pier. Pen and ink.

Evening Sky and the northern sweep of Cardigan Bay with Snowdonia and the hills of the Lleyn Peninsular strung out along the horizon like a row of islands. Watercolour.

Stonechats (left) and the cliffs north of Llangrannog (right). Both pen and ink.

Llangrannog. Pen and ink.

Swallows on telephone wires (left) and Ynys Lochtyn (right). Both Pen and ink.

Ynys Loctyn. Watercolour. There's a print here!

Two pages of sketches of Gatekeeper Butterflies. Watercolour.

Aberystwyth Castle and War Memorial. Pen and ink. Another print.