"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, 15 November 2015

Wild Wet and Windy at Malham

Just got back home after spending a very enjoyable weekend at the Malham Tarn field centre teaching a linocut workshop for the Field Studies Council. The weather was a little wild to say the least; gales, floods and hail. But unlike the 6th form students who were also at the centre we didn't have to go out in it and study geography, other than to walk up to the bar in the evening. It's a bit of a big ask to produce a multi-colour linocut in two days considering I take around two weeks to make mine. But after some intensive work we managed to create some really good work. We printed flat colours, blended rolls and did some pretty complicated cutting. Each student printed editions of 10 and of the fifty odd prints created only around five or six were lost to mis-registration which is a better average than I manage sometimes.

Christina's sunset scene inspired by the view from her home in Richmondshire.

Lynne's lovely sunlit scene of a beach on Iona.

Liz's wonderfully atmospheric sunlit sheep on the top of Malham Cove.

Sue's skilful use of blends created this print in just 3 stages.

Marie's frog leaping from his Escher inspired ripples, who also found time to do a little mono-printing. I certainly had a good time in wonderful company and I hope everyone else did too.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Sgurr an Fheadain

Sgurr an Fheadain
200mm x 150mm

Finally started to edition this mezzotint. Decided to print with a blend of Prussian blue and green rather than just black and really pleased with the atmosphere in the print. Its a slow process though, after 3 hours of inking, wiping and printing  I have 8 prints nicely drying off. I'm not sure of the edition size yet though as I don't know how many prints I will get before the plate starts to degrade.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


It's not often that I have 3 projects on the go at the same time but for once I've been juggling images around. The Fountains Abbey print is now completed.

Fountains Abbey
10 colour reduction linocut
252mm x 342mm
Edition of 8

The new mezzotint is almost finished. Just a few little tweaks and it will be ready to edition.

and I've begun work  on the next linocut

Doesn't look much at the moment, just  a blended roll from grey through buff to blue grey.

These next couple of weeks are relatively quiet before the rush of November which is looking to be quite busy. I'm at Masham Town Hall on the 1st for the Crafted by Hand fair. The Corn Exchange in Leeds on the 7th for Leeds Print Fair, teaching a two day workshop at Malham Tarn for the Field Studies Council the following weekend. At Buxton in the Peak District on the 21st and 22nd for the Artists and Designers Fair and finally back to Holmfirth on the 29th for the Art Market. Then it will be time to knuckle down and really get on with making some new work ready for next year.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

New month - new linocut

Print no 2 in my attempt to make 15 new prints in 30 weeks for my upcoming Solo show at the Abbott Hall Gallery in Kendal next March. After cutting away the white areas, colour 1 is a pale cream. Unusually at this stage there is maybe just enough information visible in the print for someone familiar with Yorkshire's crumbling relics to recognise the location.

Colour 2 is a pale grey.

Colour 3, blue and still wet hence the shine from the camera flash.

Colour 4, the first green.

Colour 5. A darker version of the first cream colour. The location is definitely recognisable now.

Colour 6. A pale purple grey colour.

Colour 7. A second green.

Two more greens and a final dark should see it finished.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

The moment of truth

 After working on this mezzotint plate on and off for the last couple of months it's time to see what we have.

The messy bit


Wiping the plate

Ready to print

Well we've got something. For a first proof I'm quite happy with this. It's still too dark and needs a lot more work on it, but at this stage it's better to be too dark than too light.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Ancient Oak Tree

Into the gathering dusk
Reduction Linocut
Edition of 9
251mm x 360mm

With the addition of the final dark the print is finished. 13 colours printed  in 8 stages

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Almost there

Continuing with the latest print. The next colour is a dark orange for the wheatfield.

the inked block

and printed.

The next colour is another blend from greenish grey through to a brighter green.
The inked block

and printed

A bit more cutting and another blend from grey to darker green.
The inked block

and printed.

So far counting all the colours used in the blends I've put down 12 colours in 7 stages. One final bit of cutting and a last dark will finish the print.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

New Print

The start of a new print. A small patch of lino cut away to remain white and the block is ready for printing. Not really given any thought to the colour palette yet as much will depend on the first printing as this is going to set the atmosphere for the whole print.

Block inked up with a blend from dark grey through orange to yellow.

and printed.

The next stage involved some complicated cutting to remove the bulk of the sky

and then a small patch of blue inked up

and printed.

The blue patch on the block was removed and another blend from blue grey to orange inked up across the bottom of the block

and printed.

Next the block was carved to add some detail into the wheatfield and inked up with a blue grey to light green blend.

and printed.

The intention was to get this print finished in time for next weeks Wirksworth Arts Festival weekend but from this point the carving is likely to be quite time consuming and I don't want to rush it just for the sake of trying to get the print finished.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

20:20 Print Exchange

It seems to have been a  long time since I did any finished work so it felt good to have the inks and rollers out and be back at the printing bench. This small, linocut is my offering for this years 20:20 print exchange organised by Hot Bed Press in Salford.

The block is cut with a large area at the bottom removed,  the surface of the remaining lino stabbed all over with a series of small dots and the first colour a blue grey to grey green blend printed.

After cutting a few more random marks into the block the next colour, a darker version of the previous blend is printed.

This may give some impression of the effect I'm trying to get.

A bit more cutting and a darker blue grey and an image starts to appear.

All the background is removed and a final dark blue grey is printed.

Hard Times
5 colour reduction linocut completed in 4 printings
142mm x 142mm
Edition of 25 with 4 Artists Proofs.

A simple little print but making it has given me ideas for something larger and much more complicated, but that is going to have to wait a while yet as I have other work I need to finish first.

Sunday, 5 July 2015


It's been a month since I last posted any finished work. The last few weeks have been busy with a number of art fairs so I haven't spent much time on doing any new work. I finished drawing out this drypoint earlier this week but have only got around to printing it this morning.

Low Ryelands - Littondale
140mm x 210mm

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Blea Water - Mezzotint

Drying nicely. An edition of new mezzotint prints freshly printed and hot off the press.

Blea Water from Long Stile
100mm x 150mm
Edition of 10 plus 2 Artists Proofs.

This small print is based on a sketch done way back in the autumn of 1996. I had spent a day sketching my way around the Riggindale Horseshoe in the Lake District. Starting from the car park at the head of Haweswater, I crossed the end of Riggindale and climbed up onto Kidsty Pike. From there I crossed on to High Street by way of the Straits of Riggindale, had lunch sitting just below the summit cairn looking down the length of Haweswater reservoir. Descending by way of Long Stile. The late afternoon sun behind Mardale Ill Bell cast a deep shadow down the flanks of the fell and across the still, blue waters of the tarn.

Finished just in time to dry off ready to take to this weekends Printmakers Art Fair in Chester. The start of a busy couple of weeks. The following weekend on 14th June I will be at Holmfirth Art Market and the weekend after on 20th and 21st June at Carlisle Auction Mart for Art in the Pen.

Friday, 29 May 2015


After some weeks of dithering I have finally begun working on the mezzotint plate that I had finished preparing about 6 weeks ago. There is so much time and effort that goes into rocking the plate, that I am reluctant to commit to working on it until I am sure about what I am going to do. This is only a small 100mm x 150mm plate but it still took 12 hours to rock it completely.

This is the state of play after a couple of hours scraping and burnishing. It's quite difficult to get the lighting right so that it shows up in the photograph but I think you'll get the idea.

After a  bit more burnishing I ran off a proof.

Clearly a bit more work is needed.