Wednesday, 26 December 2018

The year is nearly over...


Blog posts were a bit infrequent in 2017 so for this year, I set myself a target of writing five posts a month - which I've managed to do. Some of them are a bit thin as I was scratching around a bit for things to write about at times. It's been a good way to make sure I note all the creative things I've been involved in so that I don't look back over the year and feel despondent about how little I've achieved artistically.

It's actually been a really busy year with various things going on through the artists' group. We had the North and South Print Exchange with Falkland Island Printmakers, the Wayzgoose in September, 20:20 Print Exchange and our new outdoor sketching sessions. There has been the usual teaching too which I always really enjoy.

My work outside that has changed direction somewhat with the papier mache 'Thing' and my venture into pop-ups. I'm particularly pleased with the Minotaur and his labyrinth Hoping to push the pop-ups further in 2019 so watch this space. See you in the new year!

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Knitting progress

Got bored with granny squares so am knitting a scarf, just to get my 10,000 stitches in. Getting better but don't look too closely as there are some unusual 'features'... Half-day knitting workshop coming up in January so hopefully I can learn some useful tips. Lots of great videos on YouTube though.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Pop-up books

Was given a couple of great books for my birthday in the Autumn. ABC3D by Marion Bataille is a fabulous alphabet in, well, 3D. Ingenious paper engineering and pop-ups of every sort. I tried taking pictures but this YouTube video of how the book works is much better.

Image result for the art of pop-up 
The Art of Pop-up by Jean-Charles Trebbi is an excellent review of pop-ups and paper engineers from around the world. There's also a great timeline showing the history and development of pop-up books. A book to go back to time and time again.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

A different kind of project

Decided to have a go at knitting last week. The Aged P used to knit all the time when I was a kid and up until I was about 20, she catered for the whole family's knitwear needs. 

As you can see, I got off to rather a rocky start. Began with 20 stitches, dropped several along the way, ended up with 27... What...?! I am practising, practising, practising though and there's definitely some improvement. Long way to go before I will reach my goal of being able to knit sweaters but if there's one thing I've learnt from etching, it's that patience and perseverance wins out in the end.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Nearing completion

Third and final minotaur under construction, then this variable edition will be complete. It's been a time-consuming, fiddly project but very satisfying and I've learnt a lot. Time for a new project though.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Kas Williams at Mottisfont Open 2018

This book sculpture by Kas Williams caught my eye a few weeks ago on a visit to Mottisfont Open Exhibition 2018 (I'm a bit behind with this post - the exhibtion has finished now). 

'My work with paper is a question into the definition of a book, an exploration into their potential as sculptural objects and the tactile transformation that brings. It is a life after reading.' Kas Williams

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Soft ground etching day

We had a great day on Saturday soft ground etching at Red Hot Press. Here are some of the lovely prints the students produced.


Friday, 16 November 2018

Monday, 5 November 2018

Michael Ayrton - Minotaur Waking

It so happens that there is a bronze minotaur by Michael Ayrton (1972) on show at Southampton City Art Gallery at the moment. Hot footed it in to visit it last week. It's lovely and I really wanted to touch it - it looks so tactile.

Apparently, the minotaur was a regular theme in Ayrton's work so I think I need to look him up. 

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Minotaur update

He's getting there. Just got to mke the cover now and do a little tidying up. And make two more...

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Etching beginners

 Had our second session of etching last evening and again, some great work produced by our beginners.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Hawthorn ink demo

Had a very interesting and informative morning at Red Hot Press last weekend. Barry and Michael from Hawthorn Printmaker Supplies travelled down from York to tell us about inks and colour mixing. Barry gave us some really good tips on how to mix colours consistently which may seem obvious but actually there’s a lot more to it than I realised. My own colour palette is quite limited (as evidenced by the photo above, though I do have some inks by other makers) and I'm not really picky about tone so it's not something I've thought too much about in the past.

Barry is a fount of knowledge about the history and chemistry of ink-making. He was able to give me some advice on how to increase the longevity of the books I'm making given they are to be handled. Bought some driers to try for the monoprinting. Never needed to use it before so it will be interesting to see how it works. A very useful morning.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Cowprint Sketchers

This year, Cowprint members started a new activity. Once a month we go on an outdoor sketching session - a bit like Urban Sketchers but mostly not city scapes. Parks and woodland seem to be the favourite. This month we visited the shore (how lucky we are to live on the coast!).

Here's a selection of drawings I've made over the year. I really struggle with drawing landscape type subjects. And buildings. Give me a naked person and I'm fine but these outdoor drawing sessions are really outside my comfort zone. Which proably means I should do a lot more of it...

Thursday, 11 October 2018


Work in progress. Every minotaur needs a labyrinth.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Drypoint beginners

Another clever bunch of printmaking beginners at Red Hot Press. I've just done a couple of sessions of drypoint with them - some good results.

Really sensitive use of the roulette wheel here.

 Looking forward to seeing what they do with etching over the next two weeks.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Kate Watkins

Kate Watkins, Clevedon Pier. Gocco print

Local artist and printmaker Kate Watkins gave a very inspiring talk to the artists' group this week. She spoke about her 'creative journey' to date focusing on her time at Winchester School of Art doing an MA in printmaking. It was here that she developed her interest in coastal themes, making a panorama of Calshot (read about in on her website here).

Kate Watkins, Flip Flop. Solvent transfer and pencil study print

Kate Watkins, Super Strong. Solvent transfer and graphite

Since then, Kate has continued to develop this theme in her work, using objects found on the beach to make solvent transfer prints over which she uses graphite. She has also created a seres of abstarct images based on coastal themes.
Kate Watkins, Weather Worn Circle. Monoprint and ink transfer

Kate Watkins, Weather Worn IX. Monoprint and ink transfer

I really like the fact that Kate mixes different techniques together (something I often do in my own work) to layer up imagery and create rich colour and texture. I was also very impressed by her drive and motivation to create her art, regardless of the various constraints we find ourselves under these days. Wish I could be as focused!