Thursday, 23 October 2008

Brewing ideas

The Barenforum group have set the topic for a print exchange to combine Portrait with Tree as a theme. Ideas abound, and I stand contemplating the strangest trees. The emerging theme for me is to create an image of the inner me rather than an external portrait of what someone looks like to the outside world. As always I have a beautiful image in my head, and have done some drawings, and a series of thumbnail sketches for colour separations. THIS is my very favorite part of the process, before the picture in my head has to compare with a rather less than good image on paper! I have stocked up on paper and blocks. I still have not identified a suitable source of cherry yet. I went over to Martock in Somerset, They have American Cherry but a great deal of work would have to go on their planks. I may have a go at their bowl blanks one day for a circular piece. If any of the UK based bareners have a solution I would be grateful.

The family with grandchildren are coming down for half term, so actual work has stopped while I blitz the house and make up beds. But colour choices and image problem solving are still going on in my head.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

One for the 'oilies'

Among my other travels I joined a two day relief printmaking course with Peter Ursem. He was using lino, oil based ink and a nipping press. Sadly I was badly lacking sleep, being somewhat jet lagged, but as always I learnt as much from watching him work as well as his helpful guidance. To find out more of his work see He told a story which involved looking inside the Wizard's hat if you dared! Thus my image of said wizard.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Islamic Spain

Have been travelling around Andalucia: Jaen, Cordoba, Seville, Granada. Wonderful trip and weather. Thought you might like to share a few images.
Will get back to the studio soon I hope.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

vinyl experiments with owl

I learn everyday and hope one day to do some more acceptable work. This experiment was using vinyl floor covering. I begged an offcut from a neighbour who had done his kitchen floor. It cuts so easily it is a joy. Obviously it will not do very fine lines, but after a light sanding took pencil and carbon paper marks very clearly. I also used it to make an embossing plate. The latter is the last plate in the sequence. It is reversed as I printed it from underneath with the paper still damp.
I used the usual dry pigments with water. The paper was very absorbant and I brushed gum arabic on the embossing plate to ensure that the embossing held its' shape. I am not too sure about the latter as it seems perhaps a bit too strong, but time will tell if it settles down. Maybe I will dilute the gum arabic another time, it really all depends on the paper.... another whole topic about which I am still very much a beginner.
Yesterday spent the day in London. The Cezannes in the Courtauld (Somerset House) are well worth seeing, as also their print exhibition of French 19Century artists French prints from Manet to Picasso. A simply amazing double bill, plus the usual wonderful collection of French Impressionists. As a viewing experience it beats The Hermitage. I recommend it to any visitors in London this summer.
The next stop was the Royal Academy the summer exhibition had some very interesting prints of all kinds, but found no moku hanga, There too is an exhibition of Vilhelm Hammershoi:Poetry of Silence. Stunning work. I emerged feeling I had just been through a long Scandinavian winter where a gleam of light gains huge significance, and a sunbeam carries pure joy.
Happy printing

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Back to the studio

At last have got back to studio work. After the Open Studio two weeks, we went on a cruise with Voyages of Discovery to the various Baltic stops. It is an educational trip with lectures as well as visits, and I can recommend the trip. We were lucky with weather etc. Saw some really good art, and overloaded on gold rococco.

Have also ben to Hastings to see the Japanese Print exhibition. We had to stay over in the area longer than planned as they went on strike for 2 days (along with the rest of UK local government). It made us look at Rye and other interesting places in the area. They have run out of the catalogue, but reprinting is promised. Worth a visit if anywhere in the area and goes on until 5 October.

Thought I would have a go at Microprints to see how I went, with the view of entering some in a UK Microprint exhibition if any turn out well. This is the first which I tried using lino with watercolours and paste. It is the London Eye at night with fireworks taken from across the river on the Embankment, with the Victorian street light. Not sure how successful it is, but at least I am back working again. I freehanded the colours, and should probably carved the locations more accurately as the street light in some is white and some is yellow! The image is 8cms square.
Next week am in Cornwall being Granny for a week, but am still very much reading the forum posts and following your blogs. As always I have more pictures in my head than I get down into reality.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Final day: last sale

Sunday night and the end of the 2 week Open Studio show. Made one more sale (of Buddha Walking) to a Buddhist friend. Went for a walk by the sea at Weymouth this evening.

The print of Buddha walking is a simple 2 block moku hanga. One for the colour and one for the raised impression.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Exhibition sales

A couple more sales, both relief prints. The first Dorset View, was not a result of poor registration, but an attempt to reflect the land use in Dorset over thousands of years. As you look across our landscape one can see the lines where hedges and tracks have once been, and this is what I was trying to capture. The brown one I called Tracks, is another attempt to express much the same idea in a more abstract way. Another three exhibition days to go, will decide if it was all worthwhile then!

Friday, 30 May 2008


Sun came out today and I have made two sales of the same print.

The first serious money I have made from the art. Thought I would share the celebrations all round.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Opening day Ta Ra

Am all set up, after some last minute panics. (I broke a tooth and yesterday had to get a dentist to sort it out) The hanging could be better and may improve as the days go on, this is a two week fiesta.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Exhibition countdown

Dorset Art Weeks starts on Saturday. (Today being Thursday afternoon). I had a panic that the disadvantage of a garden studio is that people walk through the garden Doh! So have done a massive catch up on the veggie patch, sowing seeds and bought some tomato plants from the Sunday Boot Market for the greenhouse. It has all been neglected for the sake of Art this year, so cheating seems fair.

In addition to the cabin studio We have put up a tent and my husband is making some display boards to put in it. He found some white faced 'Finnish fiber board', so it all looks bright and clean. Not ready to hang pictures yet so tomorrow will be a busy day.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008


For anyone in the area of southern England, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery in the Old Town Hall are going to put on what looks to be an interesting showing of Japanese Prints, from 21 June - 05 October

My own plans are progressing and we have set up a small display in the town library to promote the brochure for Dorset Art Weeks. Meanwhile I am still pricing. I have roped in my husband to make up some boards and the material for a prototype is coming tomorrow. Will photo them if they work out.

We had the children and grandchildren down for a wet weekend, but managed to get to a kite flying competition on Weymouth Beach and to the local Roast hog and fete on the village green in Fordington.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Spring flowers

Musing on the brevity of life I took the camera to spring flowers in my garden.
The statue is from Bruges.. I just love the Belgian sense of humour.

Springtime in Bruges and UK

Have just had a few days in Bruges, which is just full of good Flemish art. It is such an inspiring place I hope to capture a sense of the place in a print later.
Not sure why some of these pics came out sideways.. sorry for the crick in the neck!

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Framing past work

Have spent the last two months matting and framing. These are some monoprints dug out from the attic. I just love the mad freedom of working quickly on glass, using oil based printing ink and white spirit.

Have discovered a local source of 'seconds' handmade paper with rose petals etc incorporated. Would be interested in any one has experience of using this somewhat thicker paper with watercolour pigments and baren printing. Am keen to practice, but must get the last of the framing finished.

There are local exhibitions coming up to work in tandem with the Dorset Art Weeks, so I plan to try my hand at entering some of the work, if only to see if they pass the jury selection!

Sorry, this monoprint has come out sideways, the family are coming back soon for a meal so no time to sort.

I love reading the barenforum blogs, you are all such an inspiration.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Portugal, Oporto

Have just returned from a week in Oporto in North Portugal. Seeds for some future prints, I hope.
Half term is coming so must sort out the house, then plan to have marathon sessions framing and matting in preparation for showing. Going through earlier work is interesting. A lot I threw away, but some which I did not rate much at the time, seem more interesting. I hope to post a few in a couple of weeks, and would love some comments.
Good to be back