Sunday 19 April 2009

Website for my artwork on "Other Peoples Pixels dot com"

This has been what I have been obsessively working on, these past 2 days - don't know if this link will work to it

Friday 17 April 2009

Todays been a funny day somehow.......

I just kept doing silly things once I got to the print workshop and really what I went there to do I could just as well have done here at home. But I thought it might be best to leave C. here to carry on with the work he has been doing on my print studio - which involves a lot of boshing and banging and sawing.
Whilst at the print studio I realized I had brought the wrong Lascaux bottle with me i.e., NOT the hard ground etch acrylic which I have realized recently makes an excellent quick drying varnish sealer for collagraph plates. I had taken some drawings quickly selected from my drawers and thought I would at least make a few small ones as I often think this, when I am 'building or developing prints i.e. a small figurative element, would go well there but none of those, which I currently have available, (already carved sealed etc etc) are suitable.

Then I realized I had forgotten my spectacles - which I need for reading and doing close up work!!! So I continued all the same and did very basic things - like transferring images from my drawings to the mount card using carbon paper, cutting them out and then sealing their reverses with PVA. One of the images was what I call 'Inside of Me" and another was from, what may become number one of a series called "The Envelope People".

This evening once I had eventually 'recovered' or was just sort of 'up to it', I did a tiny bit of work on my IWeb website. It's a start at least!!

Here's a link to it

It's something I would really like to get done once and for all. So I thought I would share it - so that possibly people might keep saying "oh and how is THAT website of yours going - have you got it a bit further along the way??!!

Thursday 16 April 2009

There's something so appealing about Paper Boats.....

which is why I made one and sent it to this, although I plan to make at least another one if not two, to send again before the deadline in August.

Make a paper boat and participate in project to support Mary Ann’s Cottage, based in Caithness.

Visit the blog
about the project which is being run by an artist from Scotland ( Joanne B Kaar) and another from New Zealand (Lynn Taylor)

You have until the 10th August 09 to post your paper boat to the project.

Paper boat fundraiser for Mary-Ann's Cottage - Caithness Scotland UK.
At the beginning of 2009, Joanne B Kaar and Lynn Taylor launched their paper boat project - a fundraiser for Mary-Ann's cottage,a living history museum in Caithness Scotland run by volunteers from The Caithness Heritage Trust (a registered Charity no: SCO 19998).
There's a link to the museums blog, on the paper boat website and I found it really engaging and spent far too long looking at various things.

As paper boats are sent to Joanne, from around the globe, she documents them on the blog.

The launch date and theme were inspired by the maiden voyage of the Westland Ship - 30th January 1879 (130 years ago) from Scotland to New Zealand. Mary-Ann's father, William Young was a member of the crew.

All boats will be exhibited in Sept 09 in Caithness Horizons.

All money from sale of boats will go to the Caithness Heritage trust to help keep Mary-Ann's cottage open for future generations.

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Prints sent off today to Florean Museum in Romania

International Small Engraving Salon Carbunari 2009 (edition 11

It was a bit last minute but for whatever reason yesterday evening I decided to put some 'mini prints' together to send off to this competition which I have been meaning to submit to , year after year. The longest side of any edge of the paper was to be 17 cm.

I scanned them before I sent them off. Some of them you may have seen before...... well actually....... possibly all of them ! There are the earlier ones which are the more colourful pieces, from the "Elemental Traces" series I made around the time I was trying to generate a print to send to the Periodic Printmaking project.

Then the black and white ones i.e., the relief print and the mezzo collo which were generated and submitted to the British mini print initially.

We will see....I feel I have a bit more of a chance of being selected for this one than the drypoint ones, I sent the other day, .........but as always we will see .

Monday 13 April 2009

Final Drypoint work submitted to Drypoint printmaking competition in Serbia

I feel very tired and yet I have not worked as hard today as I have on previous days, of recent past. I went to the post office this morning to send these off. Afterwards we went down to the local supermarket ASDA and C. went off to the recycle depot, with glass tins etc etc.

I said I would go in and have a go on the electronic mobile chair that they have there for people like me with a disability - who would not otherwise, be able to make it round the supermarket - as it's far far, too far to walk. I wish I had, had the confidence to 'have a go' on this. ages ago because it felt so good to be able to wheel about the place, under my own steam and to have a look at the clothes (which are never that good but sometimes there's something that appeals). It sounds unkind but I liked being there with out C. on my own. Nice to dawdle for as long as I liked, looking at this and at that. If I was'nt able to stand up, when I wanted to, then it'd be frustrating because you can only see at the eye level, you are at ( i.e., sitting down). So you cannot see very well where things are. But I just asked people and at one stage a shop worker, asked me if I needed any help. He must have noticed me darting my head about, trying to find where things were. I did'nt mind that. In fact the staff were really pleasant. I have to admit though that I was tempted to drive away off out of the store on a spree!!

Speaking of dawdling been doing that a bit this evening looking at stuff on the internet. I got distracted looking at printmaking based artists on Came across these people.
I was attracted to look more closely at her work because I could see that she was printing on surfaces other than the conventional, as in printmaking paper. She does print on toilet rolls (as can be seen from the above) as well as sponges, aluminium foil and ........ take a look at her website for more info

Also a fellow playing around with woodgrain which is something I am seeking since I was inspired by Karen Kunc's workshop in Wood block printmaking techniques, video by Sara Ringler. His name is Bryan Nash Gill.

Also an Indian artist (Tushar Waghela) who's work I came across previously and there's something about his images, in which he uses skeletal imagery as well as actual x-rays - wish I knew where to get hold of some!! - that appeals to me - also his use of negative space.

Last but not least is Maria Tanikawa, a Japanese born painter living in USA who mainly works, doing "Japanese paintings" (!!??) but it was her collagraphs that interested me. I adore the affect she has achieved on this one - it looks kind of organic and "marble - ized". If anyone reading this has any theories, experience or knowledge please do comment.

Thursday 9 April 2009

A Hard Frustrating day at the Print Workshop

I got there at about 11 am and set to immediately inking up the drypointed "perspex" that I made on Tuesday after I returned home from another (not too hard going day thankfully) at the FDPW print workshop. Although I have used the word perspex - I don't think that in fact, it is perspex - it's possibly polypropylene (mine is transparent though it has slightly opaque quality). I bought a sheet of it, absolutely ages ago, at the London Graphics Centre. I can't remember the reason I purchased it but it was for some project or other that I was working on.

I have just done a search on Google and I think it is this product which I found on their website (i.e., Lon Graphic Cen.) but which I found at a more reasonable price on Fred Aldous. Good old Fred!!... I get their email newsletter about new and reduced products - you know the sort of thing - but have never purchased anything from them as of yet.

So I might well try them....... delivery is £6.00, for 5 x A1 sheets which is not too bad.

Above is the visualization of the print that I was working on today and the past couple of weeks.

I also found out that you can use mild steel for copper sulphate etch today through the fact that there was a catalog from Hawthorn Printmaker 's shop on the table at FDPW. Co incidentally I actually drypointed some 'mild steel' a few months back, when I was 'faffing' about trying to make a few miniprints to submit for the 7th British Miniprint event - which is now on show at London Print Studio - I would have loved to see it but will have to wait until I get sent the catalogue - hope it doesn't take too long.......I also hope that the print quality of the published catalogue is up to scratch. I went to a lot of trouble to get it top notch and high res and true to colour. It would be annoying if they screw up the colour or eg print it upside down . That has actually happened to me in the past.

Re Copper Sulphate etching
Peter Wray wrote and had an article published in Printmaking Today about 2 years ago about how to carry out etching using the copper sulphate (or saline etch) process which I was very excited about. I fairly immediately dropped him an email querying some minor practical point that I wasn't clear to me, from the article and I definitely wanted to try it out. I seem to remember that he wrote a very nice friendly and helpful reply which was very encouraging as well as being helpful.

Anyway, I have just dropped a line to Peter, to ask him about the copper sulphate etch process onto mild steel and hope he will reply. My main query is does it mean that one would have less of a problem with the plate tone, which is an unfortunate feature with the aluminium although of course a huge amount of the determined outcome is related to the 'ink wiping' process. Lets hope he answers me.

Excuse me while I go and get some Earl Gray tea --- love the stuff - drink it always when I am at home. Which is all the time nowadays other that when I go to the print workshop. Though there are the odd other excursions such as e.g., yesterday when I had to go see the Neuro Surgeon at a hospital in Edinburgh. More on that later.

The drypoint that I was working on today ,as I said at the beginning of this post, didn't quite come out of the etching press as I had hoped.
I had done a proof of it on Tuesday using the Intaglio Printmakers drypoint easy wipe black, a recent acquisition at FDPW. It sure enough was 'easy to wipe' but I also got a lot of unwanted tone on the plate.

The plate was one that I had, had for ages and a couple of weeks ago Bill helped me to polish it up and also to use what I think was a block of carbon and oil in between re polishing it. The idea was to knock back the extraneous scratches it had 'developed' over the years it had been 'stored' amongst my various metal printing plates.

I was delighted that this was a possibility because from my perspective it looked like it wasn't going to be 'use-able' in terms of doing the drypoint. It took a couple of hours to get it right I thought that it was worth it, as it's a fair size: about A2 roughly speaking and as you printmaker types, in particular will be aware, copper gets more, more and more expensive. In addition to this piece of copper I used another piece of new copper which was like a chopped off section which became part of the print with a gap in between the two of them as part of the design. Will photo it and insert in this post later.

However there seems to be a probem with unwanted tone on the large plate and it isnt there on the newer copper plate, part of the print. This could be seen from the proof that was taken on Tuesday.

One idea was to ink it up and then do a surface roll on to it and then I thought I might add the drypointed figurative element later on re soaking the proof and perhaps using cut out chine colle to back it in order that the figurative element is more prominent.

HOWEVER as I was saying it didn't quite work out as I had hoped. We got some great colours together though. Bill mixed a gorgeous blue which was made as far as I remember from Yellow Ochre and Prussian Blue.
My colour was achieved more easily than Bills one - a small percentage about 10 percent of violet to a permenent red which to me looked like a cadmium red as in a pure red neither cold nor warm but smack in the middle of the red scale. Took ages to wipe the plates up and then we were trying to get rid of as much extraneous plate tone as possible . I was getting so tired by then Back pain really was getting to me but we pushed on.
It was kind of nerve wracking at the colour blend part which Bill had rolled up and he did the actual application to the plates. It would have been too physically strenuous for me as one needed to stand over the plates and then stretch the length of them and maintain an even direction with the roller etc etc. But ultimately one needs a roller with a sufficiently large diameter so that one doesn't repeat the rotation onto the surface because the underlying image gets 'picked up' on the roller and transplanted onto where you don't want it to be. Also you get lines running up the vertical of the plate. But we did the best job that we could.

Ultimately we concluded that the proof will of course will need to be done again. There was an idea of doing the surface roll underneath the drypoint proof next time - but I wonder whether the 'tone problem' would then still show itself unfavorably. My thoughts are that the giant roller will have to be used onto the surface of the inked drypoint plate. A lot more hassle, I know, but when I think of all the effort that was expended today on both our parts and how much pain I was in, because I had "overdone it" then it really would be the best thing to do on the next occasion.

I am also considering working further into the drypointed handwriting on the plate because the marks in some areas just are not deep enough.

Monday 6 April 2009

I must be nuts doing this large drypoint - my hands going to drop off !!

I have been working for the second day steadfastly on this large drypoint and honest to goodness it's so ridiculously knackering. It's kind of a large spiderweb format of handwriting that I am making to submit to something later this month.

Honestly, I spent so much time working out the design through the computer that, in the end, I have not left a lot of time for the plate making!! I did some tests on aluminium but it's just not up to the same outcome as you get from copper.

I had thought that aluminium would be easier to work into, than copper but ultimately I am now scribing into copper. It's really hard going on my hands wrists fingers and if I overdo it - it aches the nerves going up to my neck even my dear old head.

Here are some of the ideas from a visual point of view. I was saying to a colleague at FDPW the other day how I had made so many possibilities based on my essential idea that it was getting ridiculous so I thought - in fact I just wanted to get on with the practicalities of making it.

Saturday 4 April 2009

Krakow print again.....Prints submitted

I will be amazed if any of these get selected because the standard for this prestigious triennial is extremely high. I was probably the most pleased with the red print but .........we will see.
These are all large prints eg 100 x 80 cm - that kind of size.

These are now extremley hard work for me to do what with my disability (and that's even with the fantastic technical support I get from B.M. at FDPW). I am actually now working on a large drypoint, for another forthcoming international graphics competition in Serbia. But it's ever so labour intensive. I have been doing some tests. I have switched from copper to aluminium because I wouldnt have been able to cope with scribing into that metal - it needed so much pressure. We will see. Now I am so so tired. Tomorrow 's another day - gawd willing............

I had a lovely email this evening from Angela Heideman (fellow printmaker at FDPW) which made me smile - such things are beautiful..... generous and always appreciated.

Friday 3 April 2009

The First Yunnan International Print Exhibition 2008

I would have loved to attend this event but was none the less quite pleased to be selected for inclusion in this exhibition which I submitted work for. I was very pleased with the high production standard of the catalogue, which they sent to me, along with the safe return of my works - not that long after the exhibition closed.

I have scanned a few of my favorites and here they are: I may scan and post some more in the future ....we shall see.

Thursday 2 April 2009

Drypoint on Perspex

I have come across an excellent post on the Lighthouse Keepers Cat blog by "Minu", from Wellington, New Zealand. It explains very well particularly for beginners how to do drypoint on perspex.

So take a look and read through - the photos are pretty instructive and well _ it's uncomplicated.

Here's a sweet and somewhat straight forward drypoint by Peta Hansen. I came across it, on portjackson press which has some excellent printmaking on it - always worth a visit.

Getting back to drypoint - well it's a process whereby one makes a scratch into a surface, and then you push ink into this for printmaking purposes. Usually one scratches these 'lines' or 'marks' into metal such as aluminium a softish metal, or copper - which is harder). One often nowadays finds people working onto perspex.

If that sounds just too easy for words then believe me it is in a a way!! BUT as with all printmaking processes doing it well is a lifelong learning curve. There are always a plethora of technical variations to consider. The main thing though is its one of those things that you learn about through DOING IT !!