Monday 28 November 2016

Printmaking Activities first quarter of 2016

Printmaking Activities first quarter of 2016

Leicester Print Competition March 2016

Started the year off working on some mini prints for Big Print Small Impression which Leicester Print workshop host every few years.  I was in their last one so thought I would have another shot at it.

They also tour the exhibition around the UK a fair bit which is also good.  Last time I think I sold six prints - which is always welcome news.

Co incidentally they used the one I sold 6 of (image above) , in their "Call to Artists" - of course they should really have asked me if that was OK with me............. but I didn’t mind.
It was quite a small size - trying to remember now - it was 10 x 10 cm (4 x 4 inches)

One of the images I was working on was about refugees............ Gawd I got so into it trying out various possibilities - like using carborundum ( no actually it was pastel ground)  on cut out figurative shapes to print on top of the three female figures apart from their faces and another possibility  I was considering was to try out having these Greek 'shrine-like'  artifacts to go above the children's heads (to give the sense of them thinking they were going to some kind of "promised land".

Of course there wasn't going to be one of these 'artifacts' on the mothers head because of course she was the person who was having to 'carry' them all to where ever they might find refuge........the horror and pain of it all ......

Here are 2 images from the countless possibilities involved in the creation process.

These were probably the best two and I will at some stage make these.  I have physically made the little plates for the 'shrine like hats'.    I have also made the little plates for the shroud like coverings (except the faces) for the 3 main figures.  By the way the newspaper text that can be seen in the image (above) refers to Bashar Al Asaads deeds to his own people.  

Here are some 'notes to self'............... regarding technical stuff and signification etc:

NOTES re Refugees and overhead Devices etc

Refugees Image..............desire for home.................different  for child than it is for adult.....................
.................dream of a new life, somewhere safe.....................idea of a shrine.........................................

A cut out polypropylene)  of the house overhead form shape.  The prep with gum Arabic and paint on a layer of see-through (transparent/translucent) white - ish blue watercolour.

OUTLINE the three female figures and cut these shapes  from sandpaper, then glue onto mount board. OMIT THE FACE SHAPES in these ...............................

Depending on how that turns out another possibility is to make the 

figure outlines onto polypropylene that has been scratched/sanded.  

Then fill in the black figure areas with carborundum.  I like the 

affiliation these forms  have of "shrouds" in relation to the plight of the refugees. (Similar to the effect I got when I did the BED PRINTS)


Could use  wool or thread sewn onto some paper  of the same size................ and then scan in to PS
 - I may need  print out a copy of the image to put stitching on before scanning it into layering process.
Having said that I do like the idea of having the stitching physically present in the finished art work.
it appeals to me aesthetically and metaphorically
another possibility:


Draw the house form in white/ pale blue chalk pastel onto black Somerset printmaking paper and scan in to Photoshop and then overlay it onto refugees.

Thursday 27 October 2016

International Exlibris + Small Printmaking Competition Sint-Niklaas 2017(submission)

Yesterday, just after lunch C. popped out to post my submission  to the – International Exlibris + Small Printmaking Competition Sint-Niklaas 2017.

DEADLINE:  1st November, 2016.  One had the possibility to enter two categories:


3 Exlibris (bookplates) - image size: (13 x 13 max) on paper size: 15 x 20 cm.

or  SMALL PRINTS   -  3 small prints - image size: 13 x 13 max on paper size: 15 x 20 cm.
It said "all graphic printmaking techniques, including mixed media printmaking techniques, original photographs  and digital works" were eligible
"CITY IN THE FUTURE" – was an optional THEME, which although I wasn't immediately taken with the idea -  I HAD nonetheless  looked into / thought about and considered it,  a while back.  
I had even done some trace monotypes but that was as far as I got so I didn't have anything 'specific' to submit in that regard - I was a little irritated with myself about that,  given the research I'd done - but having put  all the images and files etc   into the 'November' folder,  on my computer - I hadn't really allowed enough time. 

Yes I should have definitely put it into the "October"  folder!!!!!! NEXT TIME !!! what a silly billy.

Anyway .............I submitted three prints to this Saint Nicks event (as I referred to it) these were:

"Last Book II"  pigment archival inkjet and drypoint

"Disappearing Self"  etched zinc emboss on pigment archival inkjet

"Eurydice"  etched steel with pigment archival inkjet chine colle

One thing that occurs to me is that I need to do more small prints maybe about 10 x 10 cm, in size.
I have previously had my work in this event that was in 2011
they even sent me a catalogue book.

Although I am listed as a participant they didn't featured photos of my artwork in the catalogue book - which of course is disappointing.

Depending on how I get on this time (selected or not) and if I am selected - whether my artwork gets featured in the catalogue or not ...............will resolve as to whether I make any further submissions in the future.

Here's a photo of the 2011 catalogue with some of my favourite art works.

Exciting stuff huh !!??  Just love that brown.  Its in the Belgian Flemish language (I used to live in Belgium so I have heard it spoken - it sounds very much like the Dutch language - I wonder if that's what it is with some regional differences)

If you visit the website url , you will see they
 don't have loads of previous exhibitors works to look at ( like they do on eg 'Lahti Miniprint' / Finland) which is a shame...... but if you have a look around you can get to see some art from some  previous competitions/exhibitions - mainly exlibris prints.

Image on the left  side is by Thom O Connor (United States) the text on the page says Prent (i.e., not an exlibris but a small print) Title:  "Through the Blinds"  fotografie, digitale beeldverwerking (which means 'digital image processing'. Oh and yes I used Dutch in the Google translate as there was no "Flemish".

Image on the Right  side is by Nadya Onyshchenko  (Ukraine) ets, materiaaldruk, naaldwerk which means etching, fluid pressure, needle work. Now - I'm wondering what is meant by "fluid pressure"? 

I like that red stitched thread - I feel it integrates very well with the image. 

Image on the left
Bea Van der Heijden  Nederland, Prent Twee meisjes op weg naar een feest 2, ets polymerets, drogenaald, vernis mou, linosnede eervolle vermelding voor diepdruk.  Isn't her work absolutely gorgeous I have known of her work for a few years and I find it very impressive - I love how she uses materials to get the effects she does (such as lino etc) wow!!

Image on the right 

Sandra Wimer   United States, Prent "Homing in"  digitale beeldverwerking,  veelkleurendrukEervolle vermelding voor digitale technieken.

Image on the left side

Alexsandr  Reider  (Russia)

Exlibris prent,  Valentina  ets (etching)

no website found (!)

Image on the right side

Blanca Saccomano   (Argentina)

Exlibris Julian Mattei met titel Happy Football

digitale beeldverwerking, veelkleurendruk


Image on the left

Nicole Henderiks    Nederland

prent feest ballonnen diepdruk kleurendruk collagrafie

Image on the right

Sergey Hrapov   Ukraine

exlibris S Hrapov met als titel Rivals ets aquatint


Image on the left

Frank-Ivo Van Damme  Belgium

Exlibris Helga Becker Bickerich met als titel " in taberna " Kopergravure

Image on the right

Bea Van der Heijden   Nederland

Prent Twee meisjes op een feest

ets polymerets, drogenaald, vernis mou, linosnede

Thought I would finish on another lovely piece by Bea with her beautiful lino etch, polymer etching  etc.

I will do another post if my work gets selected for inclusion - if not I might still do a post to despair as to the injustice of it all............. etcetera.................

oh by the way

I did manage to do some work on one of the trace monotype  images I mentioned earlier in this post.
That was this morning though so too late for sending as a submission.  Here it is.


Tuesday 19 April 2016

Bimpe 2016 prints finished and ready for despatch

 In case you are not aware BIMPE is an international printmaking showcase held  every 2 years in Canada, for small postcard sized artworks created using various printmaking techniques such as etching, woodcut silkscreen etc etc.  The actual exhibition of the selected art works is due to open on the 24th September 2016.  I have been in this exhibition previously although I am not sure whether it was once or twice. 
"I am quite pleased with the final sets of prints packaged up to go in the post to Canada tomorrow.   I packaged them up late last night and they weighed 540 grams approx.  This unfortunately was just over the 500 gram mark which made them a lot more expensive.  So after having extensively wrapped and taped them up _ I had to take a scalpel and "un-package" them ....ugh !!!  Never mind I managed to find some foam board pieces and then tightly wrapped them and put some Amazon brown paper ( which they use as space beads when they send you stuff in boxes) .  I managed to get it down to 340 grams in the end - this made the postage costs less .  Not exactly cheap but more manageable" 

Here are the pieces I submitted:

"These Small Things"  10 x 15 cm  etching and collagraph on archival inkjet on Hahnemuhle paper.

"Inside a Magpie"  I didn't  manage to resolve this piece to my satisfaction in the end,  so I sent a 'replacement' which is the 4th image down in this post.  It's 10 x 15 cm as well.  Like the piece above its an etching/ collagraph  on archival inkjet - with chine colle.  

Here is a photo of the same print which I have outlined using the Photoshop to see what it would look like as I may do this using a fine-liner pigment pen rather than just throw it away. I think it looks better although I'm still not sure.................

"Brothætt" (which means fragile in Icelandic)  it's  10 x 15 cm again and made using drypoint on textured polypropylene which I love to work on because you can really 'selectively wipe' the plate to your hearts content and get it just how you want it to look.  The 'grainy-ness' of the surface holds the ink really well. Of course the other thing is that it is easy to cut to make organically shaped printing plates.

Of the three pieces that I made to submit to this exhibition - this was the one I was most pleased with.  You know sometimes when you are making a piece of artwork you kind of know what is the sense of that which you are hoping to communicate - but then coming up with the title - well sometimes saying it in another language is somehow a way of adding something further to the meaning.  I do'nt know whether any of you understand what I am saying but I thought I would say something on the matter - none the less.

"Stitched Bear" (replacement print for 'Inside a Magpie') a test collagraph proof worked into an archival inkjet print 10 x 15 cm.
Love this little creature too and that 'she' has been stitched together as that kind of expresses the nature of the Polar Bears current 'position'.  That is speaking  in global warming terms as in its continued existence/survival is 'fragile'.  I always think these creatures have such a hard hard time of it - especially the females.

I finally got round to trying 'stitching' in a collagraph - something I have been meaning to do for absolutely ages.  You have to do it in such a way,  so that the stitches that are at the 'back of the item' you are sewing do'nt 'show through,  when you proof the print /roll it through the press (under all that pressure). 
NOTE I will do a separate post on this sometime soon.