I am really excited about being asked to show some of my linoprints in the downstairs gallery at the Bowery in Leeds in the New Year. It has meant a lot of frantic printing in my bitterly cold garage-cum-studio but will be worth it. Opening night is Friday 7th January and it runs until the 8th April.
I haven’t picked up a paint brush in about ten months. I found the low level of interest in the prints of my watercolours in my online shop a bit disheartening. I think my style is probably a bit too traditional for many people and my very chic italian friend has told be that my taste for heavy rough watercolour paper is very old fashioned (she being a successful acrylics and inks artist herself). It’s also highly likely that I am just not good at it.
So I was quite surprised to sell copies of these three paintings and greetings cards from some of my others at the two shows I've done recently. Just wish I had remembered to take Two Starlings along too! This has encourage me to do a little more painting now that its getting a bit chilly in my print workshop (also known as “that bloody freezing garage”).
Just to report that I had a great day at the Art Market in Holmfirth last Sunday. A great venue, superb organisation and a good stream of people with a genuine and informed interest in handmade and crafted work. A really rewarding day all round.
I thoroughly recommend a visit to the next Art Market which is on Sunday 14th November.
I've been playing around with printing on different materials and this is my attempt at printing on board, 4mm ply to be precise. I whitewashed the board, hand-painted the flag and then distressed it a little. I then printed my "In the Frame" lino block with the usual black relief print ink. I distressed it a little more and sealed it with a water-based glaze tinted with a little brown drawing ink. I would love to know what you think.
OH wanted the Caribou to have the northern lights as a backdrop but I wanted to keep it plain white. So I used some of the colours seen in the aurora borealis on the body instead. It was tricky to ink-up selective areas with the different colours and then to merge them in, but I am quite happy with some of them.
I then used the inks up on this.
Reminds me of tie-dyed tassel skirts and the whiff of patchcouli oil!
My OH convinced me that reindeer are old hat and their cousins the caribou are pulling the sleigh this Christmas (nothing to do with being a Pixies fan then, eh?). Admittedly caribou have fancier headgear than their Northern European kin so i decided to give it a go.
Not sure its quite there yet but i'll roll out some ink tonight and see what comes up.
If you happen to find yourself near Dubrovnik airport don't miss this fantastic little museum at Cilipi. Its full of beautiful embroidery, garments, linens and pages and pages of exquisite little samplers. I just wish I had had more time to look and had taken more photos but we had a flight to catch.
Although I haven't exactly been over-productive in the printing department recently I thought I would take a break from the thinking about printing bit with a wee spell of other making. It was spurned on by some scraps of book binding leather I picked up during a recent visit to Shepherds Bookbinders (a paper lover's absolute heaven). I fancied making myself a nice autumnal feel brooch - and then couldn't stop. It started with a suede and copper version, extended into leather and fabric and now I am immersed in trying to create a rich lacquered effect on card. I'll let you know how I get on.
Today we took National Route 65 from New Ellerby to Hornsea. This is a lovely flat route and extremely safe for children, essential when you have an easily distracted four year along for the ride. We saw some great wildlife along the way, including a hare which raced towards us with a cloud of dust behind before turning on a sixpence and darting into the neighbouring field, and a fancy dress cycling party, complete with Vicki Pollard.
At Hornsea we paddled in the sea, wondered at the hoards of ladybirds, had an ice cream then headed back to New Ellerby. A rather nice Sunday.
This was a bit of an experiment. I printed the Goldfinches onto a more textured paper (Hahnemuhle) than the smooth white Zerkall printing paper that I usually use to give a more open and less densely inked finish. I then hand-tinted the beech and hawthorn leaves and branches with Rohrer & Klingner antique drawing ink in Ginster, Payne's Grey and Astoria Brown. A very relaxing painting exercise.
I love these small but striking finches. Unlike many bird with interesting plummage the females and males have equal dibs on the glad rags so they make quite a sight when seen together on the bird feeder or in the hedgerow. This latest lino print will soon be in my Etsy and Folksy shops.
Finally got around to stocking my Etsy Shop. But my is that site BIG, just watch this !. I'll be adding items through the next week or so but it does feel a bit like tipping them over the edge of one very big black hole. Any tips on getting noticed there will be very gratefully received.
Phew my latest print is nearly complete. So far I've hand cut three lino blocks, one for the buff colour, one for the red and the yellow and a third for the black. I've printed a few on newsprint just to check the registration, made a few tweaks here and there and printed the buff, red and yellow on good paper. I've just finished cutting a few unwanted high points off of the black block so am ready to do the next and final inking. I'm really tempted to do it now but the red & yellow aren't quite dry so fingers crossed for a quite hour or two in the morning to get this done.
I've been meaning to film a bit of the lino cutting process for a while but only remembered as I was towards the end of cutting this one. Probably a good thing as is took over 5 hours. So here's 60 seconds worth, at double speed.
Picked up a few bits and pieces on our walk today, a few raspberries, a handful of early blackberries and an unripe cobnut. Also this lovely little glass bottle stopper, which I wound in a scrap of copper wiring I found in the loft.
There's lots of this glassy slag in the fields around here. I love the graduation of the colours. If anybody knows if there is a way to work with this do let me know, I suspect it would just shatter in a stone tumbler.
You know that you've been drooling over all those US prairie chic blogs for far too long when you find yourself handwashing a grubby hessian feedsack picked up from the side of the road. I have reached that point. Though I did rein myself in when it came to ironing it. Still it will make good storage bag for the shed.