Friday, 9 October 2015

#printoctober days 2 to 9

 I'm aiming to make 18 of these little prints and then spend some time experimenting with different arrangements and colours. Check on my progress and see the work of other printmakers on twitter #printoctober.

I am donating £3.00 from the sale of each little 'Cobnuts' print to the Save the Children Refugee Crisis Appeal

Click on the image to buy. 

Friday, 11 September 2015

On dulse

Dulse (Seaweed) Seasoning.

Collect fresh dulse from idyllic Scottish beach. 

Beach near Mull of Galloway

Carry in rucksack for rest of day.
Rinse prodigiously under cold tap water.
Leave to dry.
Leave to dry some more.
Leave to dry for a bit longer.
Pop it in a (cold) oven because the smell is beginning to overpower the caravan.
Nonchantly dispose of damp seaweed and hope the the rabbits will eat it

campsite rabbits

Collect fresh dulse from idyllic Scottish beach. 

nope, none of this is dulse but pretty isn’t it?

Wash dulse in campsite sinks and hope no one else comes in to see your madness.
Leave to dry.
Dry in a very low oven.
Turn occasionally.
Ignore the smell.
Consider it dry enough (it probably isn’t).
Heat pan of oil – not olive unless it is all that you have (it was).
Add driest piece of dulse and watch it crisp
Remove, cool, taste and marvel at its subtle burnt flavour.
Add a not-so dry piece.
Try not to panic as damp dulse hits oil and spits violently (feel reassured that caravan has fire blanket but ask family to vacate the vehicle just in case).
Remove, cool, taste and chew.
And chew some more.
And a bit more.
Repeat cooking and store fried seaweed.
One week later remember to retrieve fried seaweed from caravan. 
Fried dulse. And yes it was red until I fried it.

 Consider fried dulse's best use is probably in the compost bin.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


Rossbeigh Dune Violas - an original lino print
I am delighted to have been asked back to exhibit in the Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens cafe through the month of September. This lovely venue will be the perfect setting for my recent floral studies.

Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens & Nurseries
Stewart Lane,
YO19 6HP
 The opening times are available here.

Photos from last year's exhibition can be seen here

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Rossbeigh Sea Holly

Here's a glimpse at the processes behind creating a print from two blocks of lino.
Rossbeigh Sea Holly

This small edition of just eight prints is available in my Etsy and Folksy shops.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Flamborough Hedgerow - new print

Red campion, cow parsley clover, cleevers and plantains all spilling out from beneath a trim hawthorn hedge. A month or two back we c'vanned at Flamborough. We snuck out early one morning to head for the cliffs and the birds but it was these beauties that caught my eye.

This is probably one of the more complex reduction lino prints I have made (it certainly fried my brain at times!). But it was fun working out how to render the character of each different species of flower and leaf.

Flamborough Hedgerow is now available to buy in my Folksy shop.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Viking ships

A few photos from a recent trip to Copenhagen by way of an introduction to a new set of prints inspired by the fragments of Viking ships found at Roskilde, Denmark.

The (almost) step-less Round Tower, built with this spiraling cobbled ramp, apparently so that King Christian IV could be transported to the observatory at the top in a horse drawn carriage.
The Maerske Building.

Off-shore windfarm.

Remains of Viking shop at the vikingeskibsmuseet
Viking Ships I Lino Print

Viking Ships II Lino Print

See my Folksy and Etsy shops for these and other original lino prints.

Monday, 15 June 2015

rolling rolling rolling

When I started printing this morning this was the roller I grabbed - a Japanese hard shore rubber from Intaglio Printmakers. It's about 5 years old. I've mashed the heads of the screws that hold the roller to the handle so have to wash it in one piece. The rubber now has a slightly sticky texture, not sure if this was because I used white spirit on it a couple of times, or age or just general abuse *. Oh and the surface is no longer pristine, no major dings just a slight softening of the edges and some shallow texture. However this is still the one I choose.

Just over a year ago I was seduced by the gorgeous glossy green-ness of a durathene roller. It cost me a small fortune. And still I pick up my old rubber roller. Why? you might ask, well lend me your ears...

The durathene roller itself is a beautifully smooth surface and picks up and lays down ink a treat, it's the rest of the tool that irks me.

#1 the screws holding the roller bit in place are loosely fitting, hide water after washing, rust and then when least expected distribute rust powder over my ink

#2 probably because of #1 my roller squeaks. a lot!

#3 the wooden handle, which screws into the roller handle unscrews itself slightly with each rolling action and has to be repeatedly re-tightened.

I could probably deal with these but the last is my real bug bear

#4 it has no built-in rest to keep the freshly inked roller clear of any surface that will foul the ink

Basically this expensive product has the handle of a tool a 1/5 of its price.

Other rollers I have known ....

I have a smaller version of the Japanese rubber roller, I sometimes use this for selective inking. The other tool in the photo is an old rubber roller, I've  never used this for inking (the surface is very cracked) but it is useful for hand rubbing prints on fine tissues. In the past I've bought and used these cute little rollers nice smooth action and inking but the small circumference makes them impracticable for larger pieces.

I once bought a cheap black plastic roller. Nasty :-( 

* I use Caligo Safe Wash Inks and clean up with soap and water.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Ringed Plovers at New England Bay

New print alert!

Ringed Plovers at New England Bay

I love these little ringed plovers and the way they scuttle comically along the tideline. They blend so subtly with their environment that its easy to mistake them for tumbling pebbles. I watched this little group as the sun rose over New England Bay, Scotland.

I created this print from two plates - one for the background of blue blended to sand and the other for the details in buff, orange and black. The detail plate was cut back after each inking until only the little black areas were left proud.

The print was not without mishap. I convinced myself that the orange was too much but was happier when the black was added. And there was a tricky moment with a wayward leg.

TL - the wayward leg TR- the offending section removed BL - a substitute leg carved from a sliver of rubber and BR individually added to all 18 prints in the edition!

There are just 18 prints in this edition and they are available in Folksy and Etsy shops now.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Vote for Newts!

Click to vote for this piece (you will have to scroll down to find it - hopefully not too far!)

This print has been shortlisted in the Jackson's Art IMPRESSIONS OF NATURE PRINTMAKING COMPETITION . Public voting is open until the end of April and can be accessed here .

Monday, 16 March 2015

The Hepworth Wakefield Print Fair

Print Fair image from a design by Laura Slater.

I'll be one of over 50 printmakers at the Hepworth Wakefield Print Fair this coming weekend. 

You can read my profile on The Hepworth Wakefield Blog here

Do come and say hello :-)

Click HERE for more details

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Portpatrick Harbour, Mull of Galloway, Scotland

Portpatrick Harbour

From sketch to final edition

Top: watercolour sketch|blended greens & blues from the 1st block| pale grey from the 2nd block
Middle:  Mid-grey from 2nd block|lino block cut back for darkest grey| darkest grey from 2nd block
Bottom: 1st block cut back and inked for darker blues and greens| final edition out to dry

Portpatrick Harbour
Available now in my ETSY and FOLKSY shops

Thursday, 1 January 2015

prints of 2014
A bright zingy start to the year with these glorious Physalis or Chinese Lanterns based on the armful I gathered from mum's garden. So glad I did it then because she's only had one or two lanterns this year.

This was a commission piece, it was great to challenge myself with some human subjects for a change!

We took a trip to the Isle of Sheppey back in April, I don't remember ever having been there before even though I grew up just 20 miles or so 'upstream' on the Thames.
And from the neighbouring Medway estuary - Upnor Dinghies .

My last print of the year came out of trip to the most southerly point in Scotland. It was a great eye-straining challenge but hopefully worth it!

These an earlier prints are available in my Folksy and Etsy shops.

Thanks for following my blog this past year and here's to a very merry 2015 :-)


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