Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Nice to look at.. a new printmaking show

This is the reason for my recent blog absence! I've been busy preparing for and curating "Nice to look at.." - an exhibition featuring 7 contemporary printmakers, including yours truly, at the gallery space in Islington Mill. The opening party starts at 18.30 on the 8th of May and all are welcome. It should be a good shindig, followed by bands and a bar open late next door in the club space. For more info please click the link "Nicetolookatprint" on the right for a blog dedicated to the show.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

New Galleries

Some weeks ago I took a few days off to approach galleries and get feedback about my current work from the experts that sell it.. The positive outcome is that my work is now being sold through 'The Edge Gallery' in Lancaster and from the beginning of April, 'The Craft Centre and Design Gallery' in the Leeds City Art Gallery buildings. I'm really excited about this as both of the galleries stock a good selection of original prints and know the difference between fine art printmaking and manufactured reproductions. 

Monday, 2 March 2009

Inky goodness

A sexy new etching with a rather nifty bit of inky 'rollover'.. 
I've put down my tools this week to start looking for new venues to exhibit. I'm wondering how much this credit crunch lark affects art sales? I think a huge amount of the problem is the reportage of the issue, it has made people panic and spend less, come on people of Britain, buy stuff! 
You see, if you've always been fairly poor, you're still fairly poor so it doesn't really affect my circle of generically creative friends. I hope the art world is still thriving..

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Nice to look at..

New pretty things., both double plate etchings with aquatint and the top image also has a 'rollover' added, a technique where you roll a thin veneer of ink over the wiped plate prior to running it through the press. 
A friend of mine saw these and suggested I have an exhibition entitled 'Nice to look at'. I love the idea. Few artists exhibit work that celebrate being 'pretty', it's almost anarchic!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Oh to be working for Heals in the fifties..

Occasionally my thoughts turn to 'fantasy house', it's a bit like lottery daydreaming and involves fantasising about how I would decorate and make objects for the dream house that I don't own. Sometimes it's a rural pile in North Yorkshire, sometimes a 1950s built apartment in the city (maybe Paris?). 
I think there is a part of me that's a frustrated textiles designer as often in my daydreams I'm screenprinting onto huge swathes of fabric to hang from my (obviously massive) fantasy windows. January's etchings seem to echo some of my frustrations and remind me very much of some of my favourite interior patterns. I love the work of Lucienne Day, particularly her 1950s designs for interior retailer Heals. Man I'd love her job..

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Georgian Salford

A new year, a new post (I vow to post more before the start of 2010!). In recent weeks I've been working on a series of etchings that depict the last remaining Georgian neighbourhood in Salford. It's a shockingly beautiful urban area located behind the famous St Philips church where just a few very grand terraces remain. The image above was created from a viewpoint in the fabulously shabby University of Salford car park lending I think a little grunge to the scene.       This work was created in response to a commission request from a young couple who live in a particularly lovely one of the terraces. They were very interested in the work of L.S. Lowry, who of course was a Salford lad and was famed for his depictions of the gritty lives of this city's residents. The process of creating the 5 pieces in this series was quite revealing in that I discovered how much specific subject matter can dictate a style. You assume that an artist has his or her own 'signature' contained within the marks they make, but in the process of making these etchings I found that by working directly and honestly in figurative landscape observation the 'Lowry' look just appeared, especially at the initial 'proof' stage before the tonal aquatint was added to the linear base. This was exciting as I can still see my own 'signature' but feel that I've absorbed a bit of Salford's history somehow. 

Monday, 3 November 2008

More black blobs..

Some more blobby black things, gotta love those tram lines..

This could be the last of the monoprints for a while. I started etching at Hot Bed Press last week and have been seduced by the possibilities of tiny spidery lines. Things are becoming very fine and very minimal indeed. 
The experience of working in a printmaking studio is quite sensual. It smells inky and metallic, it's full of great Victorian looking machines and the processes are really tactile. I love grounding a plate to engrave a drawing into, spreading the waxy ground with a pummelly thing (I'm sure there is a correct tool name for this). It's most enjoyable anyway and really makes you appreciate the history of craft based processes in this age of cheap mass produced 'throw away' items.