Sunday, 25 November 2012

Hideaway - My 20:20 print 2012

My own 20:20 print, Hideaway, is a 3 colour multi-plate linocut design, based on a sketch I made of a small seaside cottage in Cwm-yr-Eglwys on the north Pembrokeshire coast, near Fishguard.

20:20 Print Exchange is launched!

On Friday (23 November 2012) Hot Bed Press in Salford launched its biggest 20:20 Print Exchange yet! Well done to Sean and all the helpers, who sorted prints from 30 print workshops across UK and Ireland. 392 printmakers in total produced prints for the collection.

Each artist has now received their own box of 20 random prints. I picked mine up on Friday night and am delighted with the mix. Some of my particular favourites from my own box were these lovely prints:


They are (in order) by: Jenny Lines of Oxford Printmakers, Emily Rae Manning of Stew Print Rooms and Peter Kirley of Fife Dunfermline Print Workshop. Copyright is with the artist.

To see the full set of 392 prints, arranged by print workshop:

Hours of happy viewing!!

Full details at:

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Manchester Christmas Markets 2012

The Manchester Christmas markets have just opened and - for the first weekend only - as a group of printmakers, with links to Prospect Studios, we have a stall in the centre of Manchester at Exchange Square. It's where the big wheel used to be, right opposite the Next store, so not too hard to find.

There's work from 10 or more local printmakers on show and for sale - original etchings, linocuts, aquatints... I had a great day yesterday on the stall in the afternoon with Jill Randall. We had a lot of interest and some sales - of prints and cards. It was a good chance to have a chat to people and get feedback. Fortunately it wasn't too cold - and it was close to the food and gluhwein stalls! Thanks to everyone who came along! It's continuing through until around 7pm tonight. Well done to Alan Birch for all the organising!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Save Stockport Art Gallery!

Stockport Council is planning to close Stockport Art Gallery & War Memorial during the week, instead they propose to open on Saturday and Sunday afternoons only. The council will also end temporary and community exhibitions at Stockport Art Gallery & War Memorial, which it has done since opening in 1925.
SKarts have revitalised the Stockport Open Contemporary exhibition in the last few years - and fear that this will be the death of the gallery because there will be nothing to draw the public to it. It is also an issue of great regional importance because Stockport Art Gallery & War Memorial is one of the few public galleries in the region where emergent artists can exhibit their work. As someone who has benefited from the chance to exhibit, I would love to see Stockport Council review this plan and support local art and artisits.

20:20 Print Exchange preparations

It's a fantastic relief to know that I my edition of 25 linocut prints for this year's 20:20 Print Exchange are completed and drying happily. I chose to make life a little more challenging - so this year my design is in 3 colours - on 3 plates.

I've included below a test print in a different colourway - and some views of the earlier stages. The print is called 'Hideaway' and is based on a sketch I made of a small cottage by the sea on the North Pembrokeshire coast. I hope you like it!

Stage 1 and 2 are shown below:

Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Open Contemporary is now OPEN!

The Open Contemporary art exhibition 2012 at Stockport Art Gallery opened to the public today. I had a peaceful and enjoyable look round today. And couldn't help buying a couple of pieces of work - a beautiful oak bowl by Paul Jones and a small oil painting of Styal Country park by Stephen Jones.

Yesterday's Preview Night was packed out, the band was playing and awards were presented early in the evening. This year the exhibition spreads over both levels - which is a real improvement - and it feels like there's a lot of work there. You get an idea of the exhibition from the photos below. I hope you get the chance to come along!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Stockport Open Contemporary 2012

I'm delighted to have had 2 prints accepted this year into the Stockport Open Contemporary art exhibition. It opens to the public on Saturday 12 May - and goes through until June 24. And it's free!

You can see the prints below - and if you get the chance to visit, please look out for "Kata Tjuta" and "No beaten path".

"No beaten path" is a 2 plate linocut with an etching over the top. The image is from one of my sketches of a mid Wales landscape. The linocuts are printed in oil-based inks onto canaletto 300g paper, which proved strong and even enough to withstand wetting, in order to print the etching plate over the top.

"Kata Tjuta" is created through 2 processes using water-based ink and printed entirely by hand. The colours reflect the heat and hues of central Australia. Firstly I hand-painted aboriginal-inspired designs onto a perspex plate to create unique backgrounds, then I overprinted my linocut design of the Olgas (Kata Tjuta), allowing the 2 layers to interact and capture the clash and interplay of cultures.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Prospect Studios

I've just spent another fantastic weekend at Alan Birch's printmaking workshop at Prospect Studios in Waterfoot, Rossendale, experimenting with a mix of etching, drypoint and multi-block lino cut printmaking. I had plans to do a vast amount - including monoprinting - which I've had to leave until next time.

These workshops are great and I feel like a regular already, despite this only being my second visit. The atmosphere is relaxed, the group size is small, with around 7 or 8 people, everyone is busy on their chosen projects and Alan manages to help and guide everyone - and supply plenty of tea! Perfect!

Below you can see how things went. I created a 2 block linocut using oil-based ink, then added a drypoint image over the top. This is the first attempt at this image. I have refined the lino blocks ready for next time, when I'll print in softer colours. I've also created an etching along the same lines, with 2 linocut blocks to match. Photos will follow next month...

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Going Back in Time

Today I had a very enjoyable and unusual day of printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Instead of printing my own lino work, I spent the day experimenting and printing from stunning, very old woodblocks, on behalf of their owner.

 The first block is a delicate wood engraving of an orchid, which I printed on a range of papers as well as mountboard card, using the Albion press and the lightest covering of ink to bring out the texture and detail. You can see below the press, the block and one of the printed image.

The second block is a coppered textile woodblock of a bull, almost certainly the trademark stamp of a former Manchester cotton trader. This block would have had a handle on the back and would have been stamped onto cotton by hand.  I used a spare pillowcase to get an impression of the image and to trial a mixture of acrylic paint and textile medium, normally used in textile screenprinting. I applied this using a roller and pressed the large woodblock onto the fabric, which I had pinned onto a textile mat to provide extra give. This worked fairly well, but I’m planning to experiment further in terms of ink, pressure levels and material – probably giving calico a try next time. The effect was good all the same and it was marvellous to see this very old woodblock share its image of a bull in chains again after what must be many years.

I will be returning to this project in the next few weeks and will be investigating further ways to enhance the printed images, including hand finishing the wood engraving with a subtle watercolour wash. A very interesting day!