Thursday, 27 September 2018

Exhibition Inspiration

This year, apart from the fabulous exhibitions I've been to alongside my Printmaking course at Wrexham, I've also really enjoyed getting to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, the Terracotta Warriors exhibition in Liverpool, as well as Salts Mill in Saltaire, Bradford to see the David Hockney exhibition.

I also really loved this year's Printfest in Ulverston, Cumbria. I've included a few pictures here to act as a reminder and ongoing inspiration.

Salts Mill work by David Hockney

Salts Mill - a huge fax print by David Hockney, if memory serves me!

RA Summer exhibition

Summer Exhibition - Woodblock print by Grayson Perry 

Neil Bousfield print commemorating WW1 at the Summer Exhibition

Anish Kapoor RA - work outside the Summer Exhibition 

Terracotta Warrior

Terracotta Warriors in Liverpool

Jason Hicklin etching at Printfest

Gail Mason - winner of the Visitors' Choice at Printfest - with her screenprints

Gail Brodholt's stand at Printfest - Printmaker of the Year 2018

To see my own work, please check out my website: where you will also find an online Shop with currently available work. Thanks!

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Macmillan Linocut Workshop

Yesterday I had the pleasure of getting the Macmillan Craft & Chat group at Wythenshawe Hospital into some linocut printmaking. Linda runs weekly sessions on a Monday morning and she had asked me to show the group what's involved.

Two hours is a fairly short time for linocutting, so I decided to keep the lino pieces small - just 7.5cm squares and limit the number of ink colours. The Craft & Chat regulars, as you'd expect are a creative and lively bunch, so it didn't take them long to get the hang of things, following a short demo!

The results were impressive and you can see the care and attention going in to the cutting. I definitely got the impression that everyone enjoyed trying something new and getting just a little bit messy!


To see more of my work, please check out my website: where you will also find an online Shop with currently available work. Thanks!

Friday, 7 September 2018

'Manchester Old & New III' or 'Why choose Easy Cut Vinyl over Traditional Lino?'

It's only taken me about three years to finish the little set of three 'Manchester Old & New' mini linocuts that I originally intended to create.  Manchester has changed quite a lot in the meantime!

This year I added the last one to the series:

First proof of 'Manchester Old & New III'

This linocut complements numbers one and two, shown below:

'Manchester Old & New II' (on the left) and 'Manchester Old & New I'

For the whole set I chose to use 'Easy Cut Vinyl'. I buy the type I use online from Artesaver. You can see the plate during and at the end of cutting:

Part-way through cutting - with marker pen clearly visible on the easy cut vinyl plate

The finished 15cm x 5 cm plate with cutters
I know some people don't like the character of Japanese vinyl or easy cut vinyl at all. In the dark grey, it can be tricky to see the pencil marks you have transferred to the plate too. I tend to use a marker pen to fix the lines and get them to show up more easily before I start cutting. Some say it lacks 'soul'. It's certainly less green than traditional lino, which is made from clay and linseed oil.

The feel of the vinyl is certainly different and pieces of cut lino do not 'ping' out, as they would with traditional lino. You have to finish the cut and allow the tools to rise to the surface. For me, it has it's place and sometimes I chose traditional lino and other times I choose easy cut lino, depending on the project. For reduction linocuts, for example, I'm more likely to use traditional lino, as the process is a one-off and the lino is finished with at the end.

Here I've summarised some of the advantages I find in the easy cut vinyl I use:
It's robust and does not deteriorate - so good for longer editions or returning to a plate later
  • Plates can de cleaned in washing up water
  • The very first print comes off clean and crisp
  • You can achieve fine detail, as well as you can with traditional lino
  • There is no hessian backing to release small fibres
  • It's probably slightly cheaper and comes in a range of sizes
  • It's easier to cut, especially in the cold
To see more of my work, please check out my website: where you will also find an online Shop with currently available work. Thanks!