The Flowers have Gone

So pleased … “The Flowers have Gone” … the screen print I created at the same time as my WW1 banners can be seen immediately as you walk in the door at The Rodd exhibition in the Gallery at The Sidney Nolan Trust for Herefordshire arts week
The exhibition opens tomorrow, Thursday 4 September, 6.30-8.00pm. Please come along and bring your friends.
See more about the venue at  http://www.sidneynolantrust.org and about Herefordshire arts week at http://www.h-art.org.uk

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“In the Gallery there is a superb collection of Fine Art Prints, including examples of screen printing, collagraph, lithography, wood cut, etching, embossing and cyanotypes. Also on show are a range of Artist’s Books as well as unframed prints and cards. Exhibiting artists: Jill Barneby, Viv Barraclough, Jeannie Brown, Sue Campbell, Ethan Carey Seaton, Mike Clements, Drusilla Cole, David Ferry RE, Denise Fordyce, Elizabeth Gardner, Justine Glynne Jones, Jane Harding, Liza Harding, Sarah Jameson, Victoria Keeble, Tom Martin, Heather Prescott, Viv Sole, Tracy Thursfield, Debbie Todd, Gini Wade, Clare Woods, Gordon Yapp, plus the Cardiff Sessions group of collaborative printmakers and Members of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE).”

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H.ART VENUE 80 & VENUE 82                5 – 14 SEPTEMBER 2014 / 11.00AM – 5.00PM

 

New Media Conversion

I have recently undergone a conversion moment and discovered screen printing. Rather I have discovered I can screen print and I really like the medium. My occasional past attempts have always been frustrating and disappointing so I have by passed the process but this time was different …success at last. I eventually achieved the quality of mark and the scale of imagery that I wanted. It took a lot of mistakes until I felt remotely in control of the technical aspects & registration. Most importantly I discovered I could use the medium in expressive and experimental ways.

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The prints shown here are my work in progress exploring personal ways of interpreting the poppy imagery of war & remembrance. Trying to make new work with poppy symbolism that might be even remotely original and personal was a daunting process. However, technique and subject matter worked together. As is so often the case the process combined with chance & accident to become the generator driving ideas.

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This weekend at Llanfair Waterdine http://www.llink.org.uk/art.html and at the Grange in Ellesmere http://www.thegrange.uk.com/Grange/Book_Arts_Open_Day.html the first prints and the artists books made with them will go on show.

 

 

Revisiting the Past … Original prints for £10

BLUE POSTER

Taking part in arts events means that I must review my work no matter if it has been done months or even years ago to see if it is suitable to exhibit. The Chester Print Fair this weekend is no exception. On the poster it states …. prints from £10. That offers me the challenge to clear out and sell past work I have moved on from. I always find it hard to decide on a price for my work and now I need to determine that something is worth only £10 or maybe £15 or even £20. Should selection be determined by size, failure to sell, age, or because it has been cropped from a larger piece of work in the search for a better outcome? Should I put the selected low priced work in a “Bargain Box” or slip it between the other pieces I am happy with in the browser? All this causes mild anxiety as reviewing my work leads me to consider my “progression” that most enduring and favoured of educational measurements. Then comes fear … Am I actually regressing and endlessly reconsidering and reconfiguring work that I should abandon to the paper recycling? Worse still I could conclude that my prints are all failures as they do not conform to the zeitgeist and my techniques are full of faults.

Time to stop, make coffee, rummage, reassess, reassure self and resolve the dilemma by simply putting work that I like in a pile. Finally everything is sorted … I have evaluated, progressed, identified failure, censored, cropped, adapted, reworked, remounted, renamed, relabelled, checked and priced everything.  “Bargains” at £10 rising to perhaps £…. will be the preserve of the odd experiments resulting in prints that are perfectly OK but will never be printed again or “editioned”. Alternatively, I could just label the box … “Cut up for card making” as any resulting cards made will at least be contemporary, unique and original. In addition … they always sell.

 

 

Overcoming Creative Block

This month (Advice for Artists) Overcoming Creative Block is currently keeping me focused as I have been posting a drawing a day on https://www.facebook.com/28DrawingsLater.waiting for ideas
The ideas have been brewing for a while and my sketchbook is littered with scribbles on scraps of paper. After I came to the end of the Advice for Artists and Photographers series I determined to develop the ideas but it has taken until now. At present I am drawing … will the drawings develop into etchings? I’m not sure yet as there are other ideas for prints on my drawing board.
Right now I have to keep drawing … It is pure enjoyment (when it goes ok that is!)

Performance Figures … Circus & Dance Etchings

Some of my prints are currently exhibited at the Hay Makers Gallery, St. John’s Place, Hay,  until 16th November. See http://www.haymakers.co.uk/visiting_artists.html
The  Gallery, in the centre of Hay on Wye, is a real treasure trove full of varied and beautiful original art and craft work.

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I have put in the work shown here and other prints which can be seen under ‘etchings.’ Mainly they are from my circus series supplemented with other work that will hang well together.
I have also been working on an artists digital book using the prints as illustrations but have to experiment further with different papers before I am satisfied with the design.

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Between other projects such as Encyclopedia Britannica shown in my last post I continue to work on circus and dance drawings. It is to drawing from life and the moving figure that I constantly return as I am mesmerised by the skill and beauty of the performers. Ideas for further prints are not yet resolved but I remain optimistic that some designs worth pursuing will soon emerge from the endless pile of quick watercolour sketches.

Collaboration & Creativity = New Directions

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Although I make Artists books I have never, before now that is, undertaken to create an altered book. Then the opportunity to transform a 1950’s volume of Encyclopaedia Britannica presented itself earlier in the year along with a planned exhibition.

Here it is … finished … my collaboration with Artist Angela Martin for Herefordshire arts week h-Art. http://h-art.herefordshire.gov.uk/ It is part of the exhibition in the beautiful tithe barn at the Sidney Nolan Trust at The Rod just outside Prestigne. http://www.sidneynolantrustorg

We entitled our finished Volume … Seeds of Enlightenment and it was inspired by our ongoing project ‘Art Allotments’ where artists send each other envelopes of their rejected/failed art work and make new collages/art work from what they receive. See more at the blog on artists newsletter
http://www.a-n.co.uk/artists_talking/projects/single/605604

Our exploration excavated the roots of Encyclopaedia Britannica and took a sideways look at the dissemination and dispersal of the seeds of knowledge and parallels with the seeds of creativity. First the centre pages of Volume 9 were dug out. This created a space to display a collection of seed packets we made from the extracted paper. We created our own thistle logo and an Art Allotment brand of Prescott & Martin seeds. Each packet contains thistle and paper seeds made from the cut away pages. The resulting varieties are named with reference to Scottish enlightenment philosophers and scientists influential at the time of the founding of the first Encyclopaedia Britannica in Edinburgh in 1768.
In the display the encyclopaedia is in a box or ‘propagator’. This box relates both to providing the right growing environment and to the boxes that transported the original Encyclopaedias. We added compost and materials to ensure the (seeds of) knowledge in Encyclopaedia Britannia would have good conditions to grow, spread, adapt, hibernate, germinate, regenerate or even to ferment. Throughout we recognised the importance of “weed seeds ” that grow along the margins through dispersal and diasporas and, importantly, can survive hostile environments.

Here is the work in progress at an earlier stage.

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After Herefordshire Arts Week the exhibition will travel on to Bristol and later Manchester but details have yet to be confirmed. You can view the other volumes n the exhibition at (http://www.flickr.com/photos/encyclopdia-britannica-challenge/)

Sacred – an investigation

Recently I travelled through the inspiring landscapes of the Outer Hebrides an experience which has taken time to be absorbed and reflected upon and which continues to influence me.
The results so far in my work are a small book entitled simply “Sacred” and a departure from figurative work and a return to etchings of birds, rethinking and developing earlier work.

Sacred

Sacred

bird rising

crows

This recent work, together with other new books and a selection of drawings and prints is currently on display for Shrewsbury Open Studios. http://shrewsburyopenstudios.co.uk
Last weekend and this weekend July 13th & 14th. I am sharing my house and studio with four other artists. Though working in a range of very different media we are all linked in one way or another. Two printmakers who make books, myself and Jacqui Dodds. http://jacquidodds.blogspot.co.uk Russell Parry http://shrewsburyopenstudios.co.uk/portfolio/russell-parrys-v-art-journals/
Sue Challis http://shrewsburyopenstudios.co.uk/portfolio/sue-challis/ video & installations
and Judi Willerton http://shrewsburyopenstudios.co.uk/portfolio/judi-willerton with mixed media work.