Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Pencil flower studies

We have had some really gorgeous weather here over the Easter weekend.  An opportunity to relax in the garden and spend a little time capturing some of the flowers in my sketchbook.  The Spring Snowflake has put on a beautiful show this year - I was lucky to get this image before the flowers started to wither in the heat.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

More folded pocket books

I don't think I have posted these two recent fold books.

The paper for this is similar to a previous one, but I varied the flower shapes -
a card for someone who loves purple and silver

The paper was randomly covered with yellow, orange and mauve acrylics,
 foam stamped with white gesso and gold acrylic splatter added.
The flowers here are made from teabag paper

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours

On Thursday, 11th April, one of our local art groups organised a coach trip to London for those wanting to visit the 207th Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours.  I left home at 7.30 am for the two-stage bus journey across town to get to the coach pick-up point at 9 am. We finally arrived at the Mall Galleries (right by Admiralty Arch) at about 11 am, only to be told we would have to evacuate at 11.30 am for fire practice!  Thank goodness it was a beautiful sunny day and it wasn't too long before we were allowed back in.

However, it was a really excellent exhibition and well worth the day's rush hour travelling.

The full catalogue can be seen here.

Me, Trish and Richard (a couple of sketching friends)
(photo courtesy Pat K)

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Diagonal Fold Book

I have been following the Facebook page of Crafting Handmade Books with Vintage Page Designs.  Each month followers are challenged to produce one of the structures from the book by Heidi Kyle and Ulla Warchol  - "The Art of the Fold".

April goes to Section 23 with instructions for the Diagonal Pocket.

I painted and printed an A3 sheet of computer paper for my construction, adding a single signature of creamy, parchment-type paper.  The finished closed dimensions are approx. 6" x 4".

The inside, with some of the materials used

Sunday, 7 April 2019

Lino printing workshop

Yesterday I attended a lino printing workshop.  Karen Carter an experienced artist, illustrator, printmaker and tutor treated us to a well-organised and informative day's experience.  Some of those present had never used lino before and were a little daunted to begin with, but soon got to grips with the process, resulting in some really nice work.

In addition to single colour printing, Karen explained how the process could be expanded with the use of coloured backgrounds, ink blending, spot colouring, jigsaw printing, collaging, etc., showing us examples of these techniques in her own work.  There wasn't time for us to fully explore these additional techniques, but we are hoping to arrange a follow-up session in the not too distant future. A really inspiring day, thoroughly enjoyed by us all.

I knew we would be working on a piece of lino 6" x 8" and had pre-prepared a reasonably complicated floral design to utilise that size.  However, on the day, I realised that might be a little ambitious for the time available, so opted for a simpler design at half that size.My prints were definitely not all perfect, but I wanted to try out various different papers (book pages, mulberry paper, painted tissue paper, etc.) as well as the spot inking.  I had not used proper oil based printing inks before and I was interested to try these out (these were Caligo Safe Wash Inks).  I have used water-based printing ink in the past, but this did not suit my practice as I often like to add watercolour or fluid acrylic to enhance my finished prints and this ink would be reactivated once liquid paint was applied.  My solution to this problem has been to use gesso, black or white, adding liquid acrylic to the white if needed - this doesn't allow for an extended printing time, but so far my projects have been quite small.

Easy-Cut lino - cuts almost like butter! (size approx. 3.5" x 5")

Painted and gesso printed tissue (left), packing tissue (middle),
gesso printed tissue background with spot-colour over-printed

Spot-colour printed on mulberry paper (left); black print on book page (right)

Some of the prints produced by the rest of the group:

The following are some examples of Karen's work:

Some very small prints making up an interesting accordion booklet.
(Copyright Karen Carter)

A puzzle block - the initial block has been cut into
three separate pieces, inked with different colours,
reassembled and printed as one image
(Copyright Karen Carter)

The same block - one printed white on black (left),
the other printed black on white (right)
(Copyright Karen Carter)

(Copyright Karen Carter)

An effective use of one small block printed onto various different papers
(Copyright Karen Carter)

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Radio sketching!

Our local radio station was celebrating its 30th Birthday today and throughout the day they were doing a number of special interviews.  One presenter, James Thomas, invited the local Urban Sketch group to send along three members to sketch various areas of the building.  I was allocated the kitchen area on the top floor which had panoramic views over the town and towards the Marlborough Downs - definitely daunting.  Although we were there for about an hour, in reality we only had about 30-45 minutes sketching time.  I chose just a small area with a popular bar in the foreground and a view of the church behind - trying to make sense of the confusing jumble of old rooftops in between (I probably missed out a few).

My sketch of Long's Bar and Christchurch 

Dona's fabulous rendition of the radio studio

Stephen drew the short straw - the weather was atrocious, wet, cold and windy,
so they provided him with a parked car to attempt the outside of the building.
However, his view was hampered by the rain on the windscreen and then
steaming up, so he finished off with the car interior.

James Thomas, presenter (left) and Stephen McGrath (right)

Dona Bradley on the right

Monday, 25 March 2019

Pencil sketches

Not much in the way of serious work going on at the moment, but here are a few recent pencil sketches.  These are done in an A5 sketch pad.  The first two pages are from imagination, exploring ways of getting the facial features in the right proportions.  For the third, each was an attempt to capture the likeness of a video presenter - so not static images, but with little variation in the poses.