Glorious Mornings, Evenings and a little more printing.

I just love this little engraving by William Blake.  
I want! I want! is one of 18 tiny engravings, measuring 6cm x 5cm, that document the different stages of man’s life, published together as For Children: The Gates of Paradise in 1793.
Suzi, plus others in the printroom
Vilokini working on her monotypes

 I have been struggling with a dry point this week.  Sadly my rook ended up looking more like a chicken, then a pigeon.. hopefully I can rescue it. 

Going to University this morning, across Jesus Green.

On the way home from University across Jesus Green.


Blowing our own trumpets!

Barry and I were very happy to learn that we had been included in an article on ‘Family Ties: Related Artists Across the West’ in the November’s issue of Southwest Art magazine.  I was even happier to be told that my painting of Wicken Fen Autumn was going to be on the front cover.

I continue to walk my mile and a half to university two or three days a week.  It has been just gorgeous weather and walking across Jesus Green and Midsummer Common or along the River Cam is such a treat. The photos below epitomise Cambridge!

So far we have had demonstrations of Intaglio, Relief Printing, Screen Printing, Photo Etching and Viscosity Printing!  To ensure that my head doesn’t spin off my shoulders I have focused in on a little of what I know and am experimenting with dry point, drawing, scraping and burnishing to see what happens.  There is such a temptation to try everything and get nowhere, so I am sticking with Intaglio at the moment on the advice of my tutor.  


Last week we had a Relief Printing demonstration given to us by our teacher/technician, John Williams, who is an accomplished printmaker.   It is so exciting to witness all the possibilities.  I learn something new each week.   Below are a few photos, one of John’s woodcut and some books he had laid out for us to peruse.  I have also included some sketches of Wicken Fen.

Barry’s show was on Friday and on Saturday he sold 5 paintings, so that’s a good start! 

Barry McCuan – Santa Fe show – 14th October 2011

Sunset, nr. Arles 21 x 28 Oil/Linen

Barry has a show at Ventana Fine Art this coming Friday, 14th October,  5 – 7 pm.  Please go if you can!  When he came over to visit me in the summer, he nipped over to France to stay with our friend Michael in Avignon and  they went out painting together.  He also went to visit one of his favourite painters….

Gathering my thoughts

At last, I have some time to think about my MA.  Last week I attended my first Contextual Studies tutorial.  I really liked it.  Going over my notes, I am amazed at how many new avenues of enquiry this has opened up.  I find myself searching for information on W.G. Sebald’s Rings of Saturn, leading me onto Grant Gee’s film, entitled Patience (after Sebald), which I am now trying to source.

William Carlos Williams poem, A Sort of a Song was mentioned, as was Geothe’s Colour Wheel, (did I know that Goethe wrote about this?).  Death of the Author by Roland Barthes, which I think may require me to undergo a brain transplant and one of Barry’s favourite books by Joseph Campbell, Hero with a Thousand Faces was also discussed briefly, including reference to a ‘Nekiya’ and how Post Graduates ‘must endure the journey’ which I suppose is all to do with dismantling oneself!   I can’t wait!   A book I am interested in reading but have never heard of it before is Mr. Weston’s Good Wine by T.F. Powys … and that isn’t all…. but my head is spinning and I must go out, battle the gale force winds and buy a cauliflower.

On a more practical level, the hot plates in the print room are very high and the rollers are heavier than I am used to, so in addition to the fact that I have to walk over a mile to get to University in the morning and back again in the evening, and have been dragged off to circuit training by my friend Jo at the rowing club, I shall also get a little exercise climbing onto the provided step to attend to my plates and hopefully strengthen at least one of my arms in the process!  I have prepared two plates.. but for what?

Before I go, since I am now back in Wicken Fen country, below is a new image..  now, for that cauliflower… 

Two Paintings

Fall Cottonwoods with pond 9 x 16 Oil/Panel
Meandering River ii 9 x 16 Oil/Panel

Here are a couple of new paintings which I managed to finish in between all the other stuff!  I had my first tutorial and lecture last week.   It was certainly stimulating and it is going to stretch my brain somewhat, which is great.  I found the tutorial really helpful with lots of discussion about risk, unlearning and dismantling oneself!  Lots of book suggestions, so I don’t think I shall be reading many novels for a while!  I am not sure what I think about Post Modernism though… any thoughts?