New drypoint and Barbara Rae

One of the really great things about being in Cambridge during the week is being able to take advantage of all the events that happen here.  There is a never ending list of films, concerts and galleries to see, so many that it’s hard to choose!  Friday evening I attended a talk by Barbara Rae at Trinity Hall.  I have loved her paintings for years and have an old catalogue from the early 80’s, so it was a real privilege to listen to her talk about her work in such down to earth and amusing way.  It’s so important to see her work up close as she uses a lot of collage and textures.
I am beginning to think I might try painting with acrylic again!
Barbara Rae – Red Terraces Collioure  – 152 cm x 152 cm
I spent all day on Thursday working on a new drypoint and below is the first print.  I have been looking at some botanical drawings by Stella Ross Craig, an illustrator of flora whose masterly drawings of British plants took 26 years to complete.  I really enjoyed drawing this cowslip, although the leaves are too dark in places, so now I have to fix that!

Cowslip and Bees 6″ x 8″ Drypoint in progress

Vermeer and Bridget Riley, drypoint progress and Bumble bee drawings.

Bridget Riley,  Rose Rose 5   oil on linen,
94.6 x 78.3 cm
I can’t believe that I forgot to mention my visit last Saturday to Kettles Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum.  If you find yourself in Cambridge, be sure to visit Kettles Yard.  It is such a beautiful place with so many interesting drawings and paintings.  You can read about it’s origins here
What an amazing contrast these two exhibitions were.  Bridget Riley’s paintings and then a few Vermeers.  Both perfect in different ways.  I just couldn’t get over The Lacemaker.  Seeing it closeup was a privilege.  You can see why his paintings stands out.  The coloured threads hanging from the cushion were almost abstract in their handling.  Amazing. 

Below are some of my less than amazing drawings, and the drypoints I have been working on!
I am learning so much and strangely enough enjoying drawing directly onto the plate.  It’s like magic when you finally get to print.

Small Wonders, Great Works

This Friday is the opening of the Small Wonders, Great Works exhibition at the National Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma.  I was very honoured to be invited to send two paintings, shown earlier.

Fall Cottonwoods with pond 9 x 16 Oil/Wood Panel

Yesterday MA Printmaking first years went on a ‘school outing’ to the Tate Modern to see the Gerhard Richter exhibition.  I confess I was not very familiar with his work, but this exhibit was amazing and spanned most of his life.  What was so interesting was the mix of styles, often created within the same year or two.

  • Gerhard Richter
  • Betty
  • 1988
  • 102 cm x 72 cm
  • Oil on canvas
  • Gerhard Richter
  • Abstract Painting
    Abstraktes Bild
  • 1987
  • 225 cm x 200 cm
  • Oil on canvas

Minding my p’s and q’s

I had a lovely experience yesterday.  One of the third year MA students gave me and another first year an informal typesetting lesson.  I have always wanted to learn how to do this and our University has a whole room full of different types which is a wonderful resource and I would like to make use of it.

Forming the words, in mirror image form on a composing stick.

Leading that creates the spaces above and below the type.

A galley on which the type is slid to store or transfer onto the stone.

I just love all the old labels on this cabinet.

The letters are now on the stone.

A chaser (the metal frame) is placed on the stone and the letters are surrounded by ‘furniture’ to block in the letters and then a quoin key is used to lock everything together.

A gentle tap with a mallet to ensure all letters are level.

By locking the letters in you can safely transfer it all to the press ready for inking.