Happy Easter everyone!

Spring is definitely here and I have managed to squeeze a little painting time in between finalising my MA project.  I love the fact that I can get on my bike with all my painting gear and just cycle along the towpath of the River Cam.   
Later I found the lovely spot at Stow cum Quy that my friend Mel introduced me to a few years ago. Quy is prounounced Kwai.  Locally the bridge I was standing on is known as The Bridge over the River Quy/Kwai, although officially it is called Quy water.
Stow cum Quy

River Cam towpath
Four weeks to go until I hand in my work for assessment and that will be the end, except for summer access and our exhibition in September. 
Almost three years glorious years of printmaking and how incredible it has been.  I keep saying I am going to be dragged kicking and screaming from Anglian Ruskin University’s print room.  

Now to get on with some gardening.  I am trying to maintain my Dad’s standards, but sadly, it’s not possible at the moment.

Bye for now.

Catching up!

It’s almost the end of January!  I can’t believe it.  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone!   
After spending Christmas with my Dad and Aunt, I drove down to Gloucestershire to spend a lovely creative New Year with my friend Annie.  I think I have mentioned before that she has a charming dog called Eddie.  It’s always good to go on long walks with him and Norman, Eddie’s little friend, who is equally charming, if somewhat mischievous.  Not that you would think so looking at his photo!
Eddie
Norman
In December I had volunteered to help some young school children, who attend a Saturday morning art club.  They were coming into the Anglia Ruskin University printroom to do some relief printing.  They inspired me so much with their wonderful images, I thought… hmmm, I think I will have to have another go at this.  Whilst I am by no means an expert, I have had so much fun and below are some of my attempts, cut up and collaged to make some cards.  

Of course, I did a little painting too.  I do find that doing the printmaking has really loosened up my painting.  I think the two definitely feed each other.  Does anyone else experience this?
Near Annie’s ii 6  x 6 ” Oil/Panel
Near Annie’s i 5 x 7″ Oil/Panel
Finally,  last but not least, today we hung our latest Printmaking exhibit.  Some alumni and final year MA Printmakers are having an exhibition in Cambridge.   It opens tomorrow, with a Private View on Wednesday, 29th January, 2014, 6 – 9.  Details are below.  Please come along if you can.  We would love to see you there.

Back to school.

These last few weeks have been amazing.  My travels to Cornwall were so inspirational and I am now translating some of the rock drawings into monoprints and etchings.   It is wonderful to be back in the print room.

I also got accepted into the Pushing Print exhibition in Margate and had to deliver my prints and then return the following weekend for the Private View. My good friend,  Jim, lives nearby, so not only did I get to see him, and deliver my work, but also spent time on Botany bay beach, which I love.   This time I paid attention to the tide times and enjoyed the high tide with the water lapping around the rocks which I normally walk amongst.  I posted a little video here.  I also walked all the way along to the arch at low tide which is near Broadstairs.  I hope you enjoy some of my photographs, including a few from the Pushing Print Festival.

My friend Jane with my prints.
Giant Monoprinting

Giant Monoprinting.
Botany Bay
Me amongst the rocks, drawing as usual.
Arch, a short distance from Broadstairs and Kingsgate.
Monoprint
Soft and hardground etching
 
Etching in progress.

May is here and it’s still cold!

Well, the essay is handed in and what a relief that is!   It felt quite odd not to be spending all weekend writing.  Now I just have to sort my portfolio and hand that in on 20th May and that’s my second year over.  What a life changer it has been.  The third years are leaving and I am very sad.  They are such a great bunch.  I shall miss them so much.

Below are some photos of some of the things I have been busy about, besides the hotel painting commissions and essay writing!

On June 6th, I am boarding a plane for New Mexico for a couple of months to get some big paintings done.  I am looking forward to that for obvious reasons, but also to warm my bones… spring has barely arrived here and today it’s blowing a cold wind… 

Waterways i soft ground etching 7 x 7 cm

Lake i soft ground etching 5 x 15 cm

Fen with monoprint on Tosa Washi chine collé  7 x 7 cm
Field and Stream soft ground etching 5 x 15 cm

Where did last month go?  I had a wonderful time in New Mexico, but the five weeks went by far too quickly.   The commissions took up most of the time and Barry and I of course enjoyed our time together.   I am now back in the UK and focussing on my MA again. 

New Mexico Harvest 24 x 36 Oil/Linen

This week I learned how to do a photoplate lithograph.  I was anxious to learn another printing technique as I had spent most of last semester doing drypoints.

I had produced a test sketch on semi transparent drafting film in preparation for trying this new method and on Thursday, John, our very helpful technician guided me through the process.

Not a very good photo of my test sketch!

The image needs to be opaque and I used an 8B pencil for my drawing, but other intensely opaque paints, or crayons will work.  The image is placed on a commercially produced lithographic plate, which comes coated in a light sensitive emulsion.  The plate and drawn image are exposed to UV light in a lightbox. (A test strip is advised)

Positioning the drawing onto the plate.
Adding the positive developer and washing away the exposed area.
The image is now fixed onto the plate.
John showing me how it’s done!

After the plate is exposed to the UV light it must be processed with positive developer and the exposed areas wash away.  The plate is rinsed with water and dried with a hair dryer.  Gum arabic is then applied to the plate.  This desensitises the non image areas.  The emulsion which forms the image is grease loving and attracts the ink.  The next stage of inking up the plate is going to take a considerable amount of practice because with a roller in one hand and a sponge in the other you must ink the plate before it gets too dry, but if it is too wet, you will also have problems.

You can use any kind of press to transfer the image from the plate onto the paper, but we use an off set litho press, seen below.

John working the press – thanks to John for all the help!

First ever photoplate lithograph by Lynne Windsor!!

Well, I know it’s not a startling result, but now I know (almost) what needs to be done and how I can take this process further.  I like learning new processes.

This morning I thought I would get on my bike again for the first time in almost two months.  It’s not often that you are happily cycling down a country lane and you see a muster of peacocks and peahens! (yes, I just learned the term muster).  If it hadn’t been for that experience I would have been more than a little miffed by the fact that I also got a flat tyre.

Here are a couple of photos.  I wish I had my better camera here with me, but these aren’t bad.  The colours of the peacock are amazing!

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.

Voila!!

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.