Back to school..

Well, I have been back at University now for three weeks and as usual trying to figure out in which direction my printmaking will go.  I have been looking at insects and seedheads again, but finding  it hard to let go of the landscapes, especially after spending last weekend at the beach!  I spent most of the time painting and sketching on the beach, except of course for a little paddle with my friend Melanie.  I also went into a school last week, The Thomas Clarkson Academy, to give a little talk about my work and to assist the students.  Here is a link to their website and a little piece about my visit.  It was a good day and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the class. 

All the above, sketches executed at the Botanics Cambridge.
A dry point created on the beach this weekend, of course I forgot about the fact that when printed it is in reverse! 

Fen Mist – 5 x 7 oil/wood

Walberswick, Suffolk


Catching up!

Hello everyone!  I have now finished ‘open access’ at University and the printroom is closed until the end of September!  I feel quite bereft… I dream of having my own press… hopefully one day….  but now it’s time to paint.
It has certainly been a busy few weeks, lots of printing and filling of orders, experimenting with spit bite and soft ground, travelling up and down to London twice, and watching the City Bumps.  
And the sun finally came out!
Melanie’s Garden – I drew the Agapanthus first and didn’t really like it, so I sanded it down and drew the seedheads on top of the image.   This has pushed it into the background and it’s something I am going to develop further I think. 
Drawings from Melanie’s garden
Experimenting with colour and two plates.  The aim was to learn how to register two plates.. the key is to use a large sheet of paper to trap under the roller and register blocks.  All very tricky!
Drypoint in Progress
Spit Bite – not terribly successful, but some nice tones

The reason for the London visits was because I got shortlisted for the ‘Bite’ Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.  The whole process entailed submitting images online, then waiting to hear if they wanted to see them in reality.  Three were pre-selected, which I then had to get framed and carry down to London for them to view.  The wait to hear if any of them had been chosen was quite stressful but I am thrilled to tell you that I got two out of my three selected.  The exhibition dates are 3rd -15th September with a Private View on the 4th, 6 – 9 pm which of course I shall be going to!  I believe that about 220 prints have been chosen out of 1500, so I am more than ‘chuffed’ to have two of mine included!  It’s a real honour.

I also sold my painting at the Cambridge Artworks Call for Entries!  No wonder I am feeling a little more cheery these days!

Cambridge City Bumps – my friend Melanie is fourth away from the cox with her daughter, Joss is the ‘stroke’ (next to the cox)  Photo by David Ponting.

On the River Cam during Cambridge City Bumps

It’s Thursday and that means etching!

Wren – in progress by Lynne Windsor

El Rancho Sunflower – in progress by Barry McCuan

Whoops, I think these are a little out of focus! Will try later to get better images. I love etching, but find it challenging. I work away on one or two etchings for weeks on end. Barry usually has a few going as well, but Arlene, my cousin in law produces two in one day! Hers are usually dry point though, whereas Barry and I do the whole aquatint, acid bath (ferric chloride) thing. Quite often I will end up going too far and have to burnish back to light! We are trying to use less toxic methods, but the results are less guaranteed… or at least for me! Still, it’s a wonderful afternoon and evening and great to socialise with a bunch of artists. It’s a little like going back in time when we go to our class. We use a beautiful old press and it’s in an old adobe building and Eli Levin (aka Jo Basiste) has been creating in Santa Fe for years and years. It’s a real connection with the old Santa Fe that I never knew, back when Canyon Road was a dirt road. (Barry remembers those days too!)