Friday, 28 September 2018

Cambridge Art Fair


Opening today is the Cambridge Art Fair.  I was delighted to be asked to exhibit with the 'Art of Cambridge' group - eight artists featured in the Cambridge Art Book (click for a free ticket).

Rebecca, Emma, Ophelia and Jo at the Private View

Come along and see the various styles of work including sumptuous oil paintings by Ophelia Redpath, printmaking and rich oils by Jo Tunmer, ipad art by Susan Abbs, mixed media paintings by Rebecca Stark, intricate collages by Emma Bennett, delicate paper-cuts by Vanessa Stone and vibrant large scale paintings by Sonia Villiers.  I have a selection of my latest drypoint and collograph prints.


The private View was last night.
Opening times are:
Friday 28th September 11am - 8:30pm
Saturday 29th September 11am - 6pm
Sunday 30th September 11am - 5pm

Location:
The Venue, Quy Mill Hotel and Spa
Church Road, Stow-cum-Quy
Cambridge, CB25 9AF

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Addenbrooke's Hospital Exhibition


I was really pleased to be asked by Lesley Bermingham, the Arts co-ordinator at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, to participate in their August/September exhibition.  It was a chance not to be missed as my work could be seen by a whole new audience.


It took a fair bit of planning to think how I was going to fill eight metres of wall space.  Last Thursday morning was spent with Lesley, hanging the sixteen pictures.  I'm really pleased with how they look all hanging together in such an impressive space.  They also go really well with the lovely seed head watercolours by Erica Just on the right-hand side of the space.

The last print in the edition of 'Stone Circle' that I had framed especially for this show, as it went so well with 'Ede's Sprial'

All the work is for sale and the commission goes to the Addenbrooke's Arts Program, which aims to improve the experience of patients, visitors and staff through an innovative, stimulating and engaging arts program.  If you would like to find out more or buy anything please call 01223 217519.

Kettles Yard



This is another new print 'Ede's Spiral', one of the largest I've done for some time and in fact as large as my press will take.  It's a monoprint/collograph featuring the 76 pebbles inspired by the spiral of pebbles found on the low table in the bay window of Jim Ede's bedroom at the wonderful Kettles Yard house.


The gallery has been closed for a couple of years for a period of refurbishment and extension of the gallery space, so I was thrilled to go back there and spend a wonderful afternoon looking around the Antony Gormley exhibition, which runs until 27th August, and sketching in the house with my daughter.

Antony Gormley exhibition

Some of my favourite views in Kettles Yard House

Circular things that caught my eye in the house

The print itself was a labour of love.  Firstly drawing the spiral to scale, then cutting out the 76 pieces of card to represent the round pebbles.  I then hand painted them all with oil paints to match the tone and patina on the actual pebbles I'd photographed.  I hoped that the oil paint wouldn't dry out before I had time to print it as it took nearly four hours to paint them all.  Once painted I laid them all out on a numbered template on the bed of my press, VERY carefully placed the Somerset 300gsm paper on top (crossing my fingers that I didn't move any of the pebbles in the process).  Then I rolled it through the press.

This summer has been extremely hot in the UK and although the paint hadn't completely dried out, it had become sticky.  So as I lifted off the paper I realised all the 'pebbles' had stuck to the paper, so I had to individually flick them all off so they fell from the paper without smudging the print.  A heart stopping moment.  But when I finally revealed the finished print I was very pleased with how it turned out.  Once it was dry I added a tiny bit of watercolour to some areas to create shadow below the pebbles.

I have printed three so far as I haven't had time to do any more.  The edition will be no more than 15 and will become progressively darker as more paint absorbs into the card 'plates'.  For details about availability and pricing please message me.

New Prints for Mini Print Exhibition


I thought I'd show you some of the new prints I've recently completed for Open Studios and the forthcoming Mini Print Show.


These are two of my submissions this year.  Pebbles II is made from twenty cardboard 'pebbles' cut from special paper-drypoint card bought from Intaglio Printmaker.  Harbour Fish is a collograph inspired by small fish spotted in Sami harbour, Kephalonia, which we visited at Easter this year.  A fabulous place (especially out of season).

The Mini Print Show will be touring the UK:
Confirmed Exhibition Tour Dates 2018 - 2019 (more to follow)
September 20-26     The Garage Gallery, Aldeburgh, Suffolk
October 10-16           L'Artishe Gallery, Swanage, Dorset
November 22-27       ARtSpace, Woodbridge, Suffolk
December 14-18       Oxford (venue tbc)
May 10-14                Granary Gallery, Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire
June 22-26               Cambridge (venue tbc)

Monday, 6 August 2018

Cambridge Open Studios

As usual I'm behind with updating my blog, but I do catch up eventually between busy periods of working flat-out, as it is useful to have what I've been doing documented in a diary format.


July was Cambridge Open Studios month and my new garden studio was open to the public for the first three weekends.  It was extremely hot for all three weekends and visitor numbers were noticeably down, especially the weekend of the Wimbledon final and during the football World Cup matches.  However for some reason this year I had a lot of new visitors, perhaps some escaping the heat of the city studios and venturing into the countryside? Whatever the reason, my visitors were looking to buy artwork, especially on the final Sunday.  Perhaps my new studio somehow validated my work and showed a more professional side, as this was my best year in terms of sales, in the 23 years I've been participating. Yay!


The gazebo housed my coaster and tea towel displays and inside the studio, my fab hanging system showed off the 31 framed prints beautifully. There was also space for my print browser and two card stands.

Open Studios, although exhausting, is a really great event. I love talking about printmaking as most people have no idea about the process involved in producing an original print.  Having people visit and like my work gives me the confidence to carry on with what I'm doing and buying artwork allows me to carry on doing just that.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

New cards


I'm so far behind with posting these as they were published in May! This one joins the New Baby card which also has the kraft paper 'look' and embossed finish.
All my cards will be available from my Open Studios which starts on 7th July.  See 'Events' page for more details.

This one is a re-vamp of my best selling Cupcake design, bigger than the original and with extra rainbow coloured glitter, which I am now covered in!

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Penguins!

In celebration of International Penguin Day which was on 25th April earlier this week, I have finally got round to showing you my new die-cut cards, wrapping paper and notecards which are available from Flamingo Paperie.

The card was based on this little rubber stamp I carved, to make hand-printed cards with, a couple of years ago.  I think he looks very jolly now he's been enlarged and with cheeky eyes looking in different directions.

Let me know if you'd like any of them.  Cards are £2, pack of ten notecards are £4.50 and a sheet of gift wrap is £1.50.

Cross-stitch designs

I really enjoy producing designs for license, whether it be to companies for cards, stationery or other products.  This was a lovely project commissioned by Kate from Bothy Threads.  They are cross-stitch samplers depicting the four seasons, so they can be customised to suit whichever seasonal event is taking place.

It's very clever how they convert my drawings into the cross-stitch grid and I like they way they use beads and ribbon for extra detail.  Let me know if you would like to purchase any.  They are £26.50 including p+p.


Monday, 16 April 2018

Exhibition at CCC

The featured artist show is now over at Cambridge Contemporary Crafts.  However they do stock my work all year round so do ask if you've seen something in there.  I am really pleased with sales, selling these nine (not to scale) framed and unframed original prints during the show.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Cambridge Contemporary Crafts - featured artist

The exhibition at CCC is now underway and going well so far with four already sold in the first two days including Autumn Branches, Oystercatchers, Starlings Halt and the new Kingfisher print.  As well as my original prints, they also stock my cards and tea towels.

New Kingfisher drypoint print


I've had an idea to produce a print of a kingfisher for some time and decided to make it the fourth in my series of birds in the 31cm x 23cm format.  We are very lucky to have two nesting pairs in Milton Country Park and it's unusual for a week to go by if I don't see one on my daily dog walks.  The iridescent blue flash never fails to thrill.

The print is a drypoint - made by scratching into perspex with a sharp tool.  The plate is then inked like an etching; thick black printing ink is spread onto the surface of the plate, ensuring that the ink penetrates into the lines.  I then carefully wipe the surface of the plate with tissue paper, just leaving the ink in the lines and making sure the background is completely clean.  This inking and wiping process can take up to an hour.  The plate is then placed on my etching press and 300gsm Somerset paper is placed on top and rolled through the press, which presses the ink into the paper.

The plate can produce about ten impressions, all are inked up individually. Once the ink has dried, I add watercolour and blue metal leaf to try and capture the shimmering kingfisher feathers. I then sign and edition the finished prints.

I'm really pleased with the set of four cards.  They will also shortly all be available as coasters.

Monday, 5 February 2018

New publisher - Flamingo Paperie

At the end of 2017, Phoenix Trading, the publisher I'd worked for on a freelance basis for about 12 years, went into administration.  They couldn't find a reasonable buyer, so closed.  However from some of the team behind Phoenix, comes Flamingo Paperie.  Launched this month, I am really pleased to say that I have several new designs in the range plus some of my best sellers from Phoenix retained in the new catalogue.  Have a look at the new website to find out how to buy things and support an independent UK based business.

The eagle eyed amongst you may think these are familiar.  The Pots of Narcissi are based on the Snowdrop Pots, which was a best selling Christmas design in 2016 and also features in my range of coasters.


Cute 'gender neutral' new baby card printed and embossed on matt textured kraft paper.

This is another re-working of an old design, brought up to date with gold foil.   I love the bright colours in this birthday card, which I now prefer to the original design.

There is also a set of new Penguin designs - wrapping paper, postcards and a die-cut card, which I'll post at a later date when I have samples.

2018 update


Well it's been a busy couple of months, hence the lack of blog posts.  Don't forget you can see more regular updates on my Instagram page, which also has video clips of prints coming off the press and more information about my inspiration and process.

All the Christmas shows went well, it seems a while ago now, but it won't be long before I start applying for 2018 events.  I've already signed up for my 23rd Cambridge Open Studio in July and have applied for the Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale (fingers crossed) in September.

Woodpecker (drypoint print)
I've been busy working on a couple of new prints for a bird themed 'featured artist' exhibition at Cambridge Contemporary Crafts, starting on 24th February and running until 21st March.  Having looked through my back catalogue I have twenty prints featuring birds, so there will be plenty on offer, both framed and unframed, plus my cards and tea towels.