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.