Sunday, 20 May 2018

A Quick Update

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted anything. Things are ticking over but I just haven’t got round to writing about them.

There has been a lot of digging going on, and weeding, and trips to the tip with stuff left behind by the previous allotment tenants (including the remains of a garden shed which we found laid flat under a layer of couch grass). There are now things growing, some we planted like spuds, peas and beans, and some we discovered under the undergrowth, like rhubarb, strawberries and fruit bushes. We also have trees, a cherry, a plum and two apples (we think). 

The posters are ready for the next drama society production. Peter Pan, a play for children, based on the characters in JM Barrie’s book.
Sets and props are also in the process of being painted and made.

The books for “?” have been finished.  I decided in the end to make a something that was contained in a book cover but that opened to be quite sculptural, something that fitted neither category exactly.

 And finally a sketch ..
And perspective outline...
Have turned into the first allotment based print. It needs working into, the fench is lost and the shed it too dark but it’s a start.
(And yes, I forgot to reverse the image before transfering it to the plate).

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Books, letters and digging

Art work has slowed down somewhat these past couple of weeks. I said that I was going to the allotment to draw but so far I’ve been clearing edges, helping to sort out accumulated rubbish from inside and behind the shed (two trips to the tip, a third one pending) and liberating rhubarb, raspberry canes and fruit bushes. It is starting to look a lot less like an overgrown field so I’m hoping for some of the predicted sun next week and some sketching. In the meantime here is self portrait with shed (after clearing)
I have managed to cut and fold the pages for Artists Books #20 (?)
And I’ve made a bit of a start on the next project that is happening in conjunction with the Lancashire Archives. The subject this time is The Preston Lockout.  (A brief history can be found here)

I’m not sure what I want to make yet but I’ve been playing with wooden type.
  I’m wondering what will happen if I print it on cotton.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Bluebeard's Wives

I printed the etching this week. Before I did I thought that I’d probably work further into the image to put some tonal modelling on the puppets, but when they came off the press I decided that I didn’t want to loose the contrast with the background.
I also printed a series of double sided papers for the Collaborative Artists Book swop
and started a set of drawing for a book that I want to print using photo litho. (No images yet they are still at the very rough stage.)

Yesterday we signed up for a plot on the local allotments. When I say we, what I mean is my husband signed up and he’ll do the digging. I’m going to go along and draw. There are lots of interesting structures, sheds and green houses down there just waiting to be turned into prints.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Etching and “?”

I’m enjoying this hopping around.

On the etching front I spent yesterday biting the plate but didn’t have time to print it. The gelli plate printed textures seem to have bitten but until it’s inked next week I won’t know if I left them in the copper sulphate long enough to get a good print from them.
 Moving on to the books. 

Both sides of the ‘pages’ in the book structure will be visible so I’ve been experimenting with colouring both sides of the paper.  I can get two books out of an A2 sheet. 

I’ve made plain using a palette knife
 And patterned using the gelli plate
 I thought the plain was too plain and decided to try out the structure with the patterned sheet. When I cut the page shapes out I came to the conclusion that I didn’t like the stripes with the circles. One of them had to go. 

The circle print was nice but it took several layers of cutting up stencils and peeling the stencils off the block because they kept sticking. OK for a one off but not for the 5 sheets I’ll need for an edition. So I overprinted the circles with a plainer texture to give a contrast of plain and patterned on the two sides of the paper.

And cut and folded. Trying to decide whether to have plain or patterned in the inside of the forms.
At this stage I was thinking that I’d stitch the two pieces together but then I wondered what would happen if I cut and slotted it together like I did with the mock ups. So I tried with some of the plain paper.
 I like the way the colour moves from the inside to the outside of the form (though I’m not sure about the holes). I need paper with some contrast between the two sides to accentuate this. I’ve cut strips from textured wallpaper to get some coherence between the pages of the edition and and I’ve started printing using different palettes.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

More playing

I often worry that I’m a bit of a dabbler, starting something, moving on, a new technique here, a different project there, not much staying power. 

But after many years of trying to focus, be organised and follow one thing at a time I’ve decided that it’s time to stop trying to force it.  Dabbling is the way I work best, starting several things at once and dipping in and out, exploring and playing, until at last something is finished.  So from now on I’m going to go with the flow and enjoy the process.

At the moment I’m flitting from the medieval book to a book swop book, from a collagraph to an etching and, to add to the mix, props, scenery and other assorted stuff for Peter Pan which our group will put on in June. 

So in the spirit of dabbling this week I’ve played with etching and looked at more book structures.

I wanted the puppets to have different patterned dresses. I decided that I’d like to take these from real fabrics or lace. I want three different patterns on this plate but I find it difficult to get a consistent result with soft ground etching. Pondering different solutions I wondered if it was possible to print the texture onto the aluminium plate using a gelli plate. It is.

These are a bit grey but have real possibilities 

I think I’ve come up with a possible solution for “?”. It will be a book, in that it will have a binding and open like a book, but once open it won’t have a narrative and will be more of a structural object.  I spent a pleasant afternoon cutting and sticking paper (a good use for old play scripts) exploring different structures.