Sunday, May 29, 2011

I have entered the Etsy marketplace with my linocut prints.

I have opened a shop at selling some of my linocut prints I have listed three of them at the moment and I'm looking forward to see how they are received as I have not had any for sale up until now. I have kept them quite reasonable and they will be an ideal starter for collectors of contemporary art.
If these go well I may list a few more next month.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Van upgrade, a new toy.

I bought a new van today. Well new to me, it is a 2007 model citroen berlingo. It is quite a bit smaller than my present mitsubishi L300, but I don't need such a big van anyway and the Berlingo will be a lot more economic to run. The van is white in colour, so I have become a "White van man".
When the van is ready for collection (it is getting re-registered and a roadworthiness certificate issued) I won't know myself, it comes with a CD player, electric windows & mirrors and other mod cons, none of which are in my 17 year old Mitsubishi. The only forseeable problem is that I think Dubh (the dog) is going to be a little annoyed at the loss of the middle seat in the three seater L300 when I go fishing with Noel... although she will probably just insist on sitting on him instead.
I have finished working on the trout lino-cut, and now I am ready to impress a few prints but I need to pick up some paper from the art-supply store tomorrow. KM Evans are having a 25% off sale on canvases so I have been holding off going in until the sale-day (tomorrow).

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A work in progress, lino-cut proof print

I have cut and proofed my trout design lino cut print. Perseverance pays off, I am almost happy with this now. It needs a little tidying up and some hard edges softened but not all as I want the energy and movement of some of the edges left.

I will now experiment by scratching the paper to see where and what I remove from the block before cutting. At this stage it is like an old woodwork teacher used to say at school.. measure twice and cut once, you can't put it back.

The image is about seven inches by four, the block was originally 8 by 5.

Friday, May 20, 2011

preparing for further works

I have been doing a few work-up drawings and studies, in preparation for a new lino-cut. I intend to do a block print of a trout, but I am finding it difficult to decide on the size of the block. I wanted to do it quite small, but it is quite hard to create a work small enough that I am fully happy with. I will perservere for a while longer, and see what comes of it.
I need to get more print-work supplies next week, and I want to get some papers to experiment with. I am not overly experienced in how different papers work with ink impressions and I will learn quite a lot from a few test prints with differing surfaces.

I also want to do some more research on the indigenous art of New Mexico before my trip next April I am interested in exploring how the landscape has influenced their art through the ages. My own art in New Mexico will probably be influenced by my knowledge of the history, or my lack of knowledge.. and six weeks is a short time to create work unless I have already done much of my homework first.

Monday, May 9, 2011

An interesting result, and two more fish.

I was in the studio doing a quick sketch of a Lough Sheelin trout in preperation for a possible painting. I used a piece of canvas I hadn't stretched, and with a soft pencil did a quick outline drawing and shaded it to a certain extent.

I was distracted doing something else and returned to the work later which caused me to take a longer look at the sketch than I would when working on it. The result was a quick wash of thinned oil paint, a few marks with a coloured pencil on the fins and gill plate. What started out as a quick sketch has become a very interesting artwork.

I have also finished the lino cutting for the previously posted print, and I have a quick hand pressed impression from the blocks. The image here is a bit poorly imprinted and mis-aligned but it is only intended to give an idea as to what the print will look like.
I want to do some Gyotaku fish printing as part of my current work. I need to obtain some fresh fish to do this though, and I really want to get some small sea-bream to experiment with.
An artist friend Molly Hill introduced me to the process of Gyotaku last year, but I'm still getting around to trying it. You should visit Molly's website, a few fish get into her wonderful art too.
I have a firm date for my studio sale, July 16th at Village Framing, Lower Dodder road Rathfarnham. Put it into your diary.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Health risks in the studio...and we let kids play with printing..

Working as an Artist can be a dangerous job. Last night while working on a Lino-cut, while not in the whole of my health and at the peak of concentration, I stabbed myself in my little finger with a lino cut gouge. These gouges are very sharp, and little pinkies bleed an awful lot!
It often escapes notice how dangerous our activities can be until we make silly mistakes. Print-making is quite a dangerous activity, between stabbings, cuts, crush injuries when using presses and then there is the ventilation issues with some inks and glues. Sharp saws in operation when cutting timber blocks, many of which are small in size so hands are close to the saw blade.
My little mishap started me thinking on this subject, we as artists need to consider health and safety issues within our studios. We use sharp implements (I have a dozen or so box-cutter blades lying around, I use them for cutting both paper and canvas, sharpening pencils etc.) staple-guns, hammer & nails, saws, guillotines, not to mention the chemicals involved in our paints and other mediums. Dirty paint rags, scrap paper and old thinners/cleaners stored for disposal, all can be a catalyst for fire or fumes.
Health warnings over... I bet you didn't realise being an artist was such a dangerous occupation. And I didn't mention Bulls in fields when painting plein-air...
Back now to the cause of my discomfort, I was continuing work on this little block of lino with a pencil impression on the paper in my sketchbook.
It is another sea-bream work, which I am experimenting with. I will finish the block-cutting off later today, and tomorrow I will start doing a test print.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Of studio doors and other animals...

There is a reason I have a separate studio, unfortunately the dog thinks it should be open to her whenever she wishes to visit. The fact that it is usually open to her is beside the point.
I have had a stomach bug today, and decided eventually to give in to it and go up to bed. Later on the dog found me missing and decided I must be in the studio, as she knew I had not gone out the front door.
A while later Christine realised the dog was missing, she called to no avail. Getting worried she eventually spotted her lying down very dejectedly outside the studio door, probably wondering why I wouldn't let her in. (She usually groans and wimpers outside the door until I stop work to let her in when the studio door is closed)
Much calling and cadjoling would not persuade her to leave her vigil, and eventually I had to get up from my sick-bed and call to her from the house. The immediate response to this was a dejected looking spaniel trotting back into the kitchen with one of those where have you been? looks.
As a side issue, the royal WE, (Dubh the dog) have a sore front paw and a decided limp today, just to make me feel more guilty. I ignored the scornful looks and retired back upstairs to bed. Dubh decided to hobble up after me, and settled down where she could keep an eye on me lest she miss anything.
A while later the Roast leg of Lamb came out of the oven downstairs in the Kitchen, the aromas filtering upstairs... creating consternation! The royal WE could not get back downstairs with the sore front paw... You guessed it, I had to leave my sick-bed again to carry her down. I have now given up on the idea of resting in bed, hence my posting on the blog.. and Dubh is contentedly snoring in the corner having had a few tasty morsels of Roast Lamb. Which incidently I can't face. :(
Dubh, with that "WE are not amused" face..