Thursday, 23 September 2010


I just had to let you all know about the most fantastic exhibition at Gloucester Cathedral, it is on until 30th October and is well worth traveling to.
The sculptures look wonderful in the magnificent setting of the cloisters
and the grounds, each piece sensitively placed to best effect.
The work is varied and dramatic. This is St Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain by Damien Hurst.

Waiting for Godot by Marc Quinn.

Close V by Anthony Gormley RA, all very dramatic, shocking and moving.

This is a small detail from a monumental piece, It's a Swell Day for Stormy Petrels by Phillip King PPRA. I am drawn to the bird images.

This exhibition has very challenging and controversial works one of which in my opinion is this, Calvary by David Mach RA. I like it's intensity and the way it works in the space it is placed.

I may be a little predictable but this head, Noah & the Raven by Jon Buck is one of my favourites. This piece is an early work made in the 1980's, he works very differently now. It is interesting that he has used the raven and not the dove as the focus in this narrative.

My favourite piece from the whole show is perhaps the easiest to walk by unnoticed, called Dripping by David Behar-Perahia it is a sound and light sculpture. Representing the everyday activity of hand washing by the monks before entering the Refectory with dripping watery noises and the tranquil shimmer of coloured light on the cloister floor it has a soothing effect.
The whole show is a feast for art lovers, it is stunning to see so many works of art in such a beautiful setting. The richness of the Cathedrals interior does not overwhelm the work but adds a strength to each piece that a white cube gallery does not. I have only scratched the surface of this exhibition as there are 76 sculptures to see.

Friday, 17 September 2010


Just when you thought it was safe to look at your blogs again, here I am, I could not resist posting the results of my plate making frenzy from last week at Nature in Art. I am relieved that on the whole these plates have given me exactly what I wanted.

I have a bit of work to do to the crow images, but it is great that this technique allows
for making adjustments. I can change the shape and tone.

But most of all I am looking forward to developing screen printed areas to over print these crow images on to. I will also have to decide what exactly needs to go on the labels?

Any suggestions?

Sunday, 12 September 2010


The weather has been wonderful this week and has made the grounds at Nature in Art look spectacular.
As I have observed, Autumn is with us but it is bathed in sun light.
This has made the sculptures in the grounds glow.

Today is the last of my residency and I had 110 visitors to the studio. It is startling that so many people have no idea what printmaking is and I got into many lively debates. Giclee has a great deal to answer for, many people have no concept of the original print and I was asked many times what my original was, where was my painting. But then there were the enthusiasts who came to see me because I was a printmaker and knew exactly where I was coming from. I have been the printmaking evangelist this week. Despite all this energetic banter I completed 2 more plates, this means I have 5 new pieces to print over the next few weeks.
I also had the chance to doodle over the magazine and gum arabic transfers in my small sketch book.

It has been a busy week, hugely valuable in kick starting me into new collagraphs and my head is full of new ideas. I hope I can keep the momentum during this term. I think the toughest thing has been having the discipline to blog everyday...but I hope you will all be relieved to know I will give you a rest while I get on and print all these plates.
I look forward to showing the results.

Saturday, 11 September 2010


Autumn has come and the grounds of Nature in Art demonstrate this beautifully.
Not only have I been making work this week, but I have a tub of blackberries in my freezer, but while wandering around the naturalized part of the grounds there are still artistic surprises.

This Alan Jacks sculpture roosting among the briar's.
Nothing stuffy about the way this sculpture has been displayed, the thrill it must give small children when they come across it.
The sculptures in this part of the museum are sensitively placed and at this time of year this one looks quite natural.

Today work was a little slower, there really is only so much you can do in a week, but I did have 60 visitors. It has been lovely to see friends and very exciting to meet blog followers who have come to see me in the flesh. But I have found myself blushing when exerts of my blog have been quoted to me, for some unknown reason I don't think of people really reading it, so it is a shock when some of the daft things I say come back to me. Thankyou everyone for taking the time to come and see what I am up to.
Sunday is my last day, I am looking forward to completing these 2 plates, I feel optimistic about them and look forward to the next few weeks when I can get to print them. I feel back on track as far as printmaking is concerned, I have been so engrossed with the enameling that I feared I had forgotten how to do's all about balance and momentum.

Friday, 10 September 2010


4 days down, 2 days to go!
I have had a really rewarding day, I have had friends visiting me, lots of ideas being swapped and stimulating ideas flying around. Friday has been my busiest day to date and my visitors have been really intrigued by my working practices.
I spent half the day working over the magazine transfers in my sketch books with
gum arabic transfers.
By lunch time I had 2 new plates on the go and I am looking forward to working on them both in more detail tomorrow.
Will the weekend audience be different to visitors coming to Nature in Art mid week, it will be interesting to see?

Thursday, 9 September 2010


The sheep plates are now finished and ready to print.
I have had the opportunity to complete this crow plate, this too is now ready to work on in my studio back home.
With these plates completed I have the time and the energy to do more drawing.
Developing this piece as a companion to the 3 rooks below. It is amazing that 3 days of solid drawing and plate making leaves me wanting to make more and more and more. 3 days left!!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


I got into Nature in Art this morning and was pleasantly surprised to find that although the sheep drawings from the day before were not amazing, they would do the job as the start for 2 new sheep collagraphs.
So I set too and traced both drawings, modifying the images as I went along.
I then proceeded to make both sheep using card, wood glue and wall paper.
Adding detail by carving into the card with a sharp blade.
To get really black blacks for the faces and legs I am using carborundum.
Tomorrow I will seal the carborundum with Klear floor varnish and shellac both plates.
In between waiting for glue to dry I wandered around the grounds and
came across this wonderful water feature, I love this bird which is hiding under neath the piece,
and this frog nestling among the reeds reminds me of the frogs the cats are bringing into the house from our pond.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


Day 1 in the studio, I had lots of plans and good intentions, but I had forgotten how hard it is to work in the public eye.
I had examples of sketch books and collagraph prints to illustrate any explanations I had to give about my activities.
I also spent the whole day doing a number of prep drawings in my A3 sketch book...not feeling positive about these I have to say, it has been a while since I have worked like this and I feel very rusty. I feel a little under pressure as Nature in Art has today opened a prestigious exhibition of Gary Hodges work a very different style.
But when it all gets too gloomy in the studio I do have the opportunity to immerse myself in the quirky sculpture of Alan Jacks.
I met Alan several years ago, he use to visit me when I was here, we would talk art and inspiration.
Sadly he died in 2006
I miss his visits and encouragement. Tomorrow is another day, I will lick these sheep into shape and make a collagraph plate that always bucks me up.