Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I carved more into the larger dancer matrix and started on a second layer of colour.

This is my registration system.

Very high tech ;-)

Here I am hand burnishing the print.

This is what I use to get the details.... A spoon

So this is why each print takes SOOoo long!

There are little relief presses on the market, but none that I have seen that gives quality prints. I would rather use a spoon :-)

I made up 12 of this style in the hope I get at least 8 good ones.

Here are some messed up examples, bad registration and not enough ink:

I seemed to have made quite a few of those today.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hi Thessaloniki

I love that revolver Map!

I keep seeing visits from Thessaloniki, Greece (3000+ now)and I am dying to know who it is.

I remember flying into Thessalonika maybe 14 or 15 years ago. While I was there I travelled around seeing the sites, but I can't remember the exact village I was staying in. I will have to check out a map to see if anything rings a bell. I know it was a small village on the sea that had the best ever chicken dinner in one of the local seafront tavernas.

I remember visting Pella, just after they had started excavating some mosaics. I think I was told that this was the birthplace of Philip and Alexander the Great. The mosaic floors were incredible, there was one of a lion hunt that had the most amazing details. I also visited Philip's tomb, which was large and underground I think. Funny how memories fade and join with dreams. I was a little unsound at the time and had a series of dreams about that tomb...

but anyway, thanks for visiting Thessaloniki

In the last week

I have been fighting off a virus that has been coursing through the family, but I did manage some art time.

I worked on a second etching plate featuring Lady Penelope on her adventures. Having left the air balloon, she is now venturing on the back of an elephant.

So far I have etched and added an aquatint to the image. I prepared the plate for soft-ground to add a decorative texture within a paisley design.

I also added another dark red and black layers to the dancer lino-cut, mailed out a number of ATC cards for trading and entered 3 items for exhibition. Not too shabby for low energy levels :)

Tomorrow I am looking forward to going to an engraving demonstration by Zoltan Janvary from Hungary.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

next layers on etching and Lino

I had some press time today, so I worked on burnishing and scratching on the balloon print.
Here is the latest print on some Rives BFK, using charbonnel black and sanguine ink.

Yesterday after finishing the acrylic painting, I added a dark red layer to the small dancer print, making four layers in total.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I am going to bed as I am starting to overwork this painting. I will check out what needs to be done then. I am still not sure which way around it should be either!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday 21st

After an outing to Carson City, I went back to work on the painting. I need to bring some details back in, but the base is in now.

Started a painting

I decided to have a quick stab at putting a painting into an upcoming exhibition. Very upcoming actually, the deadline for entries is Wednesday morning...

I made some sketches and finally went with the idea of Lady Penelope having a nap. She must have to live on power naps with all her daring adventures.

I know it is not a print, but here are the first stages of the 16" x 20" Acrylic anyway.

The photo is dark, but looking at this, I am thinking it would look better the other way up!

Friday, March 19, 2010

another layer to the key

This afternoon,I mixed up a burnt red in the inks and added a patterned layer to the mini key prints.

Shopping for supplies

I had a fun day buying paper, ink, more lino and....some solarplates! I can't wait to try out a solar print. I intend to use the keyhole image on a small plate to see how it looks.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I just can't keep away from my printing at the moment. I have tons of projects being put on hold because I have too much fun with ink.

I have added a brown layer and a low light of black on the key. It still looks pretty raw even after 5 layers, but I think it will all come together when the bulky layers go on.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Victorian Influences

My head is buzzing with the Printmaker's Conspiracy's upcoming exhibition title. The exhibition is to be called "Secret's Revealed".

I am thinking about Victorian Burlesque figures, peep shows, showgirls, keyholes and movable parts on the print to see through the keyhole.

I also have another related thread of thought about fortune tellers, maybe the machine "Zoltar" type or an old gypsy with a crystal ball. I like the idea of printing then folding one of those playground fortune tellers (coolie catchers???).

I will start some sketches to see what happens.

I am halfway through a drawing that I though might translate well in a solarplate etching.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Layer three on the key print

I have added a small green square to the key print early on this morning. I hope it will be dry enough to add another layer this evening.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday at the museum

Nevada Museum of Art, Reno.

I played with adobe with this photo of the above work. It might make a good etching.

This is the Trophy Hunter exhibition by Bryan Christiansen.

Christiansen's sculpture uses the traditions and rituals of Native American hunting with reclaimed objects. Every part of the found artical is used to make the sculptures.

Double exposure montage.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Added another layer to the lino

Friday Afternoon:
Spent the afternoon messing around with monoprints, whilst waiting for the key prints to dry.

I also carved two tiny blocks.

Friday Morning:

I got up early to make a start on the prints. The ink was probably not dry enough, but I really wanted to add another layer to the lino prints. I added the key and will probably spend the day blowing on them to make them dry faster for the next layer ;-)

Layer 2 went on the key mini edition.

Aside from the lino prints, I exposed my aquatint plate with Lady Penelope's carpet bag.

The tint was very light, but enough to add shade. I am now doing a spit-bite to soften the shadows.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lino Work

I had a parcel filled with lots of yummy collage treats from an artist in Brisbane. This is way better than Christmas.

Thanks Monika!!

Thursday night:
I took a few prints from the key whilst waiting for the oils to dry on the other prints.

Thursday Afternoon:
I put layer two on, but I am not concentrating well enough and lost quite a few. I am still going to put the key on though.

Thursday Morning
I printed up some red backgrounds with the dancer on them yesterday. Today I am doing my best to register a second layer onto them.

I am also carving out a key to over print on this image.

It would be nice to get an edition of 10 from this that I could use for the Green Door International Print exchange. I may loose too many in getting registration right to get 10, but I will be interested to see how well I can register on such a small scale.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

International Print Exchange

I am going to participate in an upcoming international print exchange. I want to use the Can-Can dancer as the main imagery, but I have not yet sketched the composition. I will work on this today and decide what colours to use.

Call for work at DERBY ENGLAND,

Green Door International Print Exchange 2010,

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Older print examples

Here are a few of my older etchings using drypoint, aquatint and cine colle. The etchings I am working on at the moment, will use less toxic methods than those used in the prints below. It is a good benchmark for me to compare these with the processes in the copper etchings I am using at the moment.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thanks To My Blog Visitors

I find it staggering and inspiring that people from all over the world are dropping by to see my blog. I love to see where my page hits are coming from. I would not wish to invade privacy by knowing exactly who and where, but just being shown a city and the flag of the country makes it so exciting for me and pushes me to write another entry. I am completely new to blogging, anyone visiting my blog is doing me a great honour.

It takes me back to when I was a child of about 7 and played with a monopoly boat game piece on a map of the world. I used to dream of sailing or flying to the places that I struggled to spell out. I guess I have not changed so much.

When I see someone has visited from someplace I have a connection with, it brings back memories or faces of people I once knew. Today I saw a hit from Paris where I spent my 21st birthday, Sri Lanka, where I got married and Rochdale where my first child was born. To see these hits makes me think of the places where I would like Lady Penelope to visit, and therefore helps me take my art to a different level.

Thank you Britney, Candace, Debra and Mary for following my blog, it makes it worth while knowing someone out there might actually read what I am doing!

And a special thank you to the little flashing dot on my map, right at this moment while I type, from Thessoloniki, Greece. I can't help but wonder if we passed each other on the street once when I visited.

So if you happen upon this blog...
Pat yourself on the back for encouraging this artist and remember that just by your visit, you may have helped create a piece of art.

Thank You

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Allo, Allo, Allo, wot's going on 'ere then?

I had some adventures with the copper today.

I printed out the little copper etching of the carpet bag and was pleased that the softground had not completely wrecked the plate. To be honest, I am quite chuffed at the result. I took a quick proof and did a little burnishing to highlight some areas. I think the background just needs a dark aquatint for drama, then I should be ready to print my edition. This image is my pulp adventurer's carpet bag, a parody of Phylius Fogg's travel bag from "Around the World in 80 Days", by Jules Verne. I think I feel comfortable calling my character "Lady Penelope Pinkerton-Smythe". I think that sounds like a woman that does not put up with any fuss and nonsense.

The softground is quite subtle after all, phew!

Here I have applied the aquatint using paint. In the past I had used a pretty toxic powder that would settle on the plate (and in the lungs probably), then be melted on. I seem to remember setting fire to this substance in the past, hmmm good job there are alternatives.

I had two goes at applying the aquatint, the first was too even, typical! The times you want it free from blobs you get them, now that I wanted some nice random blobs they did not want to oblige. Second time was much better.

The green area is where I am using Stop Out to protect the image from the ferric chloride. The unpainted areas should get the tone from the aquatint.

I also took a proof from the balloon etching that I am making a start on. This copper etching is taking longer to form. So far I have dipped the plate into the Ferric Chloride twice after working and reworking the plate. Lady Penelope joined Phylius Fogg in his balloon as they travel over Paris.

I messed around with the camera so sorry for the shadow.

I think it might be fun to have Lady Penelope take various adventures around the world and/or through time. I have a few ideas about how she might make statements about various cultural changes of our contemporary lives as seen through her eyes.

Cheers to Lady Penelope Pinkerton-Smythe, may she have many extraordinary voyages!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Drive by Press

I went to a truely awesome printing event by "The Drive By Press". First there was a lecture at the university, given by Ryan O’Malley and Nick Alley. They talked about the purpose of Drive by Press, a mobile tour that drives around the country educating students, and the public, about printmaking. They showed historical and contemporary examples of printmaking and discussed the adventures of their trip.

Then we had an opportunity to visit their large print collection, donated by many artists across the country. Many different techniques and styles were represented.

The final part of the day was a printmaking demo. From the back of the truck a small etching press, dozens of wood cuts and some T-shirts were pulled out. People were invited to chose a shirt and and an art block and help arrange and print a wearable piece of art. The matrix was carved from MDF board, which the guys said "was as easy to cut as butter". Despite the thickness and varience in block sizes, the press churned out many prints without issues.

Despite the freezing weather, many shirts were printed and we got to see some nifty work with a brayer. I wish I had thought to take my printing apron to get a cool DPA logo print (Dirty Printmakers of America), but alas I did not. I did get a couple of t-shirts printed though.

I wish them the best of luck for their journey around the West Coast.