2017 – the year of the Cards

 

So, 2017 is a ‘taking stock’ year for me.  I have been looking at my accounts – one way of measuring what one has done – and find I took nearly as much money from my cards as I did from my pictures, carvings etc which is astonishing.  I do very much enjoy making cards and try to keep them all as original works rather than reproductions so that, at £2.50, they represent decent value for money.  So here are just a few examples:

Linocuts: I use linocut a lot for cards as it is a relatively quick way to reproduce an image, depending on how complicated you make it and how many colours you try and introduce.  Birds seem to work rather nicely so here are a couple  of examples:

Jenny Wren Card

Jenny Wren Card

Blue TIt Card

Blue Tit Card

I mount them on previously marbled paper which sets them off well I think.  Sometimes I use old music paper as the mount.

 

 

Potato prints: these I use to make a comedy range of ‘birds with attitude’ with a real feather :

Guinea Fowl Card

Guinea Fowl Card

BIrd with Attitude Card

Bird with Attitude Card

They are so much fun to make as they come out with a variety of expressions – but
mostly they seem to be quite grumpy which probably says a lot!  The Guinea Fowl on the right is part of a new range that I am designing for a wonderful garden in Clanfield called Friars Court (www.friarscourt.com).  They are opening their beautiful gardens to the public within the National Garden Scheme – the yellow book and wanted cards which would suit their venue.  Lovely commission! 

Complacent Cat Card

Complacent Cat Card

Playful Cat Card

Playful Cat Card

Collage: finally I was messing about the other day and put together these cat cards made from material – now these are time consuming!  But  I can cut them out in front of the TV.  I think I was rather missing Sid, my cat who was run over just after Christmas….although he was grey, not blue with white spots.

And finally I have agreed to take on Christmas and Greetings cards for Wells For India again after a break of a few years, but cant show you those yet as I haven’t started them. 

It seems as if cards are chosing me at the moment which actually suits me very well.  I know they are a bit ‘throw away’, but they reach to unexpected places and can give great joy – what’s not to like?

A drawing a day – New Year resolution!

potato print drawing

Potato print with feathers

So…I decided in 2016 I would start by drawing every day…good discipline, improve my observational skills, blah blah, and I am proud to tell you that so far I haven’t done a single drawing!!  So already I am carrying guilt about failing so abysmally!  Why do we do it to ourselves?

potato print drawing

potato print with feathers – he looks so cross!

Apart from that I have a good feeling about 2016.  I am resolved to do some new stuff, broaden my horizons, take some risks.

Apart from not-drawing I have been fiddling around with making cards – it is fun and lightweight and provides me with bread and butter to finance the more serious stuff.  Looking in my accounts for last year I find that I sold as much in cards as I did in paintings and the cards have minimal outlay compared to framing and materials costs.  A bit of an eyeopener!  So I have just put together a new range of potato prints of birds which I think are quite cute – I have certainly had fun making them so now I must take them round a few outlets and see if I can widen my reach.

Last year I also started teaching and found, much to my surprise, that I really enjoyed it.  I gave lino printing workshops for small groups, and on an individual basis and people produced some great work.  I will get together a specific post and put some pics of their work once I have checked my students are happy for me to do so.

Meantime, Happy New Year to all.  Let’s make it a good one!

 

New Year – new start – new printing press!

etching-pressHappy New Year to everybody!  Well nearly…this year is definitely going to be better than the last – I love new beginnings, full of promise and before it all gets spoiled by the rubbish that real life throws in your path.

This December I have finally bought myself an etching press, something for which I have been yearning for quite a few years!  It is a Polymetaal and the bed is 40cm x 80cm.  The reason I chose this is because I can use it for either relief (ie linoprint) or intaglio (etching).  It is going to make such a difference to the work I can do at home – even monoprinting can be done differently with a press.  In honour of its arrival I have cleaned out my studio room (!!!) and actually thrown away some stuff.  I think it is in the nature of artists to be hoarders and also I find people often give me stuff – does that happen to the rest of you?  I suppose the sensible answer would be to refuse but that is never going to happen.  So my studio is spruced up and tidy, my etching press is in place and, first thing when Intaglio reopens in January  I am going up to buy a few essential supplies such as blotting paper, blankets and so forth.  In the meantime I just go in and turn the wheel now and then a little wistfully.  It is waiting…

 

Holidays

In Cornwall this week at Trelowarren.  I am always struck by the trees here on The Lizard which are incredibly stunted and tortured by the weather; they make the most amazing contorted shapes with very strong lines.  Normally I would plan out a linocut with drawings etc but I think I might try cutting direct ie take the lino out into the field and just try and be a bit more instinctive.  Will put the results up if they are any good.