Saturday, 27 March 2021


I’m enjoying the monthly PAS themes that we are working on and sharing on Zoom. I’m enjoying the relatively quick turnover with deadlines and a set subject but unlike creating for an exhibition there’s no pressure to get it right so I can explore and experiment more.

The theme for this month is ‘Small’.

Inspired by Angela’s response last month, when she decided to work outside her comfort zone, I decided that I hadn’t made any painting based on observational work for ages and it was time to try again.

I dug out the shells (definitely small). I had decided to go one step at a time and make a sheet of studies first. So I purposely spoiled the white paper with collage and emulsion and off I went.

But it sort of grew to include text (this is part way through before I added a bit more colour and highlights to the shells)...

And decided it wanted to be a book.

 So I let it.

Monday, 8 March 2021

The storm is over

I’ve finally done with ‘storm in a teacup’.

Colour separation monoprint (a different, better palette but I’m still not happy with it) and collagraph overprinting. Oops I misregistered the collagraph on this one

 And as a ghost, with better registration. 

 And as a watercolour wash with the collagraph print.

I’m still getting halos round some of the stepped areas of the block and I’m not sure whether it’s due to press pressure or too thin paper. When I can go back to Hot Bed I’ll experiment with the heavier press I that usually use for collagraph

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Still raining

I decided that I wanted to try a coloured collagraph version of 'Storm in a teacup'.

The first step is the collagraph plate. I made it quite light on texture because I want the colour to show through.

I've printed several to use with washes of watercolour.

 I'm also going to print some colour separation monoprints and then print the collagraph on top. But that will need a decent amount of time setting aside and while the weather holds there's lots of allotmenting that needs doing.

And in between I've been making some small monoprints on fabric to go in ''An inch a day'.

Friday, 19 February 2021

More storms

I've been working on the image using reduction monoprint.

 In a mix of raw umber and ultramarine.

 And a three colour separation reduction using deep red, deep yellow and ultramarine.

And a ghost print.

I'm not happy with the colour palette but do I want to try overlaying a trace monoprint to add line to the colour prints when they've dried, just to see if it will work.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Storms inside and out

The weather’s been awful so not much chance of digging or walking but I’ve had a busy few days in the studio. (I really do need to consider doing some cleaning and other grown up things)

Thanks to Marilyn 'An inch a day', the NWBA joint project, has regained momentum. My contribution this week has been to send out fabric at the right size and to collate on the timeline where these pieces will go. The idea being to track what we are all producing so hopefully this means that when we can meet and put it all together there won’t be gaps, or worse, no space at the right point to fit things in. I’m up to date with this now so I can start making more images.

The Art Society theme for February is ‘Elements’. After a bit of playing and several loose ends, some of which I’ll keep for later, I decided on ‘Storm in a teacup’.

My puppets are coming out to play again (well at least one of them).

I think I'm going to try some monoprinting.

Saturday, 6 February 2021


The theme for the art society this month was ‘Contrast’. I decided to go with monoprinting, black and white and return to the idea of the chess board for my motifs.

I made a series of stencils and foam stamps and dug out my drawings of the Lewis chessmen. I also culled a few more quotes from The Game and Playe of the Chesse  (a book printed by Caxton – you can find the transcript on the web)

I started with black and white. 

 Then added red,and then green as a complementary contrast.
 But soon other colours joined in.

 I eventually ended up with a set of about 30 prints so decided to make a book out of them. I was limited by the fact that the prints were all on pieces of thin paper only half a centimetre larger than the gelli late and I didn’t want to cut into the images. After some experimentation I decided to stick them back to back and add a piece of florists wire at one edge that I could use to wrap the stitching round. 
 Now for the next months theme (and more Magellan.)

Monday, 11 January 2021


Things are ticking over slowly. I’ve made a plate from the drawing of the fools in a cage 

 and printed it.

 I struggled with the mountboard that I used for the plate. It was stuff I got in a hurry at the beginning of lockdown, not my usual sort and it needed peeling much deeper to get to the rough internal core I need for the darks. This made a step on the plate that was a bit too much for my small press at home to deal with, leaving some white haloing in parts. I may try on the big press at Hot Bed when we can return.

The chair of our book art group is currently making a video for BABE about our group project “An inch a day” and the difficulties of making a group project (which will be about 90 feet long) when we cannot meet up to work together.

This spurred me to trying to make some relevant images for it. As a warm up up I tried monoprint.

Trace monoprints


 And dark field monoprints. 

 All tacked onto a sample of the book base fabric. All made using an X cut (die cutting Machine). I was amazed how well they worked and this will be a much simpler and quicker process than the collagraph plates I had envisaged making.

(Does anyone know why new blogger keeps randomly altering my typeface?)