Monday, 26 November 2012

P.S. I just read this post on selling art work and thought it was timely for my situation but also probably just interesting for anyone in a similar position; worth a read! by Whitney Smith

Catch Up!!!!!!!

Okayyyy..where have five months gone exactly?! I knew I'd been a little late in posting but seriously?!  I guess my main excuse is summer and moving house - all done now and we're officially heading out of Autumn into Winter here in Italy now.   Once my son started back at scuola I decided that rather than blog about the lack of printing I'd managed to do over Summer, I might as well get on with actually doing some thus creating something to blog about!!

Mainly I've been working on some letters or initials - the idea being they could be used as cards for a birthday or maybe a newborn/Christening/ baby-naming type scenario.  I'd like to experiment making some banners with them too.   They've taken a while to produce; I chose a circus style font as I think it works well from a distance and is neither too feminine nor overtly masculine.

The green stuff I've been carving is called Adigraf and is a super-soft (and pretty tricky) Italian type of "lino" - I use the quotation marks as I don't want to mislead anyone: this stuff will drive you crazy if you expect the same resistance form lino, even compared to Soft-Cut!!  I thought i'd better try and find a local source (as it's illogical to have lino sent half-way across Europe, plus the postage charges from the UK from my previous supplier went up by 100%!!) but I'm not convinced and have had to get guests to bring some Soft-Cut over for me for other printing projects recently: still, it seems to work for this purpose!

I've also opened a little Etsy shop which currently stocks these cards and some Christmas cards too which I will try to blog about soon.  So, in keeping with my new chicken-and.the-egg theory, I'd better get back to work now so I have things to blog about right?!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

In addition ( i know - calm down! two posts in a day!!) I have been exploring the Islamic patterns I loved so much about 4 years ago when I visited Marrakesh - well worth exploring in terms of new fabric patterns I think.   In fact, the second one isn't so Islamic but it shares some of the beautiful crisp nature so I thought they'd work well together.   Both have been made using cheap foam as opposed to lino - it seems particularly well-suited to rapid results and strong lines - something lino isn't naturally given to reproducing well.

The "harvest" is in!! Can six peaches qualify as a harvest? Of course they can!  In celebration I bought (a-hem) some other local peaches - 'Saturno', they're called, I guess because they look like little planets.   I have re-worked the linocut from the other day to make it clearer and then I also made a little watercolour specifically to pick out some of the blue-ish red that characterises the peach skin. 

Friday, 22 June 2012

Earlier in the year I took a few pictures of our little peach tree in bloom - real purdy, I'm sure you'll agree:

And now the tree has miraculously (or at least so it seems to me!) produced peaches - so I've tried to catch some of this brilliance in a new lino cut - I've included here a couple of images of how and where I've been working today; I can only feel truly fortunate to have such a beautiful location (if not quite enough the space!) to work in.  I think I'll re-work the print as i took too much away but it's been a while since I developed something purely as a print, as opposed to with fabric in mind.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

As an aside from my usual printing gubbins, here's a little photo-essay recording Mo (my son's) daily journey to school - we're moving house over the summer so I wanted to record this little commute.

I've also picked out some of the things I've seen along the way that have helped inspire my initial printing - sometimes it's form, sometimes colour, sometimes contrast.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

So - epic fail on my photography mission last weekend - namely in that I forgot the memory card for the camera...

In the meantime I've been working on some prints, cleaning up the "bosses" (if that's the right word), perfecting the backing/glue to fix them to, as well as continuing to learn about print registry/pressure/ink...the list goes on.  Here's a sample of work in progress;

I particularly like the mis-matched tangerine/raspberry in this chevron - entirely deliberate - not!  A happy accident at least.

I also decided to run some of the same through my press - initially so i can embellish one of them (the wysteria design) with a vine or some leaves around it) - but actually I quite like the outcome of the koi - I think it works nicely with the water lily and the circles, although both might be over-kill!

Saturday, 2 June 2012 challenge for this weekend is to photograph some of the typeface from old (and in some cases, removed) local(ish) shopfronts - I've been meaning to do it for ages and I figure if I write it down here, that will help me stop procrastinating and get on with it!  Which means turning the computer off, right?!  To set the mood and I'll just quickly add the only couple of prints I've done with any attempt at typeface...ecco ci qua!

The last one is a quote taken from the following poem by Emily Dickinsom (honestly, this isn't procrastinting!!);

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Monday, 28 May 2012's the inspiration or at least a starting point:

Then comes the interpretation, lino cut and inital paper print: 

Then comes the frustration when it just doesn't quite reproduce as well on fabric....

Like all things print 'n' pattern based, I fear it's just a case of "...and repeat", until a better result is achieved.