Monday, 18 November 2013

Five go mad, chapter two.

Breakfast eaten, dishes washed we jumped in Merlyns Berlingo to head down to the beach laden with large sheets of paper, brushes and ink.
It was very windy so we looked for a spot sheltered enough to get some drawing done.

Rod Nelson looking for the right spot

We finally settled on a rocky spot with a good view through a large arch with plenty of white foaming sea action and got drawing. All of us chucking ink around on the same piece of paper, in the bracing wind, was very liberating. Especially refreshingly so for Rod who had to make a trouserless wade into the sea to recapture a floating sheet of water liberated by the wind.

Then it was back to the studio to do something creative with all this fresh air inspiration that five print makers would be happy with. No pressure then. We started by trimming the ply to size and then decided to draw out an image, but how could we all work on the same piece? Simple, divide it up and each have a bit to work on.

Merlyn by our blocks
Rod and Judith working together on the 'cliffs'
Julia working on her bit of the jigsaw

It all looks quite simple and tranquil, and it was very relaxed but wasn't simple. There was a lot of wandering from block to block, quizzing each other about various sections we were working on, what happens when this bit meets that, how much of this to cut and so on for most of the day. 

The big worry that five separate artists working on their own bits would have their own signature and when it was put together it would look like a dogs dinner. Once we had assembled the pieces there was a collective sigh of relief at the rather nice looking inked blocks. It looked pretty good.

Time to try a proof print. The first part to proof was the under block that Merlyn had been working on. This, as the name suggests, goes under all the other sections of the print and hopefully pins it all together.

We pulled a couple and then went for the assembled over blocks on top.

I think its obvious to see from the grins and excitement on the faces of all involved that we're rather relieved and quite happy at the appearance of the very first print. If it looks like this, we thought, on first proof imagine how it will look after we have obsessed and tweaked over it for another couple of days.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The printmaking Five go mad in Devon. Chapter one.

Your not still expecting any sort of linear based time accurate listing of my adventures in print? Good so forget about my sixth birthday, I'll get to Art in Action and Geneva later, now we need to talk about Pine.

Though this does in fact refer back to AIA in July, where I met the most excellent printmakers Merlyn Chesterman, who had the stand next to mine, and Julie Manning who had come down to see Merlyn. We had a bit of a chat about meeting up to 'do' something. They'd come up to do one of my courses, I'd come down to see them, we'd work together or sommat. We got another print friend of mine interested, Laura Boswell, also at AiA and the idea of meeting up to create began to germinate.

Unfortunately for us Laura couldn't make the proposed dates, good for her though as she was off for the Masters version of a Japanese woodblock course in Japan.

Merlyn soldiered on finding recruits and 'print camp' materialised with five printmakers, Merlyn and myself, Julia Manning, Judith Westcott and Rod Nelson. The furious, fantastic and of course famous five.

AKA Pine Feroda

The who was organised, the where was set, Merlyns studio in Hartland Devon, the when decided on, early October, which meant Print camp I was on. I arrived at glass of wine time on the Thursday evening to meet up with the gang  and we spent the evening trying to decide what were we actually going to do over the weekend. Not much was decided other than we better get down the beach first thing and seek some inspiration.

Tractors to lighthouse's

It all went mad busy again so as usual I'm months behind, but as promised, a long time ago, here is a picture of a tractor with some birdies and a lighthouse.

The rooks wait patiently

The lighthouse print is of Happisburgh. One of those places in Norfolk that has pretty much lost it battle with the sea and every storm marks a new front in the seas advance. It's a slightly eerie place with gardens ending at cliff edges and the beach below littered with bits of house. I'd done the start of the print before I went to Oz, but wasn't sure what to do with the field in the foreground. A large empty area lined with tractor tyre marks. It became a transition piece, a before and after, the upper part being pre-oz and then I stuck a bit of post-oz pattern in the foreground to get me started.

Back to these shores

I moved on from this to the Waterfall print in the previous post. What? you weren't expecting chronological integrity were you?
Next, my sixth birthday party.
After that Art in Action and six people sweating over lino in a seventh floor apartment in Geneva. Oh and an annoying trip back to old school registration.