"The artist is also a born adventurer. His explorations, unlike those of the tourist, are rewarded by the discovery of beauty spots unmentioned in the guide books, and with tireless curiosity and an exceptional proneness to wonderment, he will come upon objects of remarkable interest overlooked or even shunned by more disciplined observers."

Augustus John, R.A.

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Mezzotint Workshop

 Images from this weekends two day mezzotint workshop held at Prospect Studios at Waterfoot in Rossendale, Lancashire, a short 50 minute drive across the moors from my home.














Friday, 1 July 2022

Slow Progress

 I started working on this mezzotint back at the end of January and in fits and starts it's been slow progress since then. This impression printed earlier this week is at the 5th State and still there is a long way to go with a lot more scraping and burnishing required to make the whites really pop out.





Much quicker progress has been made on this small print of a magnolia flower. The platework is finished and ready to edition.


Magnolia
Mezzotint
100mm x 75mm


Friday, 25 March 2022

Delving into the archives

Usually my prints are made from recently drawn sketches and fresh ideas. Sometimes though a sketch may have laid unused for years. This latest print evolved from one such drawing. Looking at my range of subject matter it's all a bit haphazard and I thought it might be a good idea to create a body of more unified work. Something that I haven't done since a solo exhibition I held at Doncaster Art Gallery 8 years ago. With that in mind I started thinking about some of the memorable encounters that I've had over the years; Pine Marten in Scotland, Golden Eagle in the Lake District and Otters in Wales, Leighton Moss in Lancashire and also in Scotland. Thinking along these lines I realised that it was a long time since I had last seen an Otter. It's even longer since I last saw a Pine Marten but going back to the subject of Otters I turned up the drawings of the last sighting I had. Twelve years ago my wife and I happened to be in Dumfries in Southern Scotland. We had parked in a carpark beside the river and on returning noticed a large crowd of people leaning against the railings looking at something in the water. Naturally we went over to be nosey, assuming they were just watching kids playing around in the water. What we saw was an Otter fishing below the weir just underneath the footpath. Fortunately I had a small A6 notebook in my pocket and a stubby bit of pencil and managed a few scribbled sketches, more as a record of the encounter than with any expectation of them being the basis of anything further. I splashed the watercolour on later to fix the pencil and stop it smudging any further than it already had.



Looking at these sketches recently I began to think that maybe something could be made of them and I doodled up the design below in black biro.


It had possibilities so I drew a more refined design in pen and ink to the size of  a spare wood block that I had.


and then made a tracing to transfer to the block.


After a couple of days engraving I had this

The Fisher King

Wood Engraving on Maple Wood

100mm x 75mm

Sunday, 13 March 2022

Workshop News

 I'm pleased to announce that I will be running a two day mezzotint workshop at the West Yorkshire Print Workshop in Mirfield on 20th-21st August. Full details of how to apply can be found here

Saturday, 29 January 2022

First Steps

 

When I did this sketch of Llyn Ogwen whilst on holiday a few years ago.. I had it in the back of my mind that it would make a good linocut. Over the years since I've looked at it but never been able to come up with  a way to satisfactorily work it out as a block print. I came to the conclusion that atmospherically it needed to be a mezzotint but again was unsure of how to go about it. Enlightenment arrived in the form of a book on the work of the Welsh artist Kyffin Williams, which I received as a Christmas present. Looking at the work in the book, especially the ink and wash sketches gave me the inspiration for a starting point. So looking again at my initial watercolour field study I made this monochrome wash drawing.

Now I had a tonal painting that I could use as the basis for my mezzotint. 

I scanned the image, reversed it and printed it out, using this to transfer it to the 200mm x 300mm copper plate.



and began the engraving.

Monday, 6 December 2021

Recent Prints

 A couple of prints finished over the last couple of weeks. A simple 4 colour linocut printed to use as my Christmas Card and a small Wood Engraving of a Grey Seal and her pup originally sketched over 30 years ago at Pwllderi on the north coast of Pembrokeshire.


Winter Moor
4 colour Linocut
190mm x 130mm



Grey Seal and Pup
Wood Engraving on Lemonwood
30mm x 69mm


Sunday, 12 September 2021

Saltaire Makers Fair 18th-19th September - Back on the road - at last

 Next weekend I'll be taking part in the Saltaire Makers fair in the Victoria Hall in the centre of the Saltaire Village World Heritage Site. After nearly two years in the studio since my last event I've plenty of new work to show for the first time. So I've spent the last couple of days framing up a selection of the new Linocuts, Mezzotints and Wood Engravings.


Moorland Bridge 
Wood Engraving


Stepping Stones
Wood Engraving


The Last Shadows of Summer
Mezzotint


And Autumn Waning Fleeted By
Linocut


Clearing Sky Over Top Withins
Linocut


Where Seven Steams Fall
Mezzotint


Roding Woodcock
Linocut


Sylvan Shadows
Mezzotint


Beadnell Bay
Mezzotint