Artists Books

I’ve been making artists books for the last few months and am finally putting this one in my Folksy Shop.  


I’ve made this book using a ‘blizzard fold’ which is a great fold if you want to create a sculptural book.  This book has an inclination to stay open, so I’ve put a ribbon in so that it can be tied closed. 

Books are very tactile and it’s great to be able to touch artwork rather than just look at it.  

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A different take on a Christmas card

I normally produce my own personal Christmas cards.  Lovingly designed and cut from a small block and then printed onto shop bought blank cards.  However, this year I have decided to take a different approach.  I’ve printed my Christmas Card design as if it was a normal print, with sufficient margins for it to be mounted properly.  It’s nearly a standard size too.

Quite a few people tell me that they have framed my Christmas card, that I thought I would make it easier for them.  So, now I’m calling this my Christmas print.  Each print is individually signed and editioned so it’s  unique to the receiver. It will be delivered with my very best wishes for a wonderful Christmas.

I hope you like my take on a Partridge in a Pear Tree!

Here’s something a little different too – a slide show.  Courtesy of WordPress!  I hope it works on tablet computers (fingers crossed).

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After lots of cutting …

   
   
This print is just a little bit bigger than A3 so there has been lots of cutting. So many stones! I have to say though that I am very pleased with this first proof. A small amount of tweeting and it’ll be ready to edition. 

I’ve used caustic soda to create the hills surrounding Mupe Bay and it’s certainly achieved a great tonal effect. 

The colour is spot on too. This is Ocean Blue by Intaglio Printmakers and it’s such a rich blue. 

I hope this print makes you think of faraway places that have wonderful history underneath the layers of soil that we walk on. Of times gone by when other creatures roamed the world. Of wonder. 

Fox: Work in Progress

GoingHome1

Well, where are we now? Ah yes, it’s transfer time.

Some people use chinagraph pencils others use carbon paper.  I use handwriting carbon paper as it transfers easily onto the lino; as long as you remember which way around it goes.  So, as you’ll see I’ve flipped the design horizontally to make sure that the finished print is exactly the way I want it.  Then I’ve attached the design on the tracing paper at one edge of the lino.  This way I can keep lifting the tracing paper up easily to check out the transfer process.  Imagine getting to the end of the transfer process to find you haven’t actually transferred anything from the tracing paper to the lino.  How frustrating would that be.

Now that it’s transferred, I can begin cutting away anything that will remain the same colour as the paper.  So, I’d better get my tools out and get going!

Fox: new linocut in progress

I started off today thinking I would go out painting.

Then it rained.

Then the sun shone.

Then it rained again.

So, I decided to tidy up my studio.

Now that my studio was (sort of) tidy, I sat down to review the latest linocut design that I started before #DrawingAugust.  My printmaking took a back seat throughout August and there’s a risk it could do so again now that #PaintSeptember has started.  So, here’s a reminder of what Fox looked like;

Jean_Stevens_Fox1

 

I thought I’d familiarise myself with this work in progress and try to get it a little bit further along the design and transfer process.  This design is 25 cm x 25 cm so there will be a lot of cutting out to do before I can print.  I don’t want to get this wrong and have to make amends or start again.  I decided to isolate the fox and have an afternoon of experimenting with him.  If I spend time getting him right now before I transfer the design it will make the other stages in the lino-printing process less pressured.

So, here’s what I’ve been playing around with;

Jean_Stevens_Fox_2

Lots of positives about this one but I wasn’t sure about all the small black marks.  I decided to take it back to the base outline and slowly cut out.

Jean_Stevens_Fox_3

 

No 2:  Base outline, a good starting point.  I’m sure that this isn’t enough detail so decided to start with the head as that’s where the viewers eyes will go first.

 

Jean_Stevens_Fox_4

 

No 3:  Although the marks are too uniform, this is definitely an improvement.  Decision made: face must have random hair marks on it.

Jean_Stevens_Fox_5 copy

 

No 4:  I thought I would experiment with keeping the body black and putting more detail into the tail (or brush).  Okay, I don’t think this works, I prefer the tail the way it was originally.  I don’t want to draw onto another lino block so I thought I would experiment with larger marks on the back of the fox …..

Jean_Stevens_Fox_6

No 5: I think these marks are too long, so where am I now.

Now I can’t do anymore with this block so I’ll have to start again with another fresh piece of lino.  I could go back to the whole design as I think I know where I am going with this now, but I may just have another small practice taking on all the decisions that have been made.  So, just to recap I’ve ended up back towards No1, only I won’t have any of the small marks that are down the back legs.

This is a really good exercise to undertake if you’re not sure about something.  I’d rather spend time getting this right and not waste hours cutting out the whole design only to get to this part and mess it up!  By the way, in order to keep using the same block for proofing, I used water based inks today.  They are easy to clean off the lino so the whole process isn’t too disjointed by having to clean oil based inks off the block.

I’d be interested to know your thoughts on the fox, so please let me know what you think.

Remember this?

I’ve been so wrapped up with #DrawingAugust (see, it even gets itself into this post!), that I’ve neglected my next Lino print – Fox. I’ll think of a snappier title when it’s finished.

He’s now back out on the table and the break has actually been a good thing. I’ve had lots of time to think about how this will look at the end, what I’m trying to achieve and that’s really important because once you cut, that’s it. There’s no going back, only starting over again.

I’m still going to keep this as one colour, which will probably be black. So now it’s time to transfer the design to the Lino and just get on with it.

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