A Good Year – 2016

I know that 2016 has been a crazy year for so many reasons but I’ve spent some time going back over the year to reflect on where I started creatively in January and where I’ve arrived at in December.

So here are my highlights.

January to March 2016

What can I say – lots of painting. I really did begin with a bang and managed to keep this up for quite some time.  My favourite painting is this one of my son’s first pair of shoes which I have kept all these years.

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I had the pleasure of participating in the #TwitterArtExhibition which supported Foster Pride NYC New York, USA.  TAE had the biggest number of entries they had ever seen with close to 1000 cards from artists covering 35 countries around the world.  I’m pleased to report that my postcard sold on the first night raising funds for Foster Pride’s “Handmade” Programme, where young women in foster care learn to create and market a unique line of handmade goods.

If you fancy supporting this, click here to see this years event which is being held in the UK.

 

 

April to June 2016

Exhibiting at an Art Fair was a first for me and I took part in the Frome Art Fair in Somerset.  I enjoyed spending the weekend talking to people about art and I’m sure it’s something I’ll repeat again.

I joined Artists 303 in April and now enjoy being part of a formal artist community.  We’ll be exhibiting at the Round Tower in Frome, Somerset in May.

Remember the collaboration project I did with my printmaking friends.  Well, we turned this print into a tea towel and it has sold like hot cakes!  Such a good thing to do with others.

The end of June saw a return to Staithes and the production of my favourite painting of the year.  I’m not sure I’ve even given it a name, but I’m sure I’ll get around to it.

img_5111I started painting this one en plein air (outside) but I got so cold, I packed it in and came indoors.  I finished this at home using my sketches and a photo.  I was really pleased to say that all this painting outdoors is developing my visual memory and I was able to recall quite a bit of detail about the scene.

It sits in my studio to remind me what I can achieve with a limited palette and some good brushes!

 

 

July to September 2016

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#DrawingAugust came around again and although I didn’t get as many drawings done as I’d like, I was so pleased to see so many drawings on my twitter feed from all level of drawing ability.  Great fun!

I took part in Somerset Art Weeks again. This time I shared my exhibition space with two friends and I have to say, it was our best SAW yet.  Lots of visitors, tea & cake, sales, commissions and bookings for workshops.  A great result all around.

 

 

 

October to December 2016

After all the hard work of getting ready for Somerset Art Weeks and the exhibition itself, I flew off to Portugal for a painting holiday.  It was unseasonably hot which brought its own challenges.

I received a number of commissions for artists books during Somerset Art Weeks and these were mainly for Christmas presents.  Nothing like a deadline to keep you focussed!

deerparkAnother commission that meant a great deal to me was for a friend who married the love of her life in November.  They were married at Deer Park in Devon (such a lovely wedding) and so it only seemed natural to combine the name of the hotel with my love of nature.  The Deer Park commission was born.

This was an edition of 35 just for the guests on the day.

 

 

I realise that in doing this post, I have neglected to post so much throughout the year.  An indication of how much has been going on.  Hopefully this year I’ll be more disciplined about posting on my blog.

Happy New Year to you.  Thank you for your support through the many likes, shares, and comments/feedback that I receive.  It means a lot.  I hope that 2017 is a good year for you and that you have a successful year.

Shoreline Project – A group effort

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We embarked on a collective project this month to celebrate the shoreline.  There are two groups producing two main prints and then there will probably be a few offshoots along the way too.

With much discipline we set about printing 6-7 prints today.  It was quite intense, as can be witnessed by lots of muttering but we soon as a production line going.  I am chief inker, Caroline was chief plate organiser, and Liz & Ann were the printers. We’re really pleased with the results and now they are resting on the drying rack.

Here’s a photo of the inked plates before the paper was put on top.  We used Botan Japanese printing paper which is only 55 gsm.  It was beautiful paper to use and we were able to print using only a couple of barrens.

A great result!

(PS please excuse the poor photo quality – I took these photos very quickly using my phone and the ink was more the colour of the plates below rather than the photo above, but at least you get the idea!)

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Inked Plates waiting to print

Shoreline Project

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Fishing Boat, Lyme Regis

I’m taking part in a little project with a group of printmaker friends.  In fact, it’ll be two projects and two groups.  Each person has committed to producing one A5 carved block based on the shoreline.  It’ll be great to see the different plates together showing a range of shoreline subjects and carving styles. Hopefully we’ll have the first collective print next week.  I’m also working on producing a colour version of my plate, so we’ll see how that goes!

This is my proof, there’s a few weeks to do and then it’ll be ready. Hope you like it.

Aquatint Etching – Sunflower

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Sunflower  – Aquatint Etching 15cmx29cm

Sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve been under the weather with a cold and haven’t lifted my brushes or rollers for a week.  I printed this etching last Wednesday and realised I hadn’t posted it.  I love etchings for their drawn quality but they take a considerable amount of time to produce.  Although I only worked on this a couple of hours each week, it has taken several weeks to produce and I’ve decided to keep the edition small (less than 10).  It’ll be available in my Folksy shop soon.

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Here’s a photo of the steel plate that I used.  It’s gone through several layers of development from the initial drawing through to the aquatint resin.

 

Sunflower – Aquatint Etching

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When we went to France last summer, we passed so many fields full of sunflowers and they were so vibrant.  We stopped and took photos of row upon row of sunflowers all facing the same way.

So, here is a sketch of mine turned into an etching.  I love etchings for their drawn quality and playing with the different techniques to get the tone right so that the drawing holds well together.

Making etchings is challenging as there are many more variables in the process than with linoprinting but the outcomes can be beautiful.

As I’m using acid to bite the steel plate, I’m doing this at a more equipped printmaking studio which means that I can only do this project on a Wednesday.  Hopefully next week I’ll have the final print to show you.

 

Christmas Wishes

  
Busy writing Christmas wishes this evening. Let’s hope they all arrive safely.