Summer 2018

I’ve entered 3 printmaking competitions this summer with the two collagraphs and the lino print.  I will be in the studio printing in June/July and also making new work.

I have booked a workshop at London Print Studio in July in Photopolymer Printmaking – one day – which will give me an intro into this studio which I didn’t like on my first visit, it seemed very cramped and dark compared with East London Printmakers which is my favourite open access studio in London but quite a distance for me.

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The tree series of collagraphs

April 2018:  I spent the morning at East London Printmakers proofing my two collagraphs.  I am quite happy now, learning how to print textured plates. I need to ease off the pressure of the press as the ink is leaking in one, although I should have seen that there was too much ink on the plate. Fabriano paper is nice.  I am going back next week to print these again.



I used the same inking methods for the second image: black with extender rubbed well in and cleaned then adding yellow ochre, blue and some dark green but I need to do more colour in the ground and more blue in the sky.    I like the colour tone in the top one which is a mix of blue in parts and black in parts rather than mixing blue and black together, I think it works better.

March 2018: I printed the Tree That wanted to Fly collagraph plate today at East London Print, black ink with half extender and once the plate was wiped clean I added some dabs of yellow ochre and prussian blue also with extender.    The press was set to 4 screw marks for pressure withe one blanket and two tissue sheets.  The plate was very dirty on the rear side and I must try to work cleaner in future.  The ink is water based etching ink from Intaglio.

The slideshow shows two images; one the printed one and the other doctored to lighten areas in photoshop to see which areas I need to lighten next time I print. 

The lightened image shows the sky and tree better and the plans, rocks and moon also sand out.  There is a bit to the right of the tree that also  needs to be lightened in order to show the shape of the tree canopy.

I like the ground area now, it has detail and nice shapes and provides more interest than the original roots did. I also like the added plants on the ground.  I’m getting to know this print – it takes time.

So next printing I need to lighten the areas as shown, use black for the base and add colour: ochre and blue once wiped and remove ink using tissue and cutips.


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March 2018 :  I am reworking the collagraph plate for this image, adding more detail to the roots of the tree rather than those winding shapes, I am using watercolour paper and small shapes of snails and bulbs.  I will fill it in with some sinewy roots and then book a session to print it.


Collagraph plate unfinished and unvarnished as yet

Re:  image below:  This is my first attempt to make a collagraph for my Tree series of images.  I am pleased with the tree and land, but the ground/roots need more work and I need more light to dark textures.  I think I may add carborundum to the ground to make it very dark.  and rather than roots just embed shapes like shells and stones into the dark area.


this was my first attempt at this collagraph, as you can see above I have abandoned the roots and added more ground details.

These are some texture cards I printed this last week at East London Printmakers, using blue and lots of extender.  I used watercolor paper, a feather in gesso, tin foil, glue



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This year …

January 2018: (Work in Progress page) Printmaking:  I am working on my new project and exploring the shapes of the image in monoprint and colour.  I am now researching ways to produce the image or suite of images in collagraph and I am making various plates using different materials : tin foil, leaves, feathers, watercolor paper, torn tissue, gesso, string, hemp, etc.

I am booking a workshop at East London Printmakers starting this month in collagraph and carborundum so that I can develop my skills in this area, particularly in multi plate printing and working with colour.


Monoprint: The Tree that wanted to Fly

I have a new exam student and in May I will be starting my Part 1 Healing Training with the Healing Trust, so that by June I’ll be able to start doing voluntary healing at the Highgate healing centre.

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Intaglio printmakers

Intaglio Printmakers is the nearest and one of the last printmaker suppliers in London.  It’s a bit of a journey to London Bridge.  I went today to buy safe wash etching inks in 3 colours and some aluminium and paper drypoint plates.

I am finding out about how to prepare plates one guy suggested using vinegar, in the workshop at East London Printmakers we used whiting and ammonia which I don’t want to use.

I used Gesso with Carb and pva with a little water added.  I will be printing the plates in the New Year at my open access studio.  I added the carb to the liquid rather than sprinkle it onto the glue on the plate as I think it would be too thick and not print or ink up and rub down well.

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Drypoint and Carborundum

This is my master image for my workshop this week at East London Printmakers, it is entitled The Tree Who Wanted To Fly Like an Owl over the Dark Fields and will be a drypoint with carborundum.

The owl represents seeing through the veil of life, through the ordinary day to day to the mystery beyond.


The Tree what wanted to fly…. drawing for print, November 2017

There was once a tree that wanted to fly like an owl

Across the dark fields

To swoop unseen and unheard

To touch the moon and then

fly down to the dark grassy meadow

and plant once more its roots

into the cool, dark earth

and live with the memory

of its concourse with the winds, the moon

and the stars.

Initial print using two plates.  I don’t like the effect though and am remaking this print. It is a drypoint with a second background plate using carborundum printed with coloured etching inks.


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Talk and Draw 10 November

I went again to the wonderful Talk and Draw session at the National Gallery, London.  We sat, all 40 of us, in front of Uccello’s Battle of San Romano and were invited to draw it with pencils, twice, the first time to just look at the painting itself and not the paper, and draw the main lines; then to look at the main shapes and get those down without trying to be too figurative.  I enjoyed this session and it is good eye to hand practice.

Alot of people there did not get the idea of moving around the painting and allowing yourself the freedom to draw what you see rather than what you think you should be drawing.  You have to let go in this kind of exercise.



Paolo Uccello The Battle of San Roman, The National Gallery, London

From the National Gallery: This brilliantly structured and colourful painting depicts part of the battle of San Romano that was fought between Florence and Siena in 1432. The central figure is Niccolò da Mauruzi da Tolentino on his white charger, the leader of the victorious Florentine forces, who is identifiable by the motif of ‘Knot of Solomon’ on his banner.

This panel is one of a set of three showing incidents from the same battle. The other two are in the Louvre, Paris, and the Uffizi, Florence. This painting and its two companion panels were commissioned by the Bartolini Salimbeni family in Florence sometime between 1435 and 1460: only the Uffizi panel is signed. Lorenzo de’ Medici so coveted them that he had them forcibly removed to the Medici palace.

The pictures may originally have had arched tops designed to fit below Gothic vaults. They were made into rectangular panels in the 15th century, possibly by Uccello himself. Uccello was much preoccupied with one point linear perspective, seen here in the foreshortening of shapes and arrangement of broken lances.What an amazing painting, one of my friends did a copy of this and got into a degree course on the strength of his copy.

In two week’s time we are drawing a Corot painting of trees in a landscape – more on this later…..

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Teesside print open 2017

My print is in this exhibition up in Teesside, two photos from the opening night.  My first exhibited print in many, many years!  Hopefully the start of more exhibitions in 2018.


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I visited the British Museum today to see some prints in the print department: Durer and Cranach.

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Amazing detail in these engravings, gruesome too!  The medieval artists were not afraid of their imagination.  How do they live with such images?

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National Gallery

Today was Talk and Draw at the National Gallery.  We had a short talk about George Michel’s landscape painting.  Michel is an unknown artist who worked at the Louvre in Paris during the mid 19th century.  This painting would have been done in the studio.  He was probably influenced by Constable who went to Paris in the mid 19th century.


Stormy LanRuins in a Field, George Michel, 1820

We spent an hour doing two drawings in pastel on buff sugar paper – I really enjoyed it and will be going again.  Pastel is a wonderful way of drawing if you don’t like line but prefer areas of colour and tone.  We used our fingers and a rubber also to make areas of colour, smudges, etc.


Pastel drawing, my copy of George Michels landscape in the National Gallery, London

Information about the Barbizon School: In 1824 the Salon de Paris exhibited works of John Constable, an English painter. His rural scenes influenced some of the younger artists of the time, moving them to abandon formalism and to draw inspiration directly from nature. Natural scenes became the subjects of their paintings rather than mere backdrops to dramatic events. During the Revolutions of 1848 artists gathered at Barbizon to follow Constable’s ideas, making nature the subject of their paintings. The French landscape became a major theme of the Barbizon painters.[2]

The leaders of the Barbizon school were Théodore Rousseau, Jean-François Millet, and Charles-François Daubigny; other members included Jules Dupré, Constant Troyon, Charles Jacque, Narcisse Virgilio Díaz, Pierre Emmanuel Damoye, Charles Olivier de Penne, Henri Harpignies, Paul-Emmanuel Péraire, Gabriel-Hippolyte Lebas, Albert Charpin, Félix Ziem, François-Louis Français, Émile van Marcke, and Alexandre Defaux.

Millet extended the idea from landscape to figures — peasant figures, scenes of peasant life, and work in the fields. In The Gleaners (1857), for example, Millet portrays three peasant women working at the harvest. Gleaners are poor people who are permitted to gather the remains after the owners of the field complete the main harvest. The owners (portrayed as wealthy) and their laborers are seen in the back of the painting. Millet shifted the focus and the subject matter from the rich and prominent to those at the bottom of the social ladders. To emphasize their anonymity and marginalized position, he hid their faces. The women’s bowed bodies represent their everyday hard work.

In the spring of 1829, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot came to Barbizon to paint in the Forest of Fontainebleau, he had first painted in the forest at Chailly in 1822. He returned to Barbizon in the autumn of 1830 and in the summer of 1831, where he made drawings and oil studies, from which he made a painting intended for the Salon of 1830; “View of the Forest of Fontainebleau'” (now in the National Gallery in Washington) and, for the salon of 1831, another “View of the Forest of Fontainebleau”‘. While there he met the members of the Barbizon school; Théodore Rousseau, Paul Huet, Constant Troyon, Jean-François Millet, and the young Charles-François Daubigny.

During the late 1860s, the Barbizon painters attracted the attention of a younger generation of French artists studying in Paris. Several of those artists visited Fontainebleau Forest to paint the landscape, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille.[4] In the 1870s those artists, among others, developed the art movement called Impressionism and practiced plein air painting.

Influence in Europe

Painters in other countries were also influenced by this art. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, many artists came to Paris from Austria-Hungary to study the new movements. For instance, the Hungarian painter János Thorma studied in Paris as a young man. In 1896 he was one of the founders of the Nagybánya artists’ colony in what is now Baia Mare, Romania, which brought impressionism to Hungary. In 2013 the Hungarian National Gallery opens a major retrospective of his work, entitled, ”János Thorma, the Painter of the Hungarian Barbizon, 8 February – 19 May 2013, Hungarian National Gallery

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Teesside Print Exhibition 2017

I am taking part in the above exhibition with my dry point Family Album: The New Coat which I printed at Inky Cuttlefish Print Studios in September.


Family album: The New Coat, drypoing 9/17

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20:20 print project

I am doing an edition of 25 lino prints for the 20 20 project and going through making sure they are all okay.  Our open acces studio Inky Cuttlefish is taking part and I have to make sure they are all clean and signed ready to send off this week to the publishers.

small lino 3

It’s a simple lino print of shadows of autumn leaves and trees at Highbury Fields in September, just as the leaves were turning brown and golden.  I had a lovely walk in the fields

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Classic Car Boot, King X, 2017

We happened to find ourselves wandering around Kings Cross last Sunday, this is apparently what this part will look like when it is finished.


And we went around the car boot sale, full of amazing retro cars, clothes, records, tea stalls, cakes, hats, etc.  Wonderful!

Subs sitting in a car near the canal


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Open Access printmaking

I have two choices for open access printmaking : London Print Studio in Harrow Road which I suspect is a bit crowded as it’s a popular studio, and Inky Cuttlefish studio in Blackhorse Road, London Print Studio charges £33 pounds a year whereas IC charges 60.00, both charge the same hourly rate for studio use.

I have been to IC a couple of times and I am going to try LPS in October on a photopolymer one day course on 27 October, and from there I will decide whether to also use LPS for open access.

This is my latest print, a drypoint which I have put in for a print exhibition.  Entitled The Family Album Series: The New Coat


Proof No. 3

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Lino print

This is my latest lino print about my journey to work as an au pair in France when I was 19.  It features in my Printmaking category above.


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World Para Athletics 2017


We have really been enjoying the para athletics this week – wish I’d decided to go there – there aren’t many spectators, in fact the stadium looks empty tonight.  It’s so inspiring and so much hard work has gone into this event.  Blind long jump – can you imagine what that would be like? I like tbe blade runners, the long jump and the 100 metres.

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