Botanical Drawing and Painting MOOC

I’ve started this free online course this week with Edx, this is my first painting of a fuscia from our balcony. I have been collecting materials:

  • Masking fluid
  • Art water pens
  • small paint tin
  • Bockingford Sketching pad
  • Painting crayons by Aquarelle
  • brushes, pencils and ink pens

Wendy Hollender gives excellent advice on what materials to get and how to use them, she introduced me to using water crayons, dark ones to set the dark tones and then the colour ones on top, also water pens to create a watercolour effect. I have got various graphite pencils and blocks, as well as some Rotring pens, paints and masking fluid

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A day at the seaside

Subs and I went again to Westcliff on Sea, it was beautifully windy and sunny, the tide was out so we walked along the causeway and then went for fish and chips and a lovely Turkish seaside restaurant – huge pieces of haddock with chips and tartare sauce. Then a walk to Chalkwell and the train home – lovely windy, sunny day out!

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Colour printing

We had a great day at Slaughterbaus Print Studio today working with colour – so much to learn, we used two or three different colours and chine colle.

Printing two plates on the etchin press
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Lee Krasner at the Barbican

In the top painting we can see how Lee had an influence on her husband Jackson Pollock in the bottom work, she is cutting up old works by herself and Jackson to make rather crude collages. I was not very impressed by her work other than her vibrant life drawings. Everything else was oversized, over simplistic and really had no interest – huge paintings with just large brush strokes.

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Printmaking workshops

March 2019:  I have done two workshops this month: One at London Print Studio on Drypoint – we used very thin plastic mounted on card.  When I tried to mount my own plate on card it did not stick so I won’t be using this method.  However it was a useful workshop and I will be going there this week to get some training in photopolymer – I have forgotten the process.

ezeeprint: I am using this company to process my acetates.  I sent off the originals yesterday. I have sent off two images and I have prepared another one for the photopolymer process.  Part of my Family Album Series.

I also did a workshop at Bainbridge Studios on photopolymer, mainly to check out their facilities, but their photo plate unit is too difficult and cumbersome to use, I don’t feel confident using it which is why I will be going for training at London Print Studio and then using their open access facilities to make new plates and print.


Can you spot the mummified cat and the owl?

London Print Studio March 2019 Drypoint Workshop





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John Ruskin

We went to the wonderful John Ruskin exhibition at 2 Temple Place – what a wonderful building – gothic, wooden staircases, mouldings, etc.  The exhibition showed a selection of Ruskin’s paintings as well as unusual objects that he collected including a giant swallow wing and stones.  The windows are stained glass in the main hall.


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A new series …

I am inspired by traditional methods of woodcut mark making so I am going to have a go at a suite of images of my local woodland, using woodcuts and lino cuts and drypoints – to see how the different methods work. At the current time, the trees are leafless and the ground is dark so I will have to look for details carefully.

I am inspired by this image by a Chinese woodcut artist. Such fine details and beautiful subtle colours

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Drawing and Painting

Went for a walk on Hampstead Heath today, it was sunny and the mist was rising from the wet grasses.  I love this place, just a bus ride or quick cycle ride from our house in north London. This winter has been mild, no snow yet.  Lots of places to draw.
dav Drawing: I am going to spend my holiday doing some mark making with wet and dry materials and I am going to be doing a new Hopper wood cut.
Also in the New Year I will be going to do some printmaking at London Print Studio: photopolymer and photocopy etching and also using the studio for open access next year for etching type prints including dry point and monotype.


St Mary’s Church, Holloway Road

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2018 Christmas card


this was my second attempt at a card, I did not have any ideas.  This is a double woodcut printed in two colours.  I went online to do some research into mark making and came up with these nice trees.  Everyone really likes this card.

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Walthamstow Wetlands

Subs and I went to Walthamstow Wetlands today   It’s a wonderful place for a mid week wander around the lakes/reservoirs, listen to the birds and see the mummy squirrel carrying her baby across the grass! Then you can go for a lovely lunch in the Engine House.  There are many types of birds, swans, coots, geese.


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Sunday walk at Kenwood

Subs and I went for one of our favourite walks at Kenwood, across the heath.  We found this one legged tree!

one legged tree small

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The Wordsworth Course

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar

From a Wordsworth poem.  I am researching William Wordsworth as part of my studies and research into landscape and to get inspiration for my printmaking.  This course starts in September and has its own page above.

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Anselm Kiefer

One of my favourite artists, a man who is very controversial but who dives deep into the soul of his country.  Quote from A Beginners Guide

Although informed by history, Kiefer is more an artist of memory – private and public, personal and political. His paintings are packed with references to myth and poetry. Art critic Robert Hughes described Kiefer’s work as centring on two questions: “What can I remember?” and “What should I remember?” Kathleen Soriano, who has curated the RA’s exhibition, says Kiefer’s work is “as much about the present as it is about the past”. This is exemplified in paintings such as Interior (1981), which depicts a room in the New Reich Chancellery, designed by Hitler’s favourite architect, Albert Speer. The building had been destroyed immediately after the war, but Kiefer chooses to depict the moment of ruination itself. The result, writes Martin Gayford in RA Magazine, is a painting of “spectral, sinister magnificence”.

Incorporating materials such as concrete, straw, ash and shellac, Kiefer’s works often decay with age, and the artist embraces this loss of control. Embodying this mutability is lead, which alchemists once believed could be turned into gold. Books – often with wings – have been a repeated motif since the late 1960s and represent, for Kiefer, important repositories of learning, religion, culture. Many of these book sculptures are made of lead, which Kiefer first used to mend his plumbing in the 1970s. He has subsequently described it as “the only material heavy enough to carry the weight of human history”.


Anselm Kiefer, The Language of the Birds, 2013.
Lead, metal, wood and plaster. 325 x 474 x 150 cm. Private Collection. © Anselm Kiefer. Photography: Anselm Kiefer.

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Adding feathers….

feathers 1 august small

The smoke from these chimneys is supposed to be wings, so I am adding white feathers to one of the prints,  this is in the planning stage at present

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Private View

Subs and I went to the Private View of the exhibition where I was showing my lino print.  It was at the Arts Depot in Finchley, a lovely venue a really great art gallery.  There were lots of people there and the wine was flowing, nice food too.


This was my third exhibition since I started printmaking again.

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