2020 Sketchbook challenge

Here we go again, the 2020 sketchbook challenge which I have done for the past two years. I’m hoping to be more experimental this year, using various media, ways of working, seeing, going out more , walking, thinking…..

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Christmas cards

Getting ready with my xmas cards, these have taken 4 printings so far including gold, they will be cut in half and folded into a concertina booklet with a cover which has the letter M in Gold on red card.

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Nam June Paik at Tate Modern

Great exhibition, very exhaustive, comprehensive, fun, serious: fluxus, Stockhausen, Maciunas, Brecht, Cage: music, video, text, graphics…. I’ll be going again

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Urban printmaking project October 2019

I am starting an urban project based on the area where I live, near Archway. And also researching Holloway Road, Archway and surrounds at the local history centre. I have found some photos of old shops, including this one from 140 Holloway road which is becoming a lino print.

Toys, baskets and pushchairs, what is this shop?

The street photograph shows where the old tram shed was, there is a J. Lyons tea room in the early 20th century. The trams were running till the 1960s.

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Sketching at Westcliff, August 2019

rough painting of a photo taken yesterday. Seaweed on Westcliff, August 2019

Painting, using watercolour of the beach at Westcliff, August 2019

2nd September. It’s interesting to see these paintings which are very rough and don’t attempt to be realistic. I have since been doing a painting course and I will redo such images later on with the correct colours, paper and a larger size. I will spend time researching the tones.

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A day out on the Estuary

We ate our lunch overlooking the sea. It was a windy, sunny day. We had fish and chips in a seaside restaurant and then walked along the beach to Chalkwell and collected some shells

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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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