Monthly Archives: February 2018

A week sketching, I’ve got blisters on my fingers.

Have spent this week sorting out ideas for drawings and prints to go in some upcoming exhibitions this year. Here are a sample of the results.
 The drawings of a hillside/outcrop of rocks are in preparation for a drawing prize so there’s no guarantee I’ll make the finalists. I have a few more thoughts about composition, style and method to play with before a final decision on which to use.
The three pieces based on Japanese scolls are ideas and ‘practices’ at scroll construction for a local group exhibition. The works entered must have text incorporated in the work so I’m playing with a haiku poem to go along with the scroll format. I won’t embarrass myself by including what i’ve come up with so far.
The four colour sketches bottom right are ideas for lino prints which may be included in a series of works I am putting in a exhibition with two artists friends in June this year. Really looking forward to that exhibition.



Travels with my wife.

Ran across a sketchbook I took with me the last time my wife and I travelled overseas. Over two years ago now. Must be having fun because time has really flown since then.
Thought I’d share some of the drawings. Nice memories in these. All are drawn with felt/fibre tip pens and are on paper 21cms x 15cms in size.

Good art – gold.

“Ideas about ‘good art’ are not formed by themselves. They are the result of a complex system of patronage, ideology, money, and education supported by uni courses and museums all of which guide our sense of what makes a work of art worthy of attention.”  Alain de Botton
Sort of makes judging snowboarding in the Olympics seem simple.They just worry about tricks, execution and variety, and amplitude.
Here’s a print I have done. Feel free to judge it with either criteria.
 Granite Island. Reduction linoprint, 20cms x 13cms.

Monotypes, monoprints and me.

Over the past six months I have in my spare time been working with monotypes. In my ignorance I have always called them monotypes but I have just recently learned of the distinction between monotype and monoprint. Monotyping is a type of printmaking made by drawing or painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface. The surface, or matrix, was historically a copper etching plate, but in contemporary work it can vary from zinc, glass cardboard, wood or acrylic glass. The image is then transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the two together, usually using a printing-press. Monotypes can also be created by inking an entire surface and then, using brushes or rags, removing ink to create a subtractive image, e.g. creating lights from a field of opaque colour. The inks used may be oil based or water based. With oil based inks, the paper may be dry, in which case the image has more contrast, or the paper may be damp, in which case the image has a 10 percent greater range of tones.Monotyping produces a unique print, or monotype; most of the ink is removed during the initial pressing. Although subsequent reprintings are sometimes possible, they differ greatly from the first print and are generally considered inferior. These prints from the original plate are called “ghost prints.” Stencils, watercolor, solvents, brushes, and other tools are often used to embellish a monotype print. Monotypes can be spontaneously executed and with no previous sketch.
Here are a couple of examples I have done using either a glass or cardboard matrix.
I like this technique. There is a chance element which makes the process exciting and there is the experimental side where one image can be changed and manipulated by different inking, painting and drawing methods on the matrix.
Examples of this can be seen by clicking HERE
Historically, the terms monotype and monoprint were often used interchangeably. More recently, however, they have come to refer to two different, though similar, types of printmaking. Monoprints, now refers to the results of plates that have permanent features on them. Monoprints can be thought of as variations on a theme, with the theme resulting from some permanent features being found on the plate—lines, textures—that persist from print to print. Variations are confined to those resulting from how the plate is inked prior to each print. The variations are endless, but certain permanent features on the plate will tend to persist from one print to the next.

Black watercolours

After three days in hospital (all right now) a cracked bone in my arm and the rest of the week 39 degree days I’m back in the studio. Have been doing some more drawing experimenting etc. I enjoy drawing most using pen and ink, brush and ink and felt pens inspired by Van Gogh’s drawings and Chinese and Japanese brush painting. Here are a couple of examples of brush and ink drawings I did a while ago now.
Both are based on landscapes not too far away from where I live. I am particularly happy with these as sometimes my patience is not up to that which this technique needs.
Interestingly I have just finished reading a book about Paul Klee who did watercolours just using black in various shades – tones as I have. He called them his black watercolour paintings. I sort of like that description.