Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Print workshop

At our local art group meeting last night, six of us set up tables around the hall with materials and examples of our individual printing techniques, with colleagues able to browse, watch mini demonstrations and ask questions.  We had lino printing, gelli printing for collage, Japanese woodblock, pastel painting with handcut stencils, inkjet and laser print transfers. It was a very successful and interesting evening, but unfortunately I was so busy with my display, in addition to trying to get a quick glimpse of what everyone else was doing, I completely forgot to take photos for our website write up.  I am hoping those participating will send me some notes and photos so I can rectify the matter.

My set-up included lino and Softcut, as well as handmade foam stamps, paste grain papers, printed tissue, mulberry and drawing paper which I use for cards, artists books and collage.

Sample papers, printing blocks and tools
Booklets and cards using handmade printed papers

Saturday, 6 May 2017

May sketch outing

This Saturday, nine of the Swindon Sketch Group met at the town's Queen's Park with most of us working around the pond area in front of the cafe. After completing my quick sketch of the bridge and surrounds I wandered off to find another subject.

The Secret Garden (originally the Rose Garden), is now a community run garden with raised beds for both vegetables and flowering plants. It was sheltered and warm and I found a clump of creamy white aquilegia* to sketch. I was approached by a lady who was gardening in one of the areas and she commented - “I saw you with a notebook and thought you were from Britain in Bloom”!

*According to Wikipedia, the genus name Aquilegia is derived from the Latin word for eagle (aquila), the flower petals resembling an eagle's claw; the common name “columbine” (Latin for “dove”) is due to the resemblance of the inverted flower to five doves clustered together.

Both these sketches were done in the Hahnemuhle Grey Book, hence the need to use white gouache to highlight lighter areas.

The Bridge over the Pond - pen and wash plus white gouache

Aquilegia studies - pencil and watercolour plus white gouache

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Mini collage book

Four more mini collages to add to the collection:

I have made a small glued spine book for these and, rather than stick the collages to the pages, I have used photo corners. The book measures approx. 4" x 5" and due to the thickness of the inserts I made a paper band to keep it closed.  To date there 13 collages and I still have four more pages to fill.

Collaged front and back covers  
Front cover and paper band closure

Inside view

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Pen and wash sketches on Hahnemuhle paper

With the theme of this month's art group evening meeting being "pen and wash" I took the opportunity to try out the Hahnemuhle Britannia hot pressed watercolour paper.  Rather than attempt a detailed painting, I decided to use slightly different media with three different sketches.

I used very wet washes of watercolour and the paper relaxed a little, but soon flattened as it dried.  I was able to add several subsequent washes in places, as well as lift colour easily without any adverse affect on the paper, and the colours stayed bright.

These three sketches are approximately 6" x 4", the images were from plein air sketches I had completed quite some years ago.

This is pencil and wash, rather than pen and wash
Black Pentel brush pen and watercolour

Rotring Art Pen (with water soluble sepia ink),
brown Graphik Line Painter and watercolour

Monday, 17 April 2017

Weird Wiltshire

We visited a small local museum last week to see an exhibition entitled "Weird Wiltshire" - a very interesting variety of work by local artists, including paintings, sculpture, mosaics, jewellery etc. There were certainly plenty of themes to explore as the county is noted for its ancient burial mounds,  the stone circles at Avebury and Stonehenge, huge figures of white horses cut into chalk hillsides and an abundance of crop circles appearing during the summer months.

I was intrigued by the impressive 6 metre tall figure of St. George which towered above the
museum gardens - a must for a quick photo and a sketch to be added to my journal later in the day.

Pencil and watercolour

Sunday, 9 April 2017

More mini collages

A few more mini collages on the Hahnemuhle 3" x 4" sample paper.  These are great to make when I only have a limited amount of time in my art space or have no larger art project on the go.  Again, scraps of hand printed tissue, book pages, lino prints, odd sketchbook drawings, postage stamps, fabric oddments, texture paste, gesso, acrylic paint, coloured pencil, gel pens.  Anything goes!

Another sample sheet from Hahnemuhle - Akademie watercolour paper "Britannia" - on which I have tried out watercolour paints, watercolour markers and a couple of small ink and gouache resist images. These all worked well and I was particularly pleased that the latter came out so well - I have tried this technique on Bockingford paper, but when I washed off the gouache all the ink went as well and I was left with almost blank piece of paper - all that work down the drain!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

April Sketch Outing

The forecast was "cloudy with rain later", but we had beautiful sunshine for this month's outing in Old Town Gardens.  The bandstand was surrounded with a glorious display of white magnolias and there were plenty of seats from which to work.  The nearby kiosk kept us supplied with hot drinks, "bacon butties" or sweet snacks - a perfect sketching location.

I worked in the Hahnemuhle grey sketchbook for my attempt at the bandstand, using a black (nearly dry) Pentel brush pen, watercolour markers in blue and burnt sienna with a light touch of watercolour. Later at home, I did some more work on it, adding white highlights with gel pen and gouache.

The Bandstand, Old Town Gardens

I only managed to complete the kiosk on site, the background was added later from my photograph.

The Kiosk, Old Town Gardens
Pen and wash on watercolour paper

A couple of us finished off the day by visiting Swindon Museum and Art Gallery to view an exhibition of paintings donated in the mid-1900's by a local landowner - these included works by Graham Sutherland, Ben Nicholson, LS Lowry and Henry Moore.