I haven’t been very good at posting here have I? That’s partly down to my lack of anything to show, but mostly just inertia…
These two are however work in progress. Strange Fruit (on left) is inspired by the song of that name, sung here by the incomparable Billie Holiday.
Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin’ in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees
This is the best pull so far, but I’m not satisfied. Because it is a drypoint on acrylic, I won’t get many more, so the edition when I make it will be no more than 5-10.
The second image, as yet untitled, is pretty close to my visualisation of it. The greys are a bit dark, and some unsightly blotches of white have appeared at the bottom, but otherwise close enough to be considered as the AP (Artist’s Proof). The brown tone at the top, outside the image is just a colour cast in the phone photo, The paper for both of these is Fabriano and is white.
I recently realised that purely by chance I have in 2014 and 2015 made two series of tiny prints. In both cases they came about as a way to get back into making some work after illness. Looking back at the work produced it seems though, that they also have some merit in their own right, not just as occupational therapy. I’ve decided therefore to make a 2016 series.
The mainly ochre & blue print above is from 2014. It came about by chance. I used to clean up my palette after painting in acrylics by pressing a sheet of paper across it. I liked the effects so started using watercolour paper. Some years later, turning up these sheets I decided to cut them up into smaller squares with the idea of rearranging them squares into a mosaic collage. However my cutting up wasn’t very precise so that didn’t work and I was left with lots of poorly cut squares. About then I was taking a stand at an Art Boot Sale and wanted to boost my stock with some affordable items and decided to use these pieces. I ordered some 6″ x 6″ mounts with a square aperture about 2″ x 2″ (from Cotswold Mounts – highly recommended) and quickly created about 30 tiny prints. These proved very successful on the day and I sold almost half of those I had taken with me.
As an aside, when writing this post, I realised that another influence had been sitting in front of me for a few years. This is a tiny painting I acquired from artist Leslie Avon Miller back in 2009.
Moving on to 2015, I acquired a set of samples of mountboard, which I had no use for, since it is very rare that I use a mount colour other than an off-white. Taking inspiration from the images below, I used these small squares of card to create collagraph plates.
The prints above were an experiment in capturing some of the feel of the painter’s brush stroke in a print. I only made four, (I really should get back to them sometime) but with them in mind about 30 small square plates. I made some monochrome proofs on a single sheet, then set about printing. I used the plates singly and in combination, although I soon found that more than two plates usually created a mess.
You can see all the prints in the two series currently in my Etsy shop here:
Tiny 2014 series
Tiny 2015 series
At the time of writing, there are still more to add in both series.
So, what about 2016? I haven’t finally decided yet, but have two options I’m considering. Option one (provisional title Geometries) is a set of small plates I’ve made (about A7 in size) to be printed on Khadi paper. Option two (provisional title Serendipity) will take a different approach and will involve printing on business card size sheets, also from khadi, but using plates larger than the paper so printing right to the edge. I’m leaning to the latter since I am thinking of these series of tiny prints as a way to experiment rather than just to produce inexpensive pieces.
I’m continuing to add listings to my etsy shop, including a batch from two series of tiny monoprints I made in 2014 and 2015.
The 2014 set were all monoprints made by hand using acrylic paints on watercolour paper. These are bright and colourful and each is only about 2″ square.
The 2015 set are slightly larger and more restrained in colour. They are all made on a variety of papers including Khadi handmade, Somerset and Fabriano. Despite their size, these are quite complex with multiple passes through the press and often several separate plates.
You can find the two sets by following these links. There are still many to come, so check back later for more.
I enjoyed making these very much so I may repeat the process for 2016, perhaps making a set of ACEOs or perhaps some postcards. I’m going to be submitting some postcards to the Black Swan ‘1000 postcards’ fund raiser in Frome so I’m leaning that way at the moment.
I’ve reopened my Etsy shop selling my own work. I’m rewriting all the listings, taking advantage of the experience gained operating my other shop selling reproductions. I’m also taking the opportunity to present the prints differently, organising the work into ‘collections’ based on themes rather than subjects like landscape or abstract. It’s a bit amorphous at the moment but I intend for the structure to be fluid and always changing.
Finally I’ve also bitten the bullet and have started selling my digital prints as limited editions. I’ve always resisted this but it seems that this is what people want and expect. Whatever happens though I will not be selling reproductions this way. All the digital prints have been conceived and created digitally with the intention of producing a physical print on paper. To take advantage of the flexibility of the digital process I will generally be selling in editions of 50, of which 10 will be large format – around A3+ – and 40 slightly smaller, around A4 size. I’m not wedded to this breakdown of sizes and may change things for future prints. Once an edition has started selling I won’t make changes however.
The other thing I’m going to do is provide with each image a statement describing the image and how it came about, a note on the digital process and details of the breakdown of the edition. Each print will of course be signed and numbered.