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I finished the new screenprinting studio set up just in time to print my annual ‘New Year’ greeting cards in December 2016.

lotsa cards!

The design was inspired by a very beautiful wooden box, inlaid with silver, admired at the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design during a visit to Oslo in 2014.

wooden box with silver inlay,
thorbjørn lie-jørgensen and a.j. damm, norway, 1943

I love few things more than getting sucked into a drawing tangle and this was a particularly pleasurable and absorbing drawing to make. I was sometimes so engrossed that I had to be given a ‘gentle’ reminder that suppertime had come and gone…

feed me!

… and that blowing on wet drawing ink to speed up drying is a really dumb thing to do.

doh!

Thankfully there’s Kuretake’s highly opaque ‘White Ink 30‘ for fixing these little mishaps!

phew!

I enjoyed making the drawing and printing the cards so much that I decided to print a larger, limited edition version of the image – I thought it would be a fun project, but also a great exercise for familiarising myself with my new screenprinting equipment.

image exposed onto screen, ready to print

prints stacking up on the makeshift print-drying rack

I made an edition of 30 prints in velvety black ink on crisp white watercolour paper (to stay true to the dense black and high contrast of the original drawing)…

print detail

… followed by a second edition of 20 prints in an optically-addling combo of white ink on Fabriano’s beautiful ‘Blu Notte’ (Blue Night) Tiziano pastel paper.

I love this print – and it’s not often I like, let alone love, something I’ve made – so despite numerous learning curve glitches (alluded to in my previous post) making these prints was a very rewarding experience!

print detail

The limited edition prints (in both colourways) and a handful of greeting cards are now available to buy in my Etsy shop:

'nest' bowl

A little nest, a gift for a friend: white porcelain bowl hand-painted with porcelain paint (Talens Decorfin – this stuff is lovely to use, the viscosity is just right for painting on awkward/curved/sloped surfaces and it’s beautifully opaque, it is fixed by simple heat-setting in an ordinary oven, and is apparently ‘dishwasher safe’ after fixing (I still have to test this claim) – it couldn’t be simpler to use).

I struggled to find pleasingly shaped ‘blank’ porcelain at a reasonable price – if it’s cheap the shapes are usually heavy, clumsy, thick rimmed, and if it’s a highly pleasing shape it’s usually highly priced (and not something I’d be inclined to paint on!). So I was very happy when I chanced upon Dille & Kamille in Haarlem where I found quite an extensive range of reasonably priced and pleasingly shaped white porcelain just waiting to be turned in to nests etc.

The fact that Dille & Kamille “strive to operate with care and respect for the environment”, and so try to stock products that support this aim, made this little assortment of blank white bowls all the more appealing.

blank porcelain... waiting to be painted

Dark January days, and their monochromatic lighting, have given this photo a pleasing Morandi-esque quality

I haven’t decided yet what I’ll paint on these. The intertwined ‘twigs ‘n fibres’ of the nest bowl were a lot of fun to paint (if a little tricky at times!) but it was a very time-consuming process. I would like to work towards creating a design that has a similar feeling of detail and density… but doesn’t take me quite such a long time to complete! Or I’d like more hours in the day please (as ‘Gang of Four’ sang on their album ‘Entertainment!’, “Please send me evenings and weekends”…).

These are ‘warm-up’ drawings for something I hope to get started on next week. Although it will likely be more stylised than these drawings it will almost certainly include flora and bones of some sort.

We have a steady stream of friends visiting for a few nights at a time at the moment and my studio doubles as a guest-bedroom so I’ve been trying to avoid making too much of a mess in there – observational drawing is a perfect low-mess activity: a piece of paper and a clutch of graphite pencils (HB, H, 2H, 4H, B, 2B to be precise) is all that’s required, and assuming the light-source can be replicated it’s pretty portable too!

 

seagull skull, dry twig 'n leaves, seed pod - observational drawings
 

seagull skull  |  dry twig ‘n leaves  |  seed pod 

I raided this collection for subject matter.
For a great skull & bones collection check out that of the very talented Mr Schaff, creator of many a great album cover and embroiderer & papercutter extraordinaire!

super-sharp!

… a really sharp (must be blade-sharpened!) graphite pencil. Simple is good.

some of my work, available on etsy
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A couple of weeks ago, during a particularly stressful time, we were asked by our neighbours to kitten-sit while they were away for a few days... turns out kitten therapy was just what we needed #purrs 😺 Today I downloaded these pics off my SLR and thought I'd share 'em here... because everyone can do with a bit of kitten therapy in their lives! #kittens #kitten_therapy #grey #sansa #british_blue #black #jax (scroll right for Jax!) Summer solstice sundowner, 22h05, 21 June #summer_solstice #northern_hemisphere #sunset #sundowner #brouerijtij #beer #ijwit #thirst_quencher #sandy #beach #parnassia #north_sea #ocean #netherlands Last night’s summer solstice sun sinks slowly into the misty North Sea #summer_solstice #northern_hemisphere #sunset #soft #mist #north_sea #ocean #beach #parnassia #netherlands Jellyfish silkscreen print detail… #screenprinting #silkscreen #screen_printing #printmaking #ink #work_in_progress #drawing #handdrawn #stippling #jellyfish #cnidarian #tentacles #oral_arms #pattern #tangle #intertwined -o- https://tinyurl.com/yclpowve Detail of a recently completed screenprint, entitled ‘forest fauna’, on Fabriano’s beautiful ‘Blu Notte’ (Blue Night) Tiziano pastel paper #handmade #screenprint #silkscreen_print #printmaking #fabriano #italian_paper #texture #ink #white #blue #forest_fauna #bat #bird #graphic #pattern #intertwined #organic #flora Jellyfish ascending... #work_in_progress #screenprinting #screen_mesh #film_positive #exposed_screen #printmaking #drawing #handdrawn #jellyfish #tentacles #oral_arms #pattern #tangle #intertwined

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