Sunday, 20 June 2010

⊱ overexposure ⊰


I go to the graveyard for Father's Day. I miss my dad. I lie on the grave and ask the sky why doesn't it swallow me whole and it opens white and wide and yawns it's reply.


I stop my car open mouthed under a canopy of white boned trees. I ask a man on a tractor why this whole row of trees doesn't have any leaves and the gravedigger tells me it is a moth infestation. Every tree is covered in a webby muslin that flaps like plastic in the breeze. It sits so appropriately in the graveyard and is quite astonishing.

full of wings, otherworldliness

Mrs Haversham's dream, an overexposed, cling film wrapped film set. The moth larvae spin their beforebornness over the gravestones and grass..a theatrical sheen of winter white in the bright June day...

gulp of glue

cobweb angel

time was away and somewhere else

revolve in my sheath of impossibles

winter trees in June

webbed fingers

Supposedly the trees will return to normal after this cloaked strangled suffering. 
I imagine they will stretch towards breath and light like love in the morning

Sunday, 13 June 2010

※ part three for your dear hearts ※

a place that's measured and safe and known
Some weeks it's like this in my head
fragile, fractured and foolish

And then it all leaps together like hares in the fields and I am done up again
Made again, right way upped and laughing high.

Making pictures, taking long looks and standing surrounded by air scribbling swallows.

I don't forget you of course and that we are on Part Three of Printmaking on Kitchen Tables, 
Garden Benches and even Ironing Board Studios.


I was fortunate and foresighted enough once to bid on a load of ink for 'small presses' on Ebay. I think it was about £2 for tubs and tubs of the stuff and the carriage cost me a lot more but here it sits in my studio gathering dust but never forgotten. A selection of colours too. I buy ink anywhere if it's a bargain. It seems to grow a skin and then beneath that waxy shell the ink stays perfect for years and years. I was tres lucky mon amies but you might too happen upon a delightful bargain. I probably strike fear into most printmaker's blackly beating hearts because I use all kinds of inks and mix them up a bit. It always seems ok. 
I am probably a printing pirate.
Ink supplies are available from
and a recent find for me
(they will deliver to Europe)
So, using a piece of glass, (mine is an old glass chopping board) or flat non-porous surface squeeze or scoop some ink onto your surface. I use old kitchen knives for this task; 
no need for spatulas or special tricks.
And begin to can use a cheap basic roller. But if you fancy this printing lark for more than five minutes, invest in something more charming, more seductive.


Spread your ink, smell that oily gloop and remember to come back to the moment.


Roll over your lino block in all directions to make sure you have inked up every little groove and turn.


Then carefully place a clean piece of scrap paper over your inked lino, use a lovely old spoon to burnish the back of the paper and transfer the inked design onto your paper. Try to use a regular circular motion and do it for quite a bit longer than you think you ought.
Keep the paper still.
You want a good strong deep print. 
Old spoons are best as you don't end up bending them under pressure.
And you know they don't make spoons like they used to.

Then carefully peel back your paper and admire your handy work. At this point you can note what may need tweaking, trimming or readdressing. I know I want to remove all the excess lino from around my design because I only want to cake stand on a white background. But this was just a test print to see where I was. It's easy to get lost.
Sometimes I think it might be easier to move into one of my best friend's gardens 
and live in her little caravan.
Just enough room to breathe.
embittered scorn in honeyless hives

Monday, 7 June 2010

↑ part deux (onwards & upwards) ↑

It has been the busiest week...I have been having a b-a-l-l
I think the sunshine brings out the best in me and everyone around me. I popped to London in the week and I could have sworn I was in a village, all good-natured banter and helpfulness. Chatty bus drivers? Whatever next?

I saw some brilliant work at my old college/uni/place of divine learning
The degree shows are here again and I love going back to my old London and checking out the action.
BA Photography at LCC at The University of the Arts was very visionary.
BA Book Arts in the same venue was, as always, thought provoking and I have seen the future of books!
{I'm not sure I understood it all but I got a momentary glimpse & a couple of Eureka moments}
BA Sound Arts debuted this year and I was blown off my plimsoles with it.
Kinetic sculptures & noise at unbelievable frightening, disturbing levels.
Freaking Amazing.
I was almost speechless if I could have heard myself think.
Head down to the Elephant & Castle for the action.

I'm almost pretty certain that the introduction of the odd French fried word in my vocab these days is down to the visitations of a certain Frencharian to my blog. Go see hers ici  It must really suck to live in France on croissants and romantic breathy films whilst being drunk on joie de vivre. 

Meanwhile back in lino cutting heaven, back to the ranch and we are debuting too. 
With the cutting.

Bon Chance Mes Lovelies Bon Chance
part 2 (a)
Guiding your blades around your outline is a good way to establish the boundaries of your design. Think of it as carving a little moat. You'll revisit and add details later. Maybe even after a test print. You can always cut more away later but not add to it so take it easy with the process. It's so easy to carry on cutting because of the therapeutic and meditative qualities this process invokes. Reign it in mes enfants. Reign it in.
part 2 (b)

part 2 (c)

Cut and carve with your blades {a scalpel can be very useful at this stage} Some of the more fiddly details can 
be drawn with the blade and then lifted out with anything 'pokey'. I love my etching needle for this.
Remember the flat part of lino that you take away from your design will not print. 
I want all the 'holes' in my cakestand to be holes so I have very carefully and painstakingly removed them.
And I am still here. I didn't swear.
I made like a yogi printmaker and adored the fact that I was alive doing this.
part 2 (d)
Next time, which will be a lot sooner then this time I shall show you the inking and printing process.
Any questions? Post them as comments so everyone can see.