Thursday, 25 September 2014

Screen Printing Workshops

Last year I started buying silk screens, squeegees and other equipment specifically for running workshops. Now I have pretty much everything I need and can teach screen printing where ever there's a few tables, a sink and some willing participants! So far I've taught at a stately home, in a shopping centre, an art gallery, a marquee and even outside a folly. As well as investing in equipment I've also been experimenting more with paper stencils and using them for screen printing. The great thing about paper stencils is that they are so quick, easy and cheap to make, they also give surprisingly good results. They don't require any expensive equipment or nasty chemicals, just a kitchen table and kitchen sink. I really enjoy being able to make a few cuts and then printing straight away. I printed this sunshine in less than a day using 5 paper stencils and 5 colours. Another thing I love about screen printing with paper stencils is the thickness of the ink and the different effects that are created by overlapping layers of colour. My next screen printing workshop is this Saturday at Weston Park in Shropshire which is a beautiful location and will inspire some great printmaking.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Saltaire Maker's Fair Festival Special!

In a few days I'll be heading north to Leeds and then to the beautiful World Heritage Village Saltaire where I'll be exhibiting my screen prints at this year's Maker's Fair Festival Special. The Makers’ Fair is a showcase of original, hand produced art and craft in the unique setting of Victoria Hall over the weekend of 13th and 14th of September. 
Maker's Fair Festival Special
10am - 5pm
Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th of September
Victoria Hall

New Screen Prints for Autumn 2014

This year's been so busy and stressful that I've had very little time to work on new prints, there just haven't been enough hours in the day. But at last I've managed to screen print two new designs ready for upcoming Autumn and Christmas Fairs. I've switched to using 'Clear Daylight Film' to make my positives for photo screen printing and it's so much better than using acetates. Clear Daylight Film is compatible with ink jet printers and the positives print out perfectly. The black is more opaque than it is when using acetates which means I can expose my screens for longer and I get better quality photo stencils with very few imperfections. 

Friday, 5 September 2014

Girls Who Draw present Marine Life

My summer was spent working on a new Girls Who Draw postcard book, although the preparations actually started in spring. It took quite a few emails to sort out the lineup of 12 illustrators for the book and get it confirmed. Some people said yes straight way, a few said yes and then forgot or dropped out, others said no or just didn't answer. I was worried it was never going to happen but in the end it all came together perfectly. The contributors are all illustrators I know or have met through selling work at fairs and that is really important. They all need to be reliable, professional and also self sufficient... they must already sell and exhibit their own work. I've been very lucky this year and everyone involved has been amazing to work with, in fact it's been the easiest book to do so far.

The theme for the postcard book was Marine Life which was really an excuse for me to draw more mythical creatures. I've wanted to illustrate Greek mythology for quite a while and was spoilt for choice as there are so many ancient Greeks sea deities. There's Poseidon, the Greek king of the sea, Amphitrite the Greek goddess of the sea, their son Triton, aswell as Nereus the old man of the sea and his daughters the Nereids. It's not hard to find images of these characters as they are all represented on ancient Greek ceramics. My illustrations were inspired by these and I chose to use colours similar to the red figure style of vase painting. I decided to draw a hippocampus, which is part horse, part fish and some of them are even depicted with wings. For my second illustration I drew a Nereid or sea nymph riding a dolphin.

Now the Marine Life postcard books are finished and back from the printers I'll be adding more details about them and the illustrators involved to the Girls Who Draw Facebook page.