Friday, 19 December 2014

Embossment Test

I was disappointed with this woodcut....that's what happens when you are restricted by outside forces and not free to rome as it were but I enjoyed bashing out this embossment print with a scrubbing brush, giving me food for thought

Studio wall filling up

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Photopolymer Printmaking

Printing at the Highland print centre this weekend making a photopolymer print in weekend workshop.  First test print taken from one of the cyanotype seaweed prints

 section test print of image below

Friday, 12 December 2014


Ok lovely visitors.....After a bit of research I have now hopefully  made it easier for you all to comment on my blog.  And thank you to Jacqui for directing me to the appropriate information.  It would be lovely to hear from you.  Big thank you to Olga and Gill for managing to break through the google barriers, haven't a clue how you did that.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

thank you

Thank you Olga and Gill for your lovely comments....For some bizarre reason I don't seem able to post/reply in the comments box...I am looking in to it...

and finally today

a wet one, just a corner detail as it's taped to a desk and I can't get up high enough to capture the whole piece


I have just been chatting to the Arts Development manager Caroline Hewat here at Cromarty Arst Trust where I am working about connections and how the work I am making now relates to my past work.  I always get excited when things start connecting because its then that I feel things are working and I am in tune as it were. 

When I sadly left my studio in Glasgow I knew I wanted to connect with and make work about being outside.  One of my key words was Wild.  Well it is certainly wild at the moment, its raining and the wind speed has been 56 mph.  And this mornings work has connected with wildness.  The drawings are fabulous, I am really happy with the results.  So there is the physical connectedness with the weather. 

I have been thinking about the process of creating my early dance drawings.  They are about capturing a moment in time, a moment of movement that the dancer made and I connected with.  They are about mark making and sensitivity. 

And so I see within these seaweed wind drawings the same connectedness of a movement in time and capturing a moment.  The mark making is according to the winds sensitivity, the weight of the sea weed and the angle of the pen.

First one today

9.30-12.00 hrs 22-46 mph SW

Windy oh yeah

Well I am excited this morning is getting ever so windy and the pens are furious (that's just made me think of Joan as police woman's song ....)...the A3 is not big enough so I have set up another one with snowdon paper.  It's quite interesting seeing how I am getting different results from each piece of seaweed.  I need to study and analyse this.  Question is do I want some control or not.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Charcoal and Seaweed

So I am now testing charcoal with surprising delicate and fragile, just love it

10-22MPH 11.15-12.07 hrs with charcoal

Beautiful Seaweed Drawings

Well, I have been looking at my statistics and I seem to have some followers in Russia, Ukraine and Sweden...I would love to hear from you guys.....I have had thousands of views on this blog but not many people leave would be so good to hear from people.

So....I am really getting into these drawings and beginning to notice connections with previous work...which to me is always a good sign for I feel like when that happens you must be on track....getting in the groove as it were.

the first two images are gel pen drawings from earlier in the week....I am struggling with light here to get good photos so bear with me on this issue

 Westerly wind, 9 to 22 MPH 11.26-13.25 hrs

Westerly wind 12-25MPH 13.30 hrs approx 2hours

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Wind Drawing

 Wind Drawing

The wind moves
the pen decides, swaying
shall I shan’t I

How the pen moves.
A small stroke
A hesitation.  A solid dot

A gust of wind
the pen sweeps and
creates a curved line
abruptly lifted from
the papers surface
to fly through the air
and land again
close by
the solid dot.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Catching the Wind earlier

Seaweed drawings from the weekend....The photos are not fantastic even though I took them outside but I don't have time to set each one up properly, so these are just to give you an idea of what is happening.

Catch the Wind

I have been thinking about John Cages writings...a particular phrase....
'In accordance with what happens'

And so I have added my own

'In accordance with the winds direction'
'In accordance with the winds existence'

It was strange and wonderful watching this drawing happen.  The wind was quite calm 8mph so at times there was little movement and the pen would sway slightly but not move and I got quite excited when a small gust of wind arrived driving the pen in a curve on the outskirts of the centre of action.  It has become a meditative process which I am thoroughly enjoying

The progression throughout an hour and a half


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Beside the sea side, beside the sea!

Drawings as promised earlier....better photos will be on their way

During my degree I created some large charcoal seaweed drawings which became almost like internal landscapes. These drawings are an observation of these amazing plant life, an exercise in looking and recording.  I am interested in the contrast of the abstract qualities of the cyanotypes and the lines within the drawings

I have been fiddling about with photoshop express ....not very well it would seem!!!

She sells sea shells by the sea shore.....

My lovely book found here in Cromarty, printed in 1944, the language is you can read didn't really occur to me that the sea shore and its wildlife was strange to most people in the first part of the 20th century.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Drawing Yay....

Started a series of seaweed drawings coming when the light is good

Here are the two latest cyanotypes.  Bit more contact than the previous ones....the solution has arrived so I can now work on some better paper

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Blustery Cromarty

Drawing seaweed with the sound of the sea crashing in the background....just had to nip out and catch the is getting a bit smelly!!!  At last I feel like I'm connecting again and getting back to drawing

Monday, 3 November 2014

More cyanotypes

So after struggling with dogs and a sloping beach trying to develop the images I decided to take a container with water to develop the work.

So this next one I tried putting the acetate on top of the seaweed....the previous ones I had put the acetate between the paper and the object

and finally the bleached beach plant under acetate as well

very pleased with these results....looking forward to printing on some Fabriano

Cyanotyping and big lightbulb moments

I spent yesterday down on the beach making cyanotypes.  Wonderful.  Alongside a black spaniel trying to help me process one in the sea and a chat with a man who lives in little whitewashed house right by the edge of the estuary who pointed out the house Ian Rankin owns.  No I am not envious!

While I have been here on residency in Cromarty I have been doing a lot of thinking.  Trying to get down to the nitty gritty of my working process and struggling with stuff and not enjoying making.  So after a wonderful day outside creating some prints that I am really happy with (not so much technically speaking but visually speaking) and chatting with my fellow house sharer Sarah about my work I had a big lightbulb moment.  And I am EXCITED.

These first three were ones developed in the sea and you can see a slight salty residue on the surface.....I have to say this second batch of solar paper is not as good as the first batch...if anyone is interested I will let you know which type I think performs better.  Ordering the solution today to paint larger pieces of proper print paper.

so here are the prints:

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Working out ideas for Noir Blanc Vivant....

Working out ideas for the pages of our book

The grey is too opaque
I am currently thinking about shape
 and cutting the wood at the moment

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Sketchbook workings

Having spent last week taking photographs in this amazing part of the UK battling with wind and rain, (images to follow soon), I am now back working on my prints.  I am currently working on Noir Blanc Vivant, Black White Veer, and three Chinese equivalent symbols.....a print book project with Madeleine Samson in Quebec and Wah Wing Chan in Montreal.  We will be incorporating  each of our languages within this work. 

Some sketches below using cyanotype imagery as reference in the first instance posted here earlier, ink drawings, carbon print drawing and a bit of photoshop to get some ideas flowing

So this is a shadow ink drawing of the monster seaweed collected on Cromarty beach

A carbon drawing taken from the cyanotype of the bleached beach plant

Working sketch of possible print, the red is a bit too heavy I think.  I am considering making a woodcut and embossing the first print and then placing the beach plant in different places.......possibly with monoprint...just mulling over the possibilities

A sequence of three....still very much in the embryo stage, I want to get an interesting shape within the black areas, this is looking too much like a pointed finger!

Carbon drawing......of beach plant.  I am going to make some more cyanotypes of the beach plants next time the sun shines.