Friday, 18 November 2016

New Website

As you can see by the date of the last post (below), I've been away a while. Leaving this blog to languish unloved for a few years, while I deal with what life throws at us sometimes.

I'm back now though and taking stock. I've been doing a lot of work in my studio as I show here: Modern Landscape Artists Space and developing a brand new website which I hope you'll take a curious look at. website relauched in May
Completely new website launched in May 2016

Of course I'm bursting with ideas for prints, having filled sketchbooks and generally looked with a fresh eye at my previous linocuts. I'm also painting which is something I've always wanted to return to. So... hopefully there'll be a new lease of life round here. This blog will stay true to its description above though - that is: focussed on original prints.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Truth About Prints

This paragraph was recently published as part of an introduction to an original prints exhibition:

"…an artists' print, such as all the work in this exhibition [ and on this blog ], is an artwork in its own right, not a copy of a painting. Artists' prints may also be known as 'original prints'. Artists' prints are conceived and executed from the outset as prints, with the image created by the artist and printed by them or under their direct supervision. Because the process is carried out by hand, the amount of pressure applied each time is slightly different, as is the amount of ink applied, and therefore, each print will have subtle differences."

A detail of two prints from the same edition illustrating these subtle differences. The hand-painted plate added to the sea in the print on the right is slightly darker than the one on the left. How many other differences can you see?

The exhibition is at Kings Manor, Exhibition Square, York (Mon-Fri) until 4 October 2013.

Petherick, A. (2013) "Lasting Impressions" Exhibition held at Kings Manor, York, Mon-Fri until 4 October 2013. Curated by Kentmere Gallery, York.

Monday, 27 May 2013

What is a printmakers block?

A printmakers block with ink applied ready for use on the press.
What is a printmakers block? The word 'block' is used a lot on this blog, but what precisely does it mean?

Block printing

The word 'block' in printmaking is relatively easy to explain: it is a block of material to which ink is applied before it is placed on the press, along with a piece of paper. A great deal of pressure is applied by the press to the three (block, ink and paper) so that the ink transfers from the block to the paper.

A block can be in a variety of materials, but often means lino or wood. Just about any material capable of withstanding the pressure of the printmakers press, while not damaging either the press itself or the paper, can be used.

Marks are made in the block of material to create an image. Areas where ink is required and not required are dictated by these marks. Ink can be rolled on to the block, or rubbed into it instead, depending on the technique being used by the printmaker. A print might require several separate blocks making or it may require only one throughout the whole process of creating the print – regardless of the number of colours.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Stacks of sea character in a small linocut

Detail of 'Stacks', a small 3 plate linocut print.

Sea stacks are caused by the action of the sea on the coast. The sea finds a weakness in a headland and creates a hole, leaving a bridge of rock intact above it. Eventually the bridge collapses to leave an isolated pinnacle of rock sitting detached in the ocean. Lynne describes them as having an eerie and fascinating beauty.

This small print, one of the smallest Lynne has created so far, packs a lot of character. The first plate was printed as a classic flat colour. The second plate involved a graduated roll of two colours. The third plate has been hand painted with more than one colour at once. Hand painted plates add a great deal of texture and variation to a print. This texture, or 'character' as Lynne thinks of it, goes against the 'classical' approach to printmaking. The classical approach to printmaking requires that each print is exactly the same, indistinguishable one from the other. The prints in this edition each have their own subtle character, though they clearly belong to the edition.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Harrogate Exhibition - July 2013

An initial painting planning carefully the number of colours and their use.

Lynne has spent a lot of time in hospital since her last post here on this blog. She is now feeling much better thanks to the fantastic work of the staff there. Having neglected her art practice during this time she is now champing-at-the-bit and has agreed to be part of an exhibition in Harrogate this year – for which she plans a whole host of new prints.

Illustrated above is an idea which is a rework of a previous idea, which didn't satisfy her. Creating artwork is often a process of reworking and reworking until all problems are solved and the solution emerges. Some pieces almost 'draw themselves', while others require a persistence beyond the point of what might seem sensible to others. While the idea above is 90% resolved, there is still the matter of whether the colour scheme is the right one. It may be the right one, but other colour schemes will be explored before the print is made.

The idea above has been inspired by Harrogate Stray which contributes a great deal to the character of the Yorkshire town where the exhibition in July will be. Lynne is currently looking into developing another print based on this subject for the exhibition.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Printmaking is a fine art

Different, yet the same as painting.

Close-up detail of print surfaceClose-up of surface of a print, "Lighthouse", showing how many colours?

"Fine Art" is defined as:"Creative art, esp. visual art, whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content". This could be a description of either painting or printmaking.

Just like painting, printmakers construct a 'picture' – a view of the world – with a focus (or focal point), a story to tell: composed, distilled and cropped. Like painting, there is a texture to the surface, generally subtle, resulting from the printmaking process. The two are very close cousins indeed. Original prints are however distinct from painting in a number of ways. One way is: colour.

An optimum few

Generally with painting there is an unlimited colour pallete easily available to the artist – a painter can readily mix and add another colour to their work, at any point in the process, if they choose. Printmakers on the other hand, have to invest a great deal of effort for each colour they use. They have to either carve a completely new additional plate for each colour, layering one on top of another to produce a third, or plan carefully how to add another colour to an existing plate, already committed to other hues without the colours mixing in an unfortunate way. It's complicated to describe as well as to do. This is not to say that printmaking is 'better' than painting because of this 'effort'. The point is that many printmakers try to keep the number of plates to an optimum 'few', because each plate takes a great deal of work to produce and complicates the printing process too. It is the number of plates that dictate how many colours are added to a print. This is why prints tend to involve less colours than paintings. For some printmakers, the challenge of creating a rich image from as few colours as possible is something they relish and feel makes their art better. There are of course exceptions that prove the rule in both printmaking and painting, ie: painters who restrict their colour pallette to a very few colours. However, a distinct characteristic of most original prints is the small number of colours used.

In the print above there appear to be up to 5 colours applied to the ivory paper: sky, grass green, earth brown, dark blue-black and black. There are in reality only 3 – an optimum few?

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Limited Edition selling-out soon

Two of twenty-five remaining.
Seascape prints selling out Detail from a new limited edition seascape print "3 Bays".

Lynne's original prints have been available for just over three years and during this time, demand for her art has been healthy, with sales almost every month throughout the three years. A number of limited editions are beginning to approach being sold-out. The first is a seascape called "Headland" — only two of the twenty-five remain unsold at this time.

When artwork sells, it encourages an artist to produce more. This is often strengthened by galleries making requests too, in response to sales going well. What can raise it's head at the same time is the problem of balancing the pressure to produce, against maintaining 'creative time' to develop new ideas/subjects and to experiment. Artists perhaps worry too much about this however, because the best way to develop art is to make art. The more productive an artist is, the more their art develops. This is because no matter how well planned, or how many times an idea/subject has been done before, there is always something that goes differently and provides an opportunity for creative growth. Lynne has a theory that developing as an artist is as much - perhaps more - about being alert to these opportunities when they occur, as it is to planned "I'm experimenting now" exercises.

There is currently an, albeit it gentle, pressure on Lynne to produce more prints and she is planning a series of original prints which she intends to make in rapid succession. She hopes doing so will see her art develop in interesting ways as well as satisfy her galleries and buyers - win-win.


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