Monday, 4 May 2015

Upcoming exhibitions

During the whole month of May I will be exhibiting a selection of my mixed media paintings, drawings, digital prints and collagraph prints at Whigmaleerie Gallery, High Street, Banchory.

Collagraph print with embossed textures on the side,
rubbed with silver polish and black conté

In one of my previous articles about Intaglio Printmaking I mentioned I had submitted some collagraph prints for the MarkMaking exhibition at Union Square, Aberdeen. I'm delighted that both (including this one above) have been selected to be on show from 9 until 31 May. Proceeds go to Macmillan Cancer Support. You are cordially invited to the Private View. Unfortunately I'm not able to make it myself but if you would like to meet up with me there on another day, please contact me.

E-vite MarkMaking Exhibition

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Artistic Explorations: Intaglio Printmaking (4)

My visit to Isle of Harris (Na Hearadh in Gaelic) in November continues to give me new ideas for art projects. This time I chose one of my photos of a ruined chapel as my starting point. It was taken along the Scholar's Path. This path was once the main access (on foot) to the crofting townships along this stretch of coast, before the "Golden Road" was built closer to the shore.  It was used by school children to walk to the school at Grosebay on the other side of the peninsula, and then to Kyles Stockinish when a school was built there.

Ruined chapel along Scholar's Path ©Fenfolio2014

The vibrant colours in the picture above are the result of one of the creative features on my compact camera. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't as in this case. It just didn't represent the right atmosphere so I edited the photo into a more monochromatic one by using a few apps on my Ipad. In this way the rich, earthy textures of Harris' dramatic landscape are the main focus.

Edited photo of ruined chapel ©Fenfolio2014

Back in my studio I created a collagraph plate on a 20 x 20 cm grey board and used various materials such as netting, wood shavings, black lava gel, natural sand, Asian paper, scraps of woodchip wallpaper, scraps of fabric and dried grasses. I also scraped into the grey board with a etching needle.

Once I sealed the plate with Shellac and taped up the back with parcel tape, I inked it up with Caligo waterbased ink (sepia). Before I ran it through the press I placed pieces of my own handmade paper from an old blouse (see: Artistic Explorations: Handmade Paper (2)) with some spray mount facing up onto my inked plate. This is called Chine Collé. Finally I placed a sheet of Somerset Soft White printmaking paper on top of that and this is the final print.

Collagraph print with chine collé "Na Hearadh I " ©Fenfolio2015

For the second print I used brown/black ink, orange and green kozo-like paper and Somerset White Velvet printmaking paper. A completely different result! Now I'm vary curious to see how it will look when I use coloured inks combined with chine collé so that's what I'm up to next.

Collagraph print with chine collé "Na Hearadh II " ©Fenfolio2015

Monday, 23 March 2015

Artistic Explorations: Intaglio Printmaking (3)

Last week Gray's School of Art organised an exhibition for all students who had participated in any of their short courses. As I had mentioned in my article Intaglio Printmaking (2) I got really excited about collagraphy so the last few weeks of the course I worked very hard to get my final piece ready to be shown.

The concept was the easiest of the whole process. Little did I know then about the amount of work it would involve to actually get a good print result! Via Pinterest, where I pin down all the things I'm inspired by, I saw two prints created by artist Kerry Buck which were made up by a collection of collagraph plates and photopolymer plates.

Fields II by Kerry Buck

Hedgerow by Kerry Buck

My concept was based on the rich textures, shapes and movement I saw in the landscape of the Isle of Harris while on holiday. I made several quick compositional sketches and calculations of how big the plates should be to end up with a 20 x 20 cm print. Once I was happy I cut out the required shapes from grey board. Each collagraph plate was then collaged with different material such as dried lichen, dried plants, gel, powder filler with embossed materials, fabric, thread, textured paper and sand. One plate was made of perspex which was left blank to create texture during the scrimming process to represent the cloud formation and change of light. All collagraph plates were then sealed with multiple thin layers of Shellac knotting, made from flakes and meths.

The plates were inked with Caligo waterbased ink, then scrimmed and finally assembled onto a registration plate. Strips of mountboard were then added with tweezers to keep all the plates in place and to keep them separate from eachother. This was the trickiest bit as the strips were less than 5 mm wide and they had to fit in perfectly!

My patience was being tested during the whole process but in the end it paid off as I managed to get two prints I'm quite happy with. The first one was displayed at the exhibition last week and I received wonderful feedback from various people! The second one will be submitted for the exhibition Mark Making in Aberdeen in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and hopefully it will be selected.

Organic Composition I in Sepia, edition 1/10 ©Fenfolio2015

Organic Composition I in Brown/Black, edition 4/10 ©Fenfolio2015