Thursday, 31 May 2012

Mono-printing Workshop

Dorset Art Weeks are continuing here at Othona. We have now have about 350 visitors over 5 days so everyone is still very upbeat about how the event is going.

While the Exhibition is going on everyday life at Othona continues so there are some residential visitors staying for the week, enjoying all the benefits that the place provides. As part of this weeks stay they have had the chance to get involved with some artistic activities. On Monday morning Elizabeth led a drawing session and yesterday I led a monoprinting workshop. Seven people enjoyed experimenting with some monoprinting and making use of some local foliage and seaweed to print from as well as more conventional textured paper or mark making along the way.
Everyone hard at work

We worked in the Art Room, which is a wooden hut in the grounds, which is now over 20 years old and getting a little past its sell by date, though still proving a light and airy place to work in. Plans are in place to replace it soon with a new slightly larger and environmentally sensitive building that can be used more flexibly. Money raised from the exhibition will heading towards the building fund.

This weeks guests will be off tomorrow and then some families will be staying over half-term and they will get the chance to transform the outside of the art room by painting a mural.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Dorset Art Weeks

I am now enjoying the sunshine on the Jurrasic Coastline near Burton Bradstock as I am lucky enough to be taking part in the Dorset Art Weeks at the Othona Community.  I am a regular visitor to Othona as it is a wonderful place to recharge my batteries and at times concentrate on some new drawings.  The place has had an integral part in the development of my work, so it was a great pleasure to be invited to show here alongside four other artists. 

We have made use of the chapel and library as exhibition space and have been able to show about 100 pieces of work between us.  Certainly I have never had the chance to show many pieces at once so it has been both daunting and exciting to do so.  At one point I was not quite sure if I would be able to pack everything into the car but it all managed to fit.

We allowed ourselves a couple of days to hang and prepare which went quite quickly but without being too pressured.  Last night we had a preview evening before opening our doors to the public this morning.

So we are here until the 10th of June with cream teas each afternoon so I'll have to go easy on those or there maybe an expanding waistline to go with the suntan.

The other artists showing are Sue Kemp, Edward Robinson, Elizabeth Sayers and Mart Tebbs.

Display in the Chapel

Two of my drawings either side of a triptich by Edward Robinson

Drawings and miniprints in the library


Monday, 7 May 2012

Brenda Hartill

Last Thursday we were treated to a fascinating talk by Brenda Hartill about her work and the techniques that she uses to print her collographs and etching.  She brought along a number of prints including a few example or her early etchings which displayed a high quality of draughtsmanship and an eye for the unusual.  

The natural 3-dimensional element of etching prints led to experimentation further with using etching and embossing plates within one work to give a print with enhanced texture.  This interest evolved into the more developed use of all in one collograph plates and developing her own inking methods to produce her distinctive works of today.

She also explained how a nearly disastrous though accidental use of some neat nitric acid took her work in a new direction.  The plates had been severely eroded but were left with some intriguing marks.  So she took the remaining bits of these plates and glued them onto plates coated with carborundum to produce prints that had rich deep backgrounds and intriguing abstract elements floating in the foreground.
Brenda finished her presentation with a very informative video that showed how her plates were inked up ready for printing. A process that it evidently lengthy and complex but produces some fabulous results.  Overall if was a fascinating evening and Brenda was very generous in sharing her methods and ideas of printmaking.