These two linocuts are my first prints of 2020 and framed up, off to a new home in Port Fairy. The lovely lady who wanted a pair of images for her newly renovated home, had visited the Galápagos Islands and we had wonderful chat about her trip. The nice thing about doing markets is meeting people who stop and appreciate my work. Sometimes a parent explains to their child how to do linocut as they remember doing it at school, sometimes it might be a nature lover who recognizes one of the species in my prints.
I learn something from every print. The Little Penguins incorporated caustic soda etching (in the sky) which I needed to be more patient with. The moon and moonbeams are dodgy, so I might just cut off everything above the sea. The tortoise needs more shadows underneath, to differentiate animal from the rocky ground. I might cut another plate from this one to do some multi-plate printing with colour.
After an early start, setting up the stall and chatting with people most of the day, I need a big rest in the afternoon!
I tried a new technique today – actually two new techniques, one to correct an error! I heard about using caustic soda to etch lino at Union Street Studio with Simone Tippett. Not having caustic soda to hand, I used oven cleaner, first masking off the areas that had been carved. Painting into the oven cleaner with a cotton bud, I was trying to create clouds. I haven’t printed the plate yet, but the oven cleaner eats into the lino and softens it, creating a more painterly effect than the graphic effect of carving.
The second technique was cutting a piece out of the plate and replacing it with a new piece, like a jigsaw. I used contact on the back of the plate to help keep the new patch in place, but it was a firm fit. Fingers crossed for printing!
The Pop-Up Maker’s Market in Hamilton was a great success, with local artists displaying their work in a large retail space near Woolies. Meg and Darcy Jackson manned the shop for the three weeks leading up to Christmas, selling locally crafted items on behalf of the artists. I sold out of all these tote bags, except for a few dinosaur skulls!
My next market will be on New Year’s Day at Railway Place, Port Fairy. Please contact me via this website or on Instagram if you would like to order any of my prints or fabric items. Best wishes for a fabulous 2020!
This linocut print in Ultramarine Blue is a limited edition of 20. I have started the market season again, with the monthly Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning market last weekend and the Port Fairy Community House market this Saturday. The Port Fairy markets are the second and fourth Saturday of each month.
I quite like the way these prints turned out – the contrast of ink on paper and sharp edges of linocut suit the subject matter. A few small errors, but overall a successful result. Which frame do you prefer?
I have been focusing on painting over the last few months, to finish my Diploma of Visual Arts at SWTAFE in Warrnambool. You can see some of my landscapes in acrylics by clicking on the Paintings tab in the menu (left). I also need to complete a unit on still life painting and a coherent body of work. So lots more painting before the year is over, although I might try some watercolours and oil painting.
Since I sold the last few ‘Heart of the Southern Ocean’ prints, I have been working on the two lino plates pictured. A humpback breaching and three Orcas creating a ‘bait ball’ of small fish. There will be 20 of each hand printed on 100% cotton rag paper, in dark blue and black ink, respectively.
These 100% wool cushion covers are dyed using brown onion skins and eucalyptus leaves. I sourced secondhand woolen blankets and cut them to size, wrapped them around copper pipe and pieces of wooden decking, layered with leaves and then placed them in the large boiler. After simmering for several hours and leaving them overnight to cool, the colours and patterns were revealed.
A local lady, who worked as a machinist at Fletcher Jones, sews the zippers in and now I have six of these available for sale. No two cushions are the same, so each is an original hand made piece of art for your enjoyment!
What a great way to spend an autumn Saturday! While others were enjoying the football and netball, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop with local artist, Caroline Healy. Caroline has a bright and bubbly personality and offers encouraging and constructive feedback. The aim of the day was to have fun, learn new skills and finish with an acrylic seascape.
Some of the good tips I took away from the workshop was to undercoat with red (easier to see where you haven’t painted and gives the work warmer tones), use masking tape for a straight horizon line and keep working until you’re happy. I still have a bit more work to do with both these, before varnishing. I really recommend taking one of Carolyn’s classes, even if you think you can’t paint or haven’t done any painting since leaving school. It is a wonderful way to relax, meet lovely people and maybe surprise yourself with what you can achieve.
We had a lovely morning in Hamilton for our first HIRL Farmer’s and Craft market stall. The HIRL is a wonderful hay bale and mud brick building, surrounded by community gardens and the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Reserve. Lots of preserves, honey and baked goods, olives, fruit, vegetables and homegrown produce. My new fabric products (tote bags, tea towels and cushion covers) sold well, so I have some more printing to do!
It has been a really busy few weeks since my last post, with Christmas and New Year’s festivities, two markets at Port Fairy and two birthdays in the family. So lovely busy, not exhausting busy. Today I had the opportunity to travel to Portland Bay Press with my printmaking and market buddy, Denise Regan. We had lots of visitors pop in to the Julia Street Creative Space and the printmaking studio. We often get comments that people remember linocut from secondary school and I try to guess whether it was a positive or negative experience for them.
So this, my first linocut for 2019, is a sequel to “Upwelling”, featuring the Southern Right Whale and calf. This species of whale is a regular visitor to Warrnambool during winter, when sheltered beaches along the Southern coast become whale nurseries. I wonder if you can see the anatomical heart in the image?