Retrospective Blog Post #1

#1 – 01 May 2018

Retrospective blog posting, is that a thing?

I am a bit late in writing my blog posts I’m afraid, I have some anxiety around writing and so these posts will probably be brief and more of a visual studio diary. Well, at least in the beginning until I get better at it?! Here goes:

So, I am now just coming to the end of my second year in Uni, phew, what a journey?! Pretty amazing really though, and one that I never actually thought I would complete, but here I am, still alive and well. I do have to take it one day at a time mind, encouraging and congratulating myself on the way., making sure I take on board tutor feedback to help me improve and learn as much as I can. Still working out my methods, a work in progress. I have to say though, it feels like it is getting a bit easier and yet more intense in some ways. I do seem to know what I am doing a little bit more these days, where as during the first year, it was just a whirl wind of excitement, joy, avoidance, pain and anxiety and a lot of winging it!

Last summer, was full on with my up-cycling business, but I did manage to get some creative work in too.

At the beginning of 2017 I joined a printmaking group called ‘Printers in the Sticks’, we meet in Ystrad Meurig regularly during term time and sometimes sneak a session or two in during the holidays too. We also exhibit as a group at various venues, including Y Talbot in Tregaron, The Mulberry Bush café in Lampeter and Newman’s Garden Centre in Capel Dewi. Hardly the Tate I know, but the work presented from the group is of a high standard and I am very proud to be a part of it. I even sold work too!

Selection of prints for our group exhibitions of 2017

During the summer I attempted a few new things with the help of some of the group members, including collagraphs and reduction linocut. It was really good to have the opportunity to practice these before heading back to Uni in September for the second year, as it did make it easier to grasp the concept.

Just goes to show, it is always worth keeping the creative work going during the holidays etc. Ideally, I would like to do a daily drawing/print of some kind, but this is not always possible.

Here was my first attempt at a Collagraph;

First stage is to draw your image onto some mount board card
I have cut around the stag so it is raised and have scored, ripped and marked the card with a knife to create texture and tones, then a coat of shellac to seal the plate.
Here it is inked up
Here are some test prints and the plate.


And, my first attempt at a reduction linocut, unfortunately I didn’t photograph every stage but here is what I have:

I started by drawing the image onto the lino
Cutting away the colours step by step, with my original image near by as a guide
Inking up
Cutting away more
Some worked, some didn’t, it was a steep learning curve
The final images