Saturday, 30 April 2016

Year of Printmaking: Purple Rain

I'm still feeling purple after last weeks news of the death of Prince & I've been in a purple fog of his music, tributes, videos & films. I've been listening to this great list of tributes, radio shows & videos done by the BBC & Rolling Stone has some other great ones.

So this week I only had time for a quick purple rain linocut print. Stay Purple & Yourself.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Year of Printmaking: Prince


Wearing purple & listening to prince on repeat while printing this mini portrait of Prince today. Thanks for all the funky music, fashion, soul, individuality, creativity, sexiness, weirdness & you being you. 

Friday, 15 April 2016

Year of Printmaking: Lemon

I love how linocuts can be so quick to do and look really effective, like this little lemon for this weeks print. What's the perfect accompaniment to a lemon? Gin & Tonic! 

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

London Easter Trip 2016: Part 2

Here's the second part of my recent trip to London; We got the tube to North Greenwich & walked along the Thames to Woolwich spotting lots of interesting sights along the way including....

A Found Object Sculpture & Greenwich Yacht Club on stilts...

The Thames Barrier which helps with water levels & flooding....

Plants inside/outside and a Noted Stout House which is now a vets practice...

Gormleys upon Gormleys in Woolwich....


Then we went to the Royal Artillery Museum where there was 'Trench art' where soldiers carved into spent shells creating decorative art & tiger cannons, while it wouldn't have been my choice to go there, you can always find a few things that peak your inspiration.

The next day I headed to the Horniman Museum, known for its taxidermy & anthropology collections its a quirky gem of a museum off the beaten track in South London...

I saw paper lanterns, and Romanian textiles...

Lots of stuffed animals & birds, while a fascinating collection there's a beautiful melancholy sadness to them as you can see their beauty but now they're long dead and will forever be in a cage being stared at....

and amazing masks from lots of different cultures. Also check out the music gallery where you can see & listen to different instruments from around the world.

On the way back I stopped in Crystal Palace Park to see the Rusty Laptop, which is actually a concert stage, which is in need of a bit of repair. (See my List of Things to See in Crystal Palace Park)

The day after I went to the Natural History Museum, (obligatory photo of Dippy the Diplodocus and you can see the white statue of Charles Darwin in the background) we were there to see 'The Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Some of my favourites on show were Komodo Judo,  A Tale of Two Foxes (a Red Fox with the carcass of an Arctic Fox, showing how climate change is forcing the bigger Red Fox into Arctic areas and killing it's smaller cousin for survival) and a Whale of a Mouthful. Afterwards I quickly popped into the V&A museum next door and saw this beautifully embroidered kimono used in Noh Theatre...


Then we headed to the National Portrait Gallery mainly to see the mini 'Celebrating Charlotte Bronte: 1816-1855' exhibition where they had her really small boots, mini books for Branwells toy soldiers, watercolours & some of her letters on display. Also I saw this great portrait of Christabel Pankhurst, the daughter of Emmeline. Then we walked down towards the Houses of Parliament passing this Women of World War II memorial near the Cenotaph & downing street. I love how it shows the 'workwear' of women and how women's roles during the War were extremely diverse- from being land girls, police, nurses and welders, to making ammunition, it was the start of Women's Liberation from home into the World of Work & Independence.

Passed by Richard I, the lionheart who reigned from 1189-99!...

and found Emmeline Pankhurst to Thank her & everyone else who stood & still stand up for Women's rights today, Votes for Women!

Thanks London I always love visiting you to see amazing & wonderful history, sights & sounds, I'll be back soon...

Friday, 8 April 2016

Year of Printmaking: Abstract window monoprint


When I don't have much time a monoprint is so fun and quick! Here's an abstract window for this weeks print in my year of printmaking project.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

London Easter Trip 2016: Part 1

         -Joseph Paxton-
 I've just got home from a trip to London which featured lots of Art, Spring blossoms, Museums, Sunshine, the Thames, Suffragettes, Parks, Authors and Mystery.

 We stayed near Crystal Palace, so a visit to the park was a must, it has so many interesting things! The area and park is named after the Great Exhibition of 1851 which was re-located here from Hyde Park; it was a huge glass conservatory exhibition area (a crystal palace!) designed by Joseph Paxton (he also designed the great conservatory at Chatsworth and its gardens) 

This is what the impressive crystal palace looked like, but it was sadly destroyed by fire in 1936. Nowadays you can still see some of the foundation arches, balustrades, stairways and sphinxes.

The park also contains stone dinosaurs designed by Benjamin Waterhouse Watkins in 1854, they had just restored and painted the one in the far left of the picture, but I liked the unrestored ones better; I recognise that we need to preserve and look after them for the future but I like to see their age and how the weather and nature has claimed them, its almost as if they are alive and live as part of the landscape. (More of Crystal Palace Park in part 2)


The next day I went to the Dulwich Picture Gallery which was the first public art gallery in the world and was even visited by Constable, Monet and Van Gogh! and John Soane designed the building (the John Soanes Museum, which was his house is also really great, near the British Museum its filled with his wonderful collections, sculpture and artefacts)

I was there to see the 'Nikolai Astrup: Painting Norway' exhibition; I didn't really know what to expect as I'd never heard of him before but I loved it so much. He grew up and lived in Jolster, Norway with his large family, painting and producing woodcuts of the amazing Norwegian landscape mixed with a bit of folklore and mysticism. The above prints show a winter tree which looks like a man stretching out of the ground and the background mountains are made up of a nude woman lying down. Must find some wood now to make some woodcuts of my own!


Whenever I'm at the Dulwich Picture Gallery I always pop in to see a favourite Rembrandt his portrait of 'Jacob de Gheyn III'. I love the detail in such a small face, the eyes that pierce through you and the grey background full of colour, its amazing. It's been stolen 4 times from the gallery and is the second most frequently stolen artwork in the world

The Mausoleum there is a beautiful, eerie yet reflective space and this time it featured 'Forest Folk' an interactive video piece which responds to your movement, see the video below-


I then walked through spring blossoms and saw cute cottages to get the train from Herne Hill to Victoria.

Where I walked past Buckingham Palace (cue tons of tourists with selfie sticks!) and through the daffodils in Green Park to Oxford Street. I then walked through Hyde Park and along the Serpentine Lake (where the open water swimming events in the London 2012 olympics were held!) to get to the Serpentine Sackler Gallery.

Das Institut a collaboration between artists Kerstin Bratsch and Adele Roder of installational drawings created with such materials as neon, projections, stained glass and inks with solvents

Just that night I learned that the amazing architect Dame Zaha Hadid had died and she designed the Sackler Serpentine gallery, it was nice to have been able to experience one of her beautiful spaces; I love the darkened brick chambers for installations and the swoopy roof of the cafe, thank you Zaha for all you did for architecture, women and the world, you'll be missed.

My next stop was the main reason I was in Hyde Park, to visit the Serpentine Gallery Hilma Af Klint exhibition.

 She is said to be one of the pioneers of abstract art, but because she feared being misunderstood and didn't want her work shown for 20 years after her death, everyone always assumes that Kandinsky was the first, but Hilma's work from the early 20th Century predates his, go Hilma, Queen of Abstract Art!

Her work is an incredible mixture of science and mysticism, botany & the spiritual, the minuscule & the cosmic, harmonious & challenging; I was in complete awe and will be researching her and her work much more.

--Part 2 coming soon featuring the Thames Barrier, Artillery, Gormley, Wildlife, Anthropology, Charlotte Bronte & Suffragettes!--