International Print Exchange @Green Door Printmaking Studio

Another mini print exchange that I came across which I thought would be cool to enter. The green door printmaking studio in Derby England have been running an international print exchange for several years and is well established. The rules for the print were pretty simple, an edition of 10 prints on a paper size that is no bigger than 14cm by 14cm and a image size which is no bigger than 10cm by 10cm printed with a 2cm gap between the image and the edge on a recognised printing paper.

Using the design that I used for the ARTspace mini print exchange (Reach: ‘ Lovell Telescope’ see last blog) I decided to experiment on some changes and iron out some of the things which I felt needed addressing for when I do a much bigger version. This included changing the look and feel of several of the layers. I changed the background so that it became simpler and more pixelated, which was great when layering the colours on top of each other, I also completely reworked the detail (key) layer and reverted to a ‘stamp’ like image rather than a halftone image. The final print was much cleaner and simpler and I got some interesting results with the colours I used. I really wanted to create the illusion of a sunset. The print is called  Reach: ‘ Lovell Telescope’ pt2 and it is a continuation of the Lovell telescope series. A little boring I know, but I’ve always tried to keep naming pieces of work fairly simple as I don’t believe in complicating my work with ‘artspeak’. Anyway as always a few images of the print and its working progress in the gallery below enjoy!

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New screen-print for the International Print Exchange and Exhibition @ARTspace

When working on a new design for a screen-print I noticed an advert in the printmaking today magazine (vol22 #2 summer 2013) for an international mini print exchange and exhibition which is being held in the ARTspace gallery in Chatham, Ontario in Canada. I immediately decided that this was something I wanted to get involved with and that the new design I was working on was something I could adapt for this.

The criteria for the exhibition was to produce a edition of 10 prints with a paper size no bigger than 5 inches by 5 inches and an image size no bigger than 4inches by 4 inches. The new design I was working on is a new image part of a larger body of work, which I will eventually complete which I have decided to call ‘reach’. The ‘reach project is something that I will no doubt talk about more at a future point in time, and that is something will I have been planning for a while now.  

My screen-print design is based on an image of the Lovell radio telescope, which is located at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire in England (near my hometown of Northwich). The print for the exchange is probably the small screen-print I have done, and has definitely been a lot of fun to work on. It has presented a few challenges such as retaining the detail on such a small scale, and getting colours to mix and blend in the way that I wanted to. One of the colours I used in this image was a tw graphics rocket red which is a very bold and striking colour, I wanted this colour to come through a lot and after overlaying several colours it had been ‘killed off’ so I reprinted it again over the top of the original so it stood out.

Due to the lack of time, I did not have a chance to do as much proofing as I would have liked but I did have time to alter a few layers of the gradients I use to make the sky. I am happy with the end result, I know that I have plenty of food for thought for when completing the bigger version, such as improvements to the design and ideas on colour combinations. Below are a few images of the printing process and the final edition.

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new york linocut print (2013)

Over the last year or so, I have developed a greater interest in lino and woodcut printmaking.  The great thing about lino and woodcuts is that you can work on them anywhere anytime, as long you as you have a few basic tools, a piece of lino or wood and the patience to sit there and cut away! One print I have been working on recently in my spare time is a linocut of New York.  

A few years ago at the Whitworth art gallery in Manchester there was an exhibition called ‘the American scene’. One of the many excellent prints in this exhibition was a lithograph by artist Louis Lozowick called ‘new york’ (1925). New York has been the subject for several series of screen-prints I have completed in the past, but the monochrome geometric style of Lozowicks print gave me the inspiration to print an image which was much simpler and much more striking.

There is something quite satisfying gauging away at a lino or woodcut. The image I printed was fairly small (28.5cm*18cm) and was printed on to white 300g snowdon cartridge (a3 size) using a Columbian direct press. I printed a small edition of 15 prints, if anybody is interested in buying one, they can contact me by emailing mike1gh@hotmail.com

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Tulip 3 screenprint

Some images of my latest screen-prints ‘Tulip’, part of a series I started back in 2008. I had always intended to complete 3 variations, the 3rd image in this series has taken a lot longer than anticipated but I’m nearly there.
This screen-print has 6 layers of colour, the design is fairly simple with lots of the layers deliberately overlapping each other to mix and produce varied and vibrant colour schemes.

I’m aiming to print 20 variations of this image. When doing a series like this I never print what people would tend to refer to as a traditional edition i.e. repeating the same image/colours for how ever many prints. I prefer printing as many variations as I can, I like to experiment with colour and see what interesting results I get. That’s not to say everything works, quite often it doesn’t and the print will be scrapped or restarted.

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