New Linocut- Exodus

A truly terrible photo of my new linocut, Exodus, depicting platform 8 at Kings Cross train station. Measuring 70cms x 40 cms, it is the biggest size my old Albion Press can print.
The bed size is double crown – not sure what that means exactly -but I do wonder if I could customize it to print a longer block, by taking the tympan off and having a longer support extending out to the side, to carry the extra length of lino and paper.
Once I have printed one end, I could turn the whole thing around and feed it through so the other end get printed too .
Mind you, I’m not sure there’s much of a market for two metre long linocuts…..

Running a Small Business

If anyone had said to me, back when I was an art student, that earning a living from your work would have to include running a small business, I’d have laughed. After all, artists supposed to be above all that, aren’t they?
But still – I have a work premises – my studio – to maintain, with rent increases, heating costs, parking restrictions, etc. to consider.
I sell a product – my paintings and prints – and I worry a lot about the effects of the recession on my sales. and how to maximize those sales by finding new outlets – fairs, galleries, open exhibitions, etc..
I need to use the services of other small businesses – web designers, accountants, photographers, couriers – and then I have to find a way to pay them.
I have to buy my materials – paint, ink, paper, canvas, etc, and other essentials – stationery, business cards, acetate, and so on .
Who’d have thought that art schools are quietly turning out versatile business people? Well not me – I think we have to learn those skills the hard way….

The Fine Art of Art Fairs

An art fair is a peculiar place to spend a week, especially when you’re only used to working in a cold, uninviting studio for months on end. The inhabitants of Half Moon Studio tend to emerge slowly into the bright lights and bustle of art fairs, with their unsettling mixture of nail-biting tension and ennui.

On the one hand, there’s nothing like the buzz you get from completing a sale (especially when it’s your work) but on the other hand, there are long stretches, especially during the week days, when nothing much happens.

I find it hard to keep looking alert and interested for hours at a time but then again I don’t want to look too desperate. In my experience, visitors really don’t want to feel that they have to buy something before they can get out alive/leave the stand.

Also, forget trying to second-guess who is a serious buyer and who is ‘just looking’. You can spend what seems like hours with someone who looks ready to whip out their wallet at any moment, only to have them utter the dread words “I do a bit of painting myself, actually…” Meanwhile someone else has quietly come up behind you, with an armful of prints ready to buy.

Oh yes, it’s that time of year again – preparing for next months Glasgow Art Fair…..

Crowded studio

Here is a view of Half Moon studio with me on the left rolling up the ink with my Albion press to the side and Louise Davies on the far right, printing on her Rochat etching press.

The photo’s been taken from the mezzanine area where we are supposed to do our paperwork, etc. (not much goes on there, then). Sadly, it’s also the only warm bit in the studio at this time of year, as all the heat rises and wafts about near the ceiling.
We’re in an old Victorian warehouse in Brixton and it gets bitterly cold in the winter – we all spend months on end, wrapped up like over-stuffed teletubbies…