London Bridge

I do love the view from the far end of platforms 1-6 at London Bridge. The only problem is that it’s so busy – I have 26 little people in this new linocut. What was I thinking?
Actually, there were a few more in the working drawing but I rubbed them out – as in art, not mafia – although I guess it amounts to the same thing.
I’m halfway through now and still wondering if I should have chosen a quieter station…

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Kings Cross Station – Painting in Progress….


I’ve been busy this last week or two trying to resolve some paintings, which are needed for a solo exhibition later in the year at Cambridge Contemporary Art. This one is of Kings Cross Station, looking back towards the entrance. Progress as usual is tortuously slow, sigh.
Looking on the bright side, at least I have a title for the exhibition, ‘Destinations and Departures’, even if there are no paintings in it…..

Balham Station Linocut – Progress Report



First, the working drawing…..


Then a spot of cutting…..

Inking up the first block…..


More cutting, this time it’s the second block……


Second block now printed – and (I suspect you may be ahead of me here) yet more cutting….


Three of the four blocks now cut…..


The third block is printed – some proofs to agonize over pointlessly….


Tools at the ready, fourth block awaiting – and yet more cutting, sigh…


Fourth block printed and none of the proofs look quite right. Time to cut and paste….


So I’m going back to the beginning – first block printed again, with some adjustments.

And there you have it – three weeks of my life that I’m never going to get back……

Day 20 – Why Do I Edition My Own Work?

Yet more editioning – today I was inking up the third block in two tones of the same yellow, the idea being to introduce some depth to the scene and variety to the light.
Plenty of printmakers don’t do their own editioning. It takes up a lot of time which, one could argue, might be put to better use actually creating the prints. Personally, I always do my own printing as I’m a bit of a control freak/perfectionist (such attractive traits) and deep down I feel that no-one will be able to print my linocuts the way I like them done.
Successful printmakers often pay someone else to print their editions. Either they train up a printmaking graduate, sometimes offering free use of their studio facilities as part of the deal, or they use a professional print-editioning studio, which is eye-wateringly expensive.
The real benefit of employing someone to do all the repetitive work involved in printmaking, is that it takes a lot of the pressure off your shoulders, leaving you free to experiment (and to be honest, it can be difficult finding the time to try out new ideas.)
Unfortunately, I think I’d quickly get to the point where I’d be waving a sketch, done on the back of an envelope, at my editioner and asking them to make a print from it.
Meanwhile I’d have my feet up with a nice cup of tea, reading the paper. Actually, that sounds okay…

Day 12 – Halfway Through Re-Proofing…

A quick bit of cutting on the second block – this was previously the third block but I’ve decided to swap the order of printing so that the blue goes on before the yellow. Desperate measures……

And a quick bit of printing later, here is a proof. The paper has come out a bit yellowy, which I quite like – maybe I should have a creamy-yellow next, rather than that slightly sharp lemon. Hmm….