So after picking up my work on Morvah Schoolhouse on Friday - I am officially finished. Well kind of! I have a great project that I am currently working on, but the point is I feel like I am on holiday already.
I’ve been working so hard getting things ready for the house swap, promoting the FLAME event, as well as getting my work ready, that I felt as though I had lost myself in the effort.
I have to admit that I can be pretty obsessive with things. A nicer word is focused, but I think that I do tend to get absorbed by things to the exclusion of my own needs.
But then, sometimes life demands that you put in extra effort - especially when you know that there will be a reward at the end.
Right now I am feeling pretty organised. I’m pretty much packed, the house is tidy and I can just take some time to reflect.
It’s like there is all this space in my head again. I can take time, breathe, do some yoga and wonder ‘what next?’. This is always a pretty big question for me, but now I have some time to think about it.
When you are creative the prospect of making a living as an artist can be pretty overwhelming. There is no one path. It’s not a straight line. No one really knows if what they are doing is going to work or whether they are good enough.
If I think about it too much I just want to run away, but I have come too far now and I enjoy it too much to do anything else.
I do wonder what am I though? Am I an illustrator/artist or designer? Do I have a t-shirt business, a stationary business or greeting card one? I do all these things and want to do more. I just love being creative! I love designing things and then seeing my designs on useful items.
I am hoping that sharing a shop in Chapel Street will give me a clearer idea about what people want and what items work. It’s an exciting opportunity to get my work in front of a larger audience. Chapel Street is a really exciting and vibrant part of Penzance too - it will be exciting to be part of it.
My dreams of the future are to keep on doing the things I love, but in a more holistic way. I want to make sure that I stay happy and healthy in the process of making a living.
In the meantime I will be having adventures, remembering that the world is a much bigger place than this piece of granite I call home and seeking magic wherever I can find it.
It took about four months work, lino cutting, printing and creating these items and then 2 hours to put the display together. I was tempted to do a time lapse film to show all the stages involved - but in the end I just needed to get on and do it! Maybe some other time.
If you haven’t heard of FLAME before then that’s because it’s a fairly new collective of Artisans and Makers. Standing for First and Last Artisans and Makers, FLAME aims to support artists and create affordable and well curated events.
I’m happy to be sharing the lovely Morvah Schoolhouse with 6 other artists. There is jewellery from Chris Wells, bags by Lydia Buttons, driftwood art by Jane Furey (Fureyiously Made), photographs by Steve Payter (Artisan Cornwall) wildlife paintings by Jackie Hichens and ceramics by Rebecca English.
The gallery is a gorgeous, light space overlooking fields and the ocean. With just a couple of tables and chairs upstairs you are ensured a relaxing drink whilst watching the skyscape transform in front of you.
The preview on Sunday was a lovely event with friends and visitors coming to chat and look at the displays. The exhibition is on display until the 27th April - it would be great if you would visit and sign the guestbook. Thanks!
It was a little strange how it happened. I can’t remember the exact moment. I think I saw somebody else’s work and felt inspired. Actually I think it was Lou Tonkin’s work. I fell in love with the line work and wanted to explore some more.
I rushed in. I had some cheap tools already and carved away, fast and furious. The results were satisfying, simple.
I learned a lot from the Linocut friends group on FB an was blown away by the images people were showing. I saw the fine lines and details that people could create and I knew I needed to upgrade my tools.
The lure of multi colour prints was also really seductive. The simplicity of black and white is very attractive, but being able to layer colours was intriguing.
For an art form that a lot of people associate with their school days, it is actually surprisingly complex and mentally stimulating. You have to think in terms of positive and negative and remember that you are creating an image reverse.
In order to do a reduction print, you have to carve away at the same block in order to create different layers of colour. This means you need to print on a finite amount of paper, allowing for mistakes to be made.
You then carve away again and print again with another colour. This is challenging in terms of lining up the image correctly - registration - and also that there is no going back. Each mistake reduces the amount of prints in the edition.
This is what makes limited edition reduction prints more expensive. I managed to create 17 prints of my bird image and each one is quite different.
It was an exciting process. I kept things fairly simple so that I could practice lining things up and see how colours worked together. Things didn’t always work out. Some prints didn’t make it.
I like things that have imperfections, but they have to be the right sort of imperfections if you know what I mean. It’s part of the charm of lino printing. Slight differences that are revealed due to varying levels of ink and pressure. It is a very hands on process and an afternoon of printing certainly feels pretty active.
It’s a lot of fun. I still feel like I have a lot more to explore and experiment with and I think this affair might last!
I’d love it if you could come to my joint exhibition - you can see all my new work!