Saturday, April 22, 2017

World Earth Day 2017

World Earth day today......

Here is my contribution for today's thought.  The world is in turmoil and on the brink of utter madness. I think enough the meantime "life" goes on.....

There are more examples of World Earthday prints further down the here to view post and slideshow

Abattoir Bressuire
 Sketching and Improvement

Last year I promised myself that I would do more sketching and develop sketch books that I could be proud of.  I also joined a few of the Craftsy sketching courses run by various artists (see here) which helped me so much to see things so differently…and I think that I have made great moves forward now. What do you think?

Here are a few of my latest all now done in one of my homemade sketchbooks.

Theatre Bressuire

Bisschopsmolen, Maastricht
Although I love painting loosely and printing in an almost abstract way I do love the working out and the “maths” of architectural drawing and adding colour. Although I regard myself a real beginner on perspective but love it when it works.

I am trying to be more disciplined in both regularity of drawing and in using my sketchbooks correctly

I also visited Maastricht, the oldest city in Holland, a couple of weeks ago and was completely blown away.  It was beautiful.  Artsy, quirky, old, interesting, colourful…I loved it.  Holland is very much bicycle culture and that was very apparent as soon as I crossed the border and drove along the river Maas.  Bikes everywhere...very daunting at first but eventually I even cycled into town with my daughter on the last day too.. Great fun!
Bonnefantum Art Museum

There was so much to see and experience, that a few days was certainly not enough time to absorb it all.  I will be back.

Matisse Museum
On my way there I stayed in a small town in northern France,  Le Cateau-Cambr├ęsis on the Belgian border that houses the Museum and Gallery of Henri Matisse...WOW  what an experience.  I loved it.  So inspirational.  Well worth the visit

I even had time to sketch in the garden too!

Everyday in March Portrait sketching group

In March I also signed up to the Everyday in March group...mainly because the theme was portraits and each day you were given a type of person to paint....i.e.  scientist, male, female, male movie star, leader etc.  

I think its a bit like learning perspective...its such a thrill to get a likeness.  Oh what fun...Just my kind of thing (at that time) I did as many as I possibly could.  I think that I reached 20....

If you have never joined a group like this I thoroughly recommend it.  Its a great motivator and fun too, with the added bonus, that you learn something everyday. 

Thats pretty much it for now..other to say that Arty our lovely cat is now growing up and moulting madly to get ready for the summer and is having great fun with the appearance of lots of lizards and mice...

He's the best ever addition to Bandouille...

More again soon


Friday, February 17, 2017

Hip Op and moving forward

Bandouille Lake 2017

Moving forward…and yes at a rate now too.

Its February already and I did have so many plans to write this sooner.  But old habits die hard.

The weather has been extraordinary.

I'm typing this after a day reaching 18 degrees???? But we have had lovely frosty days too.  But nothing like the snow and Ice that we used to get.

After my second hip op in November I am back on track and have been in the garden trying to catch up with raking up the leaves and generally tidying up.  Great (hopefully) for building up the muscle again.  I have also been in the Studio (and kitchen) doing lots of Gel Press Prints.  I had a fabulous run on those and got some great results too.

I have a Gel Plate workshop planned beginning of March and the ideas are racing! 

These three rectangular images were created using the largest  plate by Gel Press.  12 x 14 inch

Summer Days
Heron Haven - Bandouille

And then……I officially discovered "real" Collagraph printing.

I entered a challenge in January for fun - as I do - and the photo did not inspire me to paint it.  So I thought I would make a collagraph plate and see how that panned out.  Oh boy did I have fun.  I combined the technique with Gel printing and watercolour and this was my final entry to which a gained 4th place.  Seriously...I was thrilled!  Well who else is going to blow my trumpet? 

Of course I have made collagraphs before and used them in my Gel prints.

But when a few wonderful artists work popped up in my Pinterest feed I have been hooked ever since, wanting to know everything there is to know about collagaphing. I then realised how little I knew of this absorbing art  form.

So I have been researching and playing….of course!

In the meantime checkout Sarah Ross Thompson, Sue Brown and Hester Stolly Cox to name but a few.  Checkout Collagraph on Pinterest too and see what wonders you will get.

The beauty for me at the moment is that it is another tool from which to produce something unique.  

These artists above have spent a long time honing their craft and I do not wish to imagine that I can do what they do because I am not that far down that road - yet.  

With Pasta Maker
But I am using Collagraph techniques to create within my realms of knowledge in watercolour, collage, gel printing etc and enjoying the experimenting. I have also realised that this is a great way for any artist in any medium to get to know their subject.  As they have to create what they want to do in such intimate detail to create a plate.  By the time they have pulled a few prints every line, every edge is known to the artist.

I have just experimented with a Pasta Maker and also bought an old mangle with intent on converting it to a press.  We shall see! In the meantime I am using my body and my hands to press into the plates.  Fun!

If you  want to know more and get fantastic support and guidance join the Collagraph Worldwide FB group.  I have learnt so much from them and am truly inspired

Any of the above techniques can be learned at one of our standard holidays. 

We also have tutored holidays. 

Please enquire.  Our 2017 Art Holidays at Bandouille calendar is now open.

Please visit for all the details.

More coming up very soon.

Bix xx