Wednesday, 3 October 2012


Every printmaker has to make cat pictures at some point. It's the law.

This was made as a birthday card for Sarah. It's her friend Rocky, asleep.

Black on white and white on black.

It was on a recycled piece of Japanese vinyl so there are some random lines on there from a previous image. Shhh don't tell Sarah I was a cheapskate.  

Sunday, 12 August 2012


Coming up next, a show of artist's books at Westminster Reference Library. The brief was wide, which can be tricky  - it could be anything at all,  just so long as it is inspired in some way by the library.

We visited and had a look around the stores, they are a specialist art reference library and have some spectacular artworks in there - one Picasso book has actual, real Picasso etchings in it.


They also had a hornbook - these were what children used to learn their alphabets with, back in the day before books were printed.


I also came across this magnificent book about London when I was cataloguing in the Bishopsgate library (stupidly didn't write the name down, so I don't know how I'm going to find it again.)  Smoke-doctors. Pavement-mongers. Animal Magnetism. French Governesses. Smugglers. Tallymen. Wouldn't you want to live in London?


So I'm going to make a Westminster horn book.   A pictorial A-Z of Westminster, with linocuts representing the different  letters (G for Gin-house, S for Soho, etc.)

I went to an artist's books workshop at the fabulous Slaughterhaus studio. It was a great day, but making books is quite tricky.

I've ordered my Japanese vinyl (which is lovely and soft compared with lino) and a baren (a thing that you use to handprint, made out of bamboo, which will hopefully mean I can do some of it at home without having to rent the studio space, what with paper and ink and studio time,  I'm never going to make money out of this.)

So, 24 x linocuts, designing and cutting the images, making them into a book somehow, tracking down a book on London with no title in the Bishopsgate Library, making it relevant to Westminster. Oh and I might try and squeeze in a letterpress course at the St Bride Foundation before the exhibition date.

Piece of cake.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Bootleg Penguins

These are work in progress for a show one of my friends is planning as part of the Leytonstone Arts Trail. The works have to be inspired by things picked up in charity shops. I have a ready-made subject here as my collection of Penguins from the 60s is getting out of control. But it was a great era for book cover design.

I realised that I wanted to have a go at some cover images, this is one I re-read recently that I'm fond of. A lot of the cover designs I admire are very graphic, black and white, simple, making use of negative space. I thought a linocut would translate well for this style,  but it's not as easy as it looks, I've got a way to go. These look very home-made & wonky, hence the bootleg Penguins. (made with roller, acrylic, linocut and etching ink. And some tinkering in Paint - one day I'll get Photoshop.)

I might print up some covers in the Penguin orange, and leave some blank with black pens available for visitors to design their own covers.

Which is best, on white or on orange?

Sunday, 29 April 2012

A quick lino

 Fairly blocked at the moment, you need to feel carefree to be inspired and creative I think.

I just wanted to do something quickly, for fun, as I was so rusty. It was inspired by a va-va-voom red carpet picture, with the dress clinging and lots of lines describing the curves. I don't think I got her cheeky, pleased-with-herself look over her shoulder though.

Can you guess which singer/actress/famous diva this was?

 The plate, inked up.

 The print, done by hand (not very well). I want my own press.