It's been a good while since I posted anything here, but I have been busy with life as well as printing. However, I can't believe Pittenweem has come round again so quickly. A combination of being taken unaware by this and being unable to download the forms for the Open Exhibition from their website meant that for the first time in years I have nothing in the Exhibition, which is a great pity. We did go up for a look around last weekend, but apart from John Byrne's work and the Danish Printmakers it looked almost exactly the same as last year. I do feel the Festival has grown rather stale (and too expensive to take part in) in its 30th year and people are moving away to fresher pastures. There is currently work on show in Elie, Upper Largo and next weekend the Central Fife Open Studios begins, providing alternative, affordable venues for artists, which must be a good thing.
That aside, I have been doing a lot of drawing, which in turn has led to more printmaking, so it has been a good creative Summer - even if the weather has not been very summery. Oddly enough, my drawings have been fairly large - A3 or A2 - but my prints have been tiny - 10cm x 8 at the biggest. I have been experimenting with "Lino" I bought on eBay which turned out to be some kind of plastic/vinyl. Not as nice to work with as traditional lino, but I am trying to find out what it does best. My first attempt was a little multi block print using three of them and a final layer of "real" lino. Quite good fun to mess about with, using a lot of extender with the oil based inks to see how the colours built up - Primrose yellow, Royal blue, Poppy red and Black .
Next I tried a small reduction print with three layers, again with mainly extender, yellow ochre for the first layer, process cyan for the second and process magenta for the third. Not too happy with the results, partly the way the vinyl cut, partly because the initial layer was just too pale. My third print is a combination of two Lino blocks, the background etched with caustic soda and printed in waterbased yellow ink, the foreground mouse in oil based Black ink. I'm very fond of his cheeky, jaunty attitude.
The 3 prints at the bottom are experimental stages for a 20 x 20 cm Exchange I am taking part in. Using elements cut out of card and inked separately then arranged on the base plate and printed onto damp paper. The little boy with the ball still seems to be featuring... I'll maybe let him catch that ball eventually.
I think I've had enough of small prints for now and am in the mood to try something a good deal bigger for my next project. Plenty of drawings to peruse for inspiration...

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