Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Midsummer Sundae at the Royal Shakespeare Company


This month I was invited back to run another screen printing workshop for The Royal Shakespeare Company's Midsummer Sundae event. The RSC suggested printing Indian patterns to link in with a performance of Spiced Indian Air which is about a little Indian child in Midsummer Night's Dream who Titania and Oberon fight over. I printed some simple Indian inspired patterns onto coloured fabric and hung them together like rows of Tibetan prayer flags. With the help of illustrator Jane McGuinness we set up fabric printing equipment in a marquee outside the Swan Theatre next to the River Avon.




Jane and I had a busy day but it was great to work with so many creative and enthusiastic children, young people and adults. The best part was when they came back to do more because they enjoyed it so much! These are just a few of the fabulous fabric prints made throughout the day.


Whole Lotta Owl


Here are some clues as to what I've been doing in June! My design was selected for the Big Hoot and so I spent almost two weeks painting a large scale owl sculpture at a studio in Digbeth, Birmingham. I knew it would be hard work but I didn't expect the painting to take quite as long as it did and at times I thought it would never end. It was a huge relief when my owl was approved and I finally got to apply the varnish. Hurray!


Over 100 owls have been painted, decorated and embellished by different artists and the sculptures will be exhibited around Birmingham over the summer. After that they will be auctioned to raise money for Birmingham Children's Hospital.

 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Saltaire Arts Trail 2015

                                                
In May I made another trip to Yorkshire, this time it was to take part in Saltaire Arts Trail. Over the bank holiday weekend I was exhibiting my work at the Designer Maker's Fair in Victoria Hall. It was a great opportunity to display framed screen prints along with a selection of my other work. I enjoyed meeting visitors and also the chance to catch up with some of my favorite printmakers including Helen Peyton and James Green. The cakes and pasties were pretty good too!


Lucky for Some

Another new animal design! This one is my lucky Black Cat which I printed onto little tote bags using Eco-friendly Permaset Aqua textile ink.

Animal Magic!

The month of May was all about drawing instead of screen printing as I was working on a new series of animal designs for a commission. Naturally some of these characters managed to find their way into my screen prints. I've not printed many animals before and also set myself the challenge of trying new colour combinations. It was harder than I expected so there were quite a few failures before I finally finished this edition of  Run Rabbits Run! prints in bright green, orange and brown. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Freshly Printed Morning Coffee

Eastern European folk art and Soviet era design are two of the main influences on my drawing and printing. The results of this obsession often get mistaken for a 1970s style which was not my original intention. However for my latest design I have been looking at vintage coffee pots and ceramics for ideas. I like their striking shapes, bold patterns and bright colours, all perfect for inspiration for screen prints. The result is a freshly printed small edition of 'Morning Coffee' screen prints in three colours. They are something cheerful and a bit retro for people who like caffeine but not mornings.

Polish Pisanki Patterns for Spring & Summer

For spring and summer 2015 I wanted to create a series of designs inspired by the patterns of Polish Pisanki eggs. Pisanki are eggs that are decorated to celebrate Easter although it was originally a Pagan tradition. There are several different types of Pisanki and they are usually associated with particular regions of Poland. Methods of decorating the eggs include scratching patterns into the shell, applying colourful paper cut motifs or painting the eggs with wax before dying them. It was these painted wax patterns which inspired my three new card designs.