Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Framing and an Art In Action Announcement

I ended my last blog post with a photograph of my new set of exhibition frames. Having splashed out on them, I decided that I ought to upgrade my framing kit and do a really good job so that everything looks as good as can be.

As it happens, I bought myself a new mountboard cutting kit during my last demonstrating session at Art In Action but had never used it - I hadn't even unpacked it. I had been impressed by the demonstration I had been given and decided that it was time to break it out and use it.

I'm very pleased that I did because the system was easy to use and cut the most neat and accurate corners that I have ever managed. I am really pleased with the results I achieved after a very few practices. It is a FrameCo Matte Master System 660b.

Years ago, I used "Hang Its" on my smaller framed work. I finally found a source and bought a tub. They simply tap onto the backboard to give an easy to use flush finish:

From the same source, I decided to buy a point driver. I have always used pins and a hammer in the past but this method is faster, neater and - finally - the days of managing to nail my thumb to a frame are over:

The other change that I have made is to use a fine plastic covered wire that is held firmly by ferrules that are simply crimped. No more knotting:

All of these framing sundries were purchased from www.lionpic.co.uk and I am very pleased with the results I have achieved. Here is "Lily Of The Valley, Nimes" in its new ash frame.

It is a co-incidence that I was reminded of Art In Action because - at short notice - I am demonstrating there again. It is a Waterperry, Oxford from Thursday July 15th until Sunday 18th. All details are available from the website. I do hope to see some of you there - do come along to the drawing/Printmaking tent and say "Hello".

You can see memories of my last two visits to Art In Action here and here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Crowded Early Summer

Its been a packed early summer and I have been busy, even by my standards. I am currently illustrating two books back-to-back, involving large full page engravings and, to cap it all, Our younger son was married in mid May. It was a lovely day which combined a beautiful ceremony, a stroll through the city of Ely, a surprise river trip, and enjoyable meal and ended with everyone making balloon animals. Great fun!

The honeymoon couple jetted off and we decided to follow suit and headed for the SW Mediterranean coast of France, to a small apartment with lovely views of the harbour.

There is a lot of art in this area. We were within walking distance of Collioure, once home to Matisse. It is a pretty and colourful little town with lots of studios and galleries:

A short drive in the other direction is Banyuls Sur Mer and the museum that occupies the former home of the wonderful sculptor Aristide Maillol. The work on display included lithographs, drawings, maquettes and full sized sculptures and everything looked just sensational in this setting. Maillol is buried in the garden and his work "Mediterranean" marks the spot:

Back in town, another of his works can be seen in a lovely sea-side setting:

We were staying a very short drive from the Spanish border and drove to Figueres one day to visit the Dali Theatre Museum. Apart from housing a fantastic collection of Dali's art, the building itself is quite spectacular:

Our last foray was to the small town of Ceret, sadly just missing the cherry festival. The main street is shaded by plane trees which gave welcome shelter from the burning Mediterranean sun. We visited the Musee d'Art Moderne and enjoy not only a fine permanent collection but also a special exhibition of paintings by Frank Burty Haviland.

Even the graffiti was sweet:

After a well earned rest, its been back to the treadmill and no mistake. With the coming of June, our garden is at its best and it has been a real treat to sit out and enjoy it:

In the printing studio I have been printing the menus for our niece's wedding from photo polymer blocks:

While back in the engraving studio, I am continuing to work on images for "A Christmas Carol":

Last week I took delivery of a fine set of ash exhibition frames. This is my favourite wood to present my work in. I am having my first exhibition of engravings since 2006 and will start to frame my engravings this week. The invitations are ready and more information will be available very soon.

We delivered this lovely lithograph to my framer, who used the same ash as my exhibition frames and carried out the work overnight, doing a lovely job. It is a lithograph - beautifully drawn on the stone and printed with impeccable registration by the talented Richard Sell, who sadly died last year.

We admired each others work and both appreciated working in a medium where precision and taking pains are needed but Richard was the better of us and he is sadly missed. It is a real pleasure to have this lovely print to remind us not only of Richard's skill but also of concerts attended in the cathedral. I am very pleased that Richard's memorial exhibition in upstairs at the gallery at the some time that my own show is downstairs and I know that anyone who visits to see my work will enjoy seeing his.

Details of dates and venue will be posted here very soon.