Thursday, 18 March 2021

Psychedelic donkeys, and some housemartins too..

Hi there

My blog posts don't seem to be getting more frequent, however much I tell myself and they should be. Perhaps I should just accept that I'm a '4 times a year' kind of blogger, and stop fretting?!

I hope you're all well. Print world is going ok. It is as unpredictable as ever, but I'm feeling good about making new work, and hopeful that things can get back to some kind of normal in the second half of this year. Some events are lined up to be happening, but I'll post about them a bit nearer the time.

I had a bit of a creative block at the beginning of the year, but that has thankfully dissipated and I have new prints to show you!


NEW PRINTS

Happenings in Donkey World No.6



Happenings in Donkey World No.7



I will explain about these two prints together, as they are in some way, linked. Neither of these prints was really planned. I was just drawing away in my sketchbook one minute, and next I'm at the vacuum bed, squeegee in hand! Well, obviously I had to think about the layers and colours, but they all just came together so quickly. I've never worked in bright colours before, and wanted to experiment with colour transparencies. There is something quite magical about creating colours from overlaying other colours, and often with screenprinting, you never know exactly the colours you are going to get! So HDW No.6 came along first, as a 3-colour print (with all the overlays actually creating seven colours!). It is an A2 size print, in an edition of 30. I had so much fun creating this one, that I decided to create a smaller accompanying print HDW No.7. The same colour scheme, just a smaller and more concise landscape, in an edition of 35. 

I think maybe the choice of bright colours was due to the slight hope and optimism in the air with the Covid situation and the news of vaccinations and lowering infection rates.

Both are in my Folksy shop.


Housemartins


Following on from my Swallows and Swifts prints, it would have felt rude not to include the housemartins too! They were also one of my favourite bands of the 1980's too, so it all worked out ok. Beautiful birds. It is a linocut poster-print, A3 size, and in my Folksy shop.


Magic Donkey No.3



Yes, the donkey magic rolls on. As you may know, on the donkey adventures, they are helped occasionally by some mysterious hands. Well, in this print, one lone donkey has stumbled across a whole load of them, all ready and eager to help. The print is an A4 size two-colour screenprint, printed on lovely Antique White Seawhite paper, in two versions, each in an edition of 17. They are available in my Folksy shop.

However there are actually fewer of the red/blue ones available, as I've entered the print into the latest Imprinted Instagram print swap (@im_printed). The theme is 'circle', so this seemed pretty apt! The idea is that you give ten of your prints, and in return you get a print from ten other artists on the same theme. no idea what I will receive in return, but I like a surprise.



Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Lots of new prints!

Hi there

Well, in lieu of the usual happenings at this time of year (lots of events), instead I have a load of new prints to show you! One small positive about this awful covid situation is that I've had time to work on and develop new ideas. More birds, more stones and, of course, more donkeys....

So there are clearly no live events taking place for the rest of the year. This is obviously the right thing to be doing, but I have to say I do miss travelling around, bumping into fellow artists/crafters and seeing the friendly faces of the visitors. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Hopefully things can get back to normal before too long next year. 

Anyway, here my new prints (All are available in my Folksy shop via the links in the titles):


Magic Donkey No.1

A3 size 2-colour screen-print

The new magic donkey prints are perhaps from the far-reaches of donkey-world, where things get pretty surreal. Or maybe they are just donkey-dreams? I had a lot of fun playing with transparency on these two print. Despite what you might think, you never quite know what  you'll get when you mix red and blue...Both are in editions of 25.























Magic Donkey No.2

A3 size 2-colour screen-print























The Donkey Moon (orange/green) and 
The Donkey Moon (pink/blue)

A3 size 2-colour linocut/screen-print

These prints came about after I just had this idea in my head about a donkey-moon. The moon is synonymous with lots of things, but in my mind there needed one more addition, being that special time where creature and planet are together. Makes sense, eh? The orange print is in edition of 15, and the pink an edition of 27.


























Hooded Crow

A4 size 2-colour linocut print

This is the last, and probably most rare of all the corvids (well, at least in the UK anyway). A curious crow found mainly in Ireland and the west of Scotland, although they do trave lto the east coast of the UK in the winter. This is the last in my current series of corvid prints (eight in total). Printed in an edition of 100.























Jay

A4 size 2-colour linocut print

The penultimate corvid print in the series, I love the colouring of this one, as it is so different from it's cousins. I have seen them on occasions in our garden, but they never hang around for long! Printed in an edition of 100.



Five Stones

A4 size 6-colour reduction linocut print

Following on from my six large stone compositions, I decided to create a few smaller pieces, but still in the same slightly abstracted manner. Theses ones are reduction linocuts, a method I rarely use (in which the whole image is cut from one piece of lino, printing subsequently darker colours, then cutting more away as you go along). Printed in an edition of only seven.























Three Stones

A4 size 10-colour reduction linocut print

This print breaks my record for the most colours used! It did take quite a while to work out, but I think it was worth it in the end. Printed in an edition of only six.
























Small Stone Study

A5 size 4-colour reduction linocut print

Although this was the smallest of the stone prints, it was probably the trickiest! Achieving the level of detail I was after took quite some time, as was getting the colour balance right. Printed in an edition of only ten.























White Donkey Dream

A2 size 3-colour screen-print

This print came about through experimenting with mark-making and playing with bitmapping (creating shading with dot patterns). The spheres are loosely related to the monoliths, and the donkey is having a somewhat confusing dream. Printed in an edition of 16.
















Donkey Monolith No.9

76 x 56cm, 3-colour linocut/screen-print

This is so far my biggest donkey print, and is a follow-up to my 2019 DM series. The lone donkey finds itself in a most confusing and optically challenging landscape, but nevertheless it will have a great adventure! The print is in an edition of 18, printed on lovely Somerset paper.

















Happenings In Donkey World No.5

A2 size 3-colour screen-print

If you've followed my donkey prints for a while, you'll be aware of the 'Happenings..' series. In this print, the donkey is guided across the strange landscape by a 'helping hand'. I had a dream about the shape of this print, so had to then make a drawing, the rest all fell into place! The print is in an edition of 14.























Donkey And Seven Hills

30x30cm 2-colour linocut/screen-print.woodcut

I create this print, in collaboration with fellow artist/printmaker John Pedder for my recent exhibition with him at Cupola Gallery in Sheffield. It was a lot of fun working with another artist on a project, and this idea seemed to work very naturally. There were three different versions, and ten prints of each, but I only have one left each of versions 2 and 3!






















Phew! Sorry for the bombardment. I told you I'd been busy.. I'll go now. Take care x


Tuesday, 14 July 2020

New exhibition and more....

Hi there

I've got lots of new works to show you this month, however no news on events and workshops. It is likely that events might not happen until the end of the year now, and most probably workshops too.

NEW EXHIBITION!
Despite the current Covid 19 situation I've been focussing myself on producing new work, mostly for an exhibition I have upcoming in Sheffield at Cupola Contemporary Art Gallery. The exhibition is a collection of work I have chosen from the last two years, and focusses mainly on my stone and donkey prints. It is called 'Works 2018-2020' (very functional title, eh?), and features 20 pieces, including 7 new ones. Alongside the exhibition is another show by my friend and fellow printmaker John Pedder, showing a retrospective of his work. The shows runs from 18th July until 22nd August 2020, and the preview evening is on 17th July between 6pm and 10pm. In order to attend this you'll need to book a time slot by contacting the gallery.

Here is a video of me talking to gallery director Karen Sherwood about the exhibition:



and here is a sneak preview of the new prints:































One of the prints is featured on the exhibition poster, and is a collaboration between myself and John. We printed up a small edition of 27, and they are available from the show and our own websites. The print is woodcut, linocut and screen-print! If you can't make it along to the exhibition and would like one of the new prints, I will list any that are left in my Folksy shop.








































OTHER NEW WORKS
I've also created two new poster-prints:

Swallows






































I see a lot of these birds round where I live (I'm sure you do too). Rather than go for a single bird this time, and one standing, I wanted to capture them in flight, and in the acrobatic troops you sometimes see them in. The print is now available as an A3 poster-print. You can find it in my Folksy shop.

Donkey Puzzle






































This is an A3 poster-print version of the hand-pressed linocut I created a few months ago. I don't normally produce a poster-print and original at the same time, but I really liked the change of colours and scale on this one, for some reason! You can find it in my Folksy shop now.

BEARS OF SHEFFIELD
For two weeks in June I had the fortune of painting a great big fibreglass bear in a warehouse on the outskirts of Sheffield It is for a charity project called 'Bears Of Sheffield', which is a follow-up to the 'Herd Of Sheffield' elephant project I also took part in a few years ago. 40 or so artists from around the county are asked to transform a blank bear into a piece of art, and they will then be displayed as a 'trail' around the city for people to look at. At the end of the trail period all of the bears will be auctioned off to raise money for the Sheffield Children's Hospital. Because of Covid, the trial has now been postponed until the summer of 2021, but I'm sure it'll be worth waiting for! Here is sneak preview of my finished bear.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

How things change..

Hi there

Well, last time I posted, it was before Christmas, and life was very different. If someone had explained about the situation we are in now, I'm not sure I would have believed them.

I'm not going to go over things you already know about Coronavirus, but I hope that you're all ok, and hope that this all ends before too long. Stay safe.


EVENTS
I don't have any events going on over the next few months. Understandably they're all cancelled/postponed (as far as September/October). In lieu of this, I am focussing my time on making new work and on my online shops. 

NEW WORKS
Initially it hadn't felt like a very productive time for making new work, with the anxiety about the epidemic, but life has setting into a new routine and I've started making new work again.

Here are some of them:


Chough (3-colour linocut)

Pied Wagtail (2-colour linocut)

Tiny Donkey Prints

St Ives (2-colour linocut/screenprint)
  











































Scarborough No.2 (poster-print)



'Chough' is my latest corvid print (following on from the ravens, rooks and magpies). I saw some when I last visited North Wales, swooping around the Little Orme. They're quite hard to identify, but if they stay still for a minute you can see their striking red beak and legs.

I spotted a 'Pied Wagtail' in our garden not long ago, and I don't think I'd ever actually seen one before. He/she was doing a little dance, and very striking in its monochrome pattern.


The Tiny Donkey Prints were made for a special project with the 'Make More Stuff' organisation (formerly 'Northern Craft'). they asked 20 artists they knew to design artwork the size of a business card, and they would sell them for £1 each. I created a new donkey triptych, and was very happy with the results. you can buy them directly through MMS.

I visited St Ives last year for the first time, and really loved the place. The highlight was perhaps visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum, but I also really loved the sea front and the beaches. So I decided to create a view from the shallows looking up towards the town and the lighthouse, as a linocut/screen-print.

Lastly is a poster-print version of my 'Scarborough No.2' linocut. As the original had sold out I decided to create a poster-print version in different colours.

I have also been working on several other new pieces, possibly for a new exhibition (fingers crossed), but I want to keep them under wraps for now. I'll keep you posted!








WORKSHOPS
Obviously I'm not able to run any linocut workshops at the moment, and any scheduled ones have been postponed, but as soon as I'm able to start on them again I will post up new  dates.


COMMISSIONS
Just before the lock-down I was commissioned to produce a new logo for the Kelham Island Film Club in Sheffield.


Wednesday, 20 November 2019

The Great Print Exhibition 2019 +

Hi there

As we're heading towards the end of the year, it is usually a time to slow down and recharge, but no(!), hot on the heels of my solo exhibition in Bamford and my appearance at the Woolwich Contemporary 2019, I'm now taking part in The Great Print Exhibition 2019 in Penrith!

It is apparently the biggest exhibition of original print in the UK, featuring over 80 artists and over 500 artworks! I have six prints in the show; donkeys, dogs, birds and landscapes. It runs from 6th December 2019 until 8th March 2020 at Rheged Centre Redhills, Penrith Cumbria CA11 0DQ, and is open 10am-5pm each day.



This is a selection of some of the work on show  (not including my own!)


LAST 2 EVENTS OF THE YEAR
I have two events left this year, and they are as follows:

Welbeck Winter Weekend
Fri 22nd to Sun 24th November 2019, The Welbeck Estate, Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3LL, 10am-5pm (fri & sat), 10am-4pm (sun)
I'm returning to this great event for another year. Loads of great art and craft, and fine food and drink too. A quality event!


Winter Arts Market
Sat 7th December 2019, Liverpool Cathedral, St James’ Mount, Liverpool L1 7AZ, 10am-7pm
I've not done this event before but I hear good things! If it is anything like the Summer one is should be fab (no pun intended!).



NEW PRINT!
Finally, I have one new print to tell you about, and it is a 'Barn Owl'! It is a 2-colour linocut print, hand-pressed on A4 size paper, in an edition of 100. It is available now in my Folksy shop.



FINALLY...
A big THANK YOU, as ever for showing an interest in what I do. I know there are a million artists and printmakers out there, showing their work on numerous platforms, and it means a lot when people connect with my work. I feel very lucky to do what I do for a job (I still pinch myself after all these years), and I never take it for granted. I hope you all have a great festive break.

Cheerio

JAMES x

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

New exhibition, prints, t-shirts and loads of events...

Hi there

As ever, I'm behind with updating my blog, but I have lots of things going on to tell you about.

NEW EXHIBITION

I have a new exhibition at The Angler's Rest in Bamford, Derbyshire. It is a print retrospective of work I have created in the last three years or so. The venue is a great community-run pub and gallery, right in the middle of the Peak District. The exhibition features seventeen pieces; birds, stones, donkey and landscapes, and runs from 4th October until 6th November 2019. there is also a 'meet the artist' evening on 3rd Oct from 7.30pm, if you want to say 'hi'! I'm also running a linocut workshop there on 19th October, which has now sold out.








































NEW WORKS


I have three new prints to show you, the first being a poster-print version of my 'Matlock Bath' linocut. The original sold out a while ago, so this version is in different colours, and A3 in size. It is available in my Folksy shop.



Secondly there is a two-colour linocut/screenprint entitled 'Terraces No.2'. It is actually based on a Sheffield view, but I wanted to make the image more as a typical British terrace street scene; the patterns of windows, rooftops, chimneys, doors, clouds and trees.


















Lastly, I have a new bird print. It is a one-colour print of a couple of 'House Sparrows'. I actually created it while demonstrating linocut at the Craft Festival at Bovey Tracey, in Devon this year.


























TSHIRTS!


I have a new collaboration to announce in the form of a t-shirt! I've always wanted to create a donkey t-shirt, so I'm very excited about this. Hunk Print are well known in Sheffield and beyond for being the #1 screen-printers in town. You name it, they can print onto it! Anyway, we've collaborated on a 2-colour donkey design on lovely fairtrade cotton t-shirts, and you can order them now in all sizes. They are £28 each.


EVENTS

HULL PRINT FAIR
Sat 28th September 2019, 66-68 Humber Street, Hull HU1 1TU, 10am-5pm
This will be my first time at HPF. I'm really looking forward to it. Over 30 printmakers and print demos too!


NORTHERN CRAFT - GATESHEAD
Sat 5th and Sun 6th October 2019, BALTIC, S Shore Rd, Gateshead NE8 3BA, 11am-5pm
The mighty Northern Craft head further north to the mighty Baltic Centre For Contemporary Art! Two days of mighty fine contemporary craft, plus no doubt some great refreshments too!

GREAT NORTHERN CONTEMPORARY CRAFT FAIR - MANCHESTER 2019
Fri 11th to Sun 13th October 2019, Upper Campfield Market Hall, Campfield Arcade, 300 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4FN
This will be my second time at GNCCF Manchester. It was great last time, a really big event with so many great artists and craftspeople from all over the UK and further afield.

ART& 2019
Fri 25th to Sun 27th October 2019, York Racecourse, Racecourse Road, Knavesmire Road, York YO23 1EX, 10am-5pm
This will be my first time at Art&, although I used to take part in their previous art Market events in Holmfirth. It has grown into one of the best art fairs in the UK, with a pretty exciting line-up of artists, plus lots of other activities to get involved with.