Wednesday, 5 June 2019

The Donkey Monoliths

So, as I mentioned last blog, I have a new exhibition starting very soon, on 13th June 2019. It is entitled 'The Donkey Monoliths', and is a series of eight new linocut-screen-prints.

I had the idea for the series a few months back, when mulling the idea over about further donkey prints and also wanting to incorporated some kind of sculpture in my work. So off I went to buy some Plasticene, and things started happening!

I made several small sculptures on which I imagined the donkeys exploring as a landscape, as a continuation of the donkey-world I've featured previously. I felt it important to actually make the sculptures, rather than just imagine them this time, as I wanted to get a sense of solidity into the shapes, and make them look like convincing 3D-ish landscapes. I love abstract sculpture and I think this is my way of paying tribute to that.

So after I made the sculptures, I then photographed them, created linocuts, added the donkeys and then printed them finally as screen-prints. The large prints (A2) are in a small edition of ten, and the smaller (A3) are an edition of fifteen. If there are any prints left over after the exhibition I'll put them in my Folksy shop. All are printed with System 3 inks on lovely Seawhite Antique White 290gsm paper.

Here are some work-in-progress photos from the project.



The exhibition opening is on Thursday 13th June , 6-9pm at Colours May Vary in Leeds. The exhibition then runs until 2nd July 2019. It is a very lovely book/art/craft/magazine shop in Leeds that also has a gallery space.

I hope you can make it down!

James

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

New donkey exhibition, more new prints, a new workshop date and loads of new events..

Hi there

It is never a straightforward life being an artist, is it? Or being self-employed generally.

Life never trundles along at an even pace. Instead there are periods of calm, followed by mad panicking and self-doubt. It isn't that bad all the time, but the last few months have been a little testing at times. HOWEVER, I bring you news, some quite exciting news, really, oh plus some new prints.

NEW EXHIBITION!


























I'm very excited indeed to announce that I have a new exhibition called 'The Donkey Monoliths' next month! It takes place in Leeds at Colours May Vary, a fantastic art/bookshop/gallery, just near the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

I have created a new series of prints where my donkeys explore a sculptural landscape. Eight new linocut/screenprints, and a small edition of each (between ten and fifteen copies). The exhibition runs from 13th June until 2nd July 2019, with the preview evening on Thursday 13th June, 6-9pm. Any prints left over from the exhibition will be put in my Folksy shop. I'll blog more info soon, with some behind-the-scenes pics!


NEW PRINTS
I have two new prints to show you too.


Firstly I have a new landscape print of 'Polperro' in Cornwall. I visited last year while on holiday, and loved the place. so I have created a two-colour hand-pressed linocut of a view across the bay, in an edition of 100. The print is available in my Folksy shop and at events.


Secondly, and due to popular demand, I have created a poster-print version of my 'Olive The Whippet' linocut.  It is A3 size, printed in a red/brown and grey, and available in my Folksy shop and at events..



WORKSHOPS
I don't do many of these kinds of workshops, but I have one coming up in July:

'Two-colour/Advanced linocut printing' workshop

Sat 20th July 2019

10am-4pm

The Art House
8 Backfields
Sheffield
S1 4HJ

£45 per place

This workshop is designed for people who have already taken part in one of my 'intro' workshops previously, or recently done linocut elsewhere. Participants will learn how to do two-colour printing techniques, or explore one-colour compositions further. There are eight places in total on this workshop, and all participants must be over 16.


To book, please email me on jgprintworks@hotmail.com



EVENTS
While I'm here I might as well let you know the events that I'm taking part in over the next couple of months:


MANCHESTER PRINT FAIR
Sat 11th May 2019, Manchester Cathedral, Victoria Street, Manchester M3 1SX, 10am-4pm
I'm very happy to be returning to MPF after taking part in their brilliant Stockport event. Loads of interesting printmakers and workshops too.

PAPERDOLLS MARKET
Sat 18th May 2019, The Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham, 11am-5pm
This is my first time at this or any Birmingham event! Loads of lovey craft, plants and workshops. I've heard very good things about this one!

SALTAIRE ARTS TRAIL - MAKERS FAIR
Sat 25th, Sun 26th and Mon 27th May 2019, Victoria Hall, Victoria Rd, Saltaire, Shipley BD18 3JS, 10am-5pm.
I always look forward to the Makers Fair at SAT. The atmosphere is always great at this event, with loads of quality makers, workshops, music, food and drink.

SUMMER ARTS MARKET
Sat 1st June 2019, Liverpool Cathedral, St James Mt, Liverpool L1 7AZ, 10am-6pm
I took part in this last year, and it was a really great event. Loads of stalls and a good mix of art and crafts, plus an amazing venue too.

THE CONTEMPORARY CRAFT FESTIVAL 2019
Fri 7th to Sun 9th June 2019, Mill Marsh Park, Bovey Tracey, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ13 9NB, 10am-5pm
When they refer to this event as a festival they certainly mean it! I took part in this last year, and was blown away by the size of the event. there are films, workshops, loads of food and drink, live music, talks and not least over 100 amazing artists and craftspeople. The standard is pretty mind-blowing. This year I have a tent to myself, as I am demonstrating linocutting. I will be cutting some new artwork, plus doing some printing (with my portable press). I will also have my prints available to buy too.

NORTHERN CRAFT - SHEFFIELD
Sat 15th June 2019, Trafalgar Warehouse, 120 Trafalgar Street, Sheffield S1 4JT, 11am-5pm
The NC team certain know how to put on a good fair. I've done a few now, and they've always been excellent; Well organised, top-quality art and craft, good food and music too. Sheffield is lucky to have them!

CRAFTED BY HAND
Sun 30th June 2019, Masham Town Hall, Little Market Place. Masham., HG4 4DY, 10am-4pm
This is a pretty well-established event in North Yorkshire. I took part a few years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I thought it about time to revisit. They curate a very wide range of great art and craft, and it is a super-friendly event too.


Thursday, 7 February 2019

Donkeys and dogs (and cats)..

Hi there

I'm not going to apologise for the delay in my blog update. I think you're probably used to it by now. January has proved an interesting month. It is seen by a lot of creative people to be a month to get creative, as it is a fairly quiet time for events and selling in general. However this doesn't always work out. The pressure to create, just because it is January can prove very 'uncreative'. It can make things very tricky, a little like writers-block, I guess. You just have to relax and let the ideas come.

All this said, I have had a pretty creative month (phew)! I have created two (technically four) new prints and a new poster-print too.


NEW PRINTS


Firstly, I have created a donkey triptych (Why, I hear you ask? Why not..), entitled 'The Donkey Trip'. It started out life as one linocut, and I've separated it into three to create the screen-print. They took quite some doing, but I'm very happy with how they turned out. The prints are A5 size, printed with the same grey and orange colours, but with a different blue/green for each print in the sky/foreground. The edition is 50, printed on 220gsm off-white paper. You can buy them individually, or all together (at a slightly cheaper price) in my Folksy shop.



Next there are two versions of a linocut I have made of a friends' dog called 'Woody'. He's a very chilled-out hound, and has that far-away look I wanted to try and capture in print. The first version is the hand-printed one. It is a two-colour screen-print, 56x38cm, printed on lovely 290gsm Antique Seawhite paper. the edition is only 20 prints. The second version is an A3 size poster print. Both are available in my Folksy shop.


Lastly, my 'Otto No.3' print sold out of its original hand-printed edition, so I have decided to create an A3 poster-print version of him, with a duck-egg blue background..
















EVENTS
I've got three events coming up in March...

THE HEPWORTH WAKEFIELD PRINT FAIR
Fri 1st, Sat 2nd and Sun 3rd March 2019, The Hepworth Wakefield, Gallery Walk, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 5AW, 10am-5pm

I'm so excited about this print fair! It has become the one that everyone talks about, over the last few years. The selection of artists there is really wonderful, and it is really a must for any print fans.

MADE BY HAND
Fri 8th, Sat 9th and Sun 10th March 2019,The Town Hall, Imperial Square, Cheltenham GL50 1QA, 10am-5pm
This will be my first time as an exhibitor to this event, which is connected to the Contemporary Craft festival in Bovey Tracey, Devon. It looks pretty big (100 exhibitors), full of all sorts of quality ceramics, glass, print, metal, paper and textiles. Tickets are available from their website.


MILLENNIUM GALLERY CRAFT MARKET
Sat 30th March 2019, 
Arundel Gate, Sheffield, S1 2PP, 10am-5pm
I'm back in Sheffield for this event for the first time in a while. Great location, and no doubt a whole load of interesting art and crafts.

WORKSHOPS
I have one workshop currently available for booking

'Introduction to Linocutworkshop
Saturday 13th April 2019
10am-4pm, The Art House, 8 Backfields, Sheffield, S1 4HJ

£45 per place

This workshop is an introduction to linocut printing. There are eight places, and during the day you'll learn how to create a one-colour linocutprint (size 10.5x15cm). You'll learn how to compose your image, cut the lino and then print.

All materials are included, and no experience is necessary. Tea, coffee and biscuits are also included. There are eight places in total on this workshop, and all participants must be over 16.

To book, please email me on jgprintworks@hotmail.com


Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Almost at the end of an interesting year...

Hi all

So as it somehow gets to the end of another year (how does it get faster each time?), I just thought I'd let you know about a couple of new prints and a couple of other things.

THANKS!
Before that, I'd like to thank you again for your support. Each year of being an artist is different from the last, and I can never really predict how things will go, but it has been a really interesting year. Having three exhibitions ('Print!', 'Entering Donkey World' and 'Extracurricular Activities') was something I couldn't have anticipated, but was very proud of. It was great working with Artfelt, Oriel Mostyn and A Month Of Sundays galleries, as well as artist Jonathan Wilkinson on the latter.

I've done a whole load of brilliant fairs (and co-organised one!), and taken part in several new to me too. Heading to Devon with a bunch of other Sheffield makers for the Contemporary Craft Festival was really fun, and the scale of the event really took me by surprise.

Commissions have provided a variety of interesting challenges too, with a number of private ones (landscapes, animals), greeting cards, record sleeves and book covers.

It has been an interesting creative challenge this year making a load of new work, at the largest size that I've ever attempted, with more colours then I've ever attempted, and in a style quite different to that of my 'normal' work (my 'Stone Composition' print series).

Anyway, I'll stop waffling on. Here are a couple of new prints I have recently created:

I've been meaning to create a magpie print for ages and I've finally done it! this is a two-colour linocut, alongside my other corvid prints (Raven, Jackdaw, Rook etc).
























You can find it now in my Folksy shop.


I visited Staithes in North Yorkshire earlier this year in the Summer, and absolutely loved the placed. It is such a picturesque village, and as soon as I got there I knew I had to try and make a print! It is again a two-colour linocut print, and you can find it in my Folksy shop.


























Finally...
Don't forget that the recommended final posting date in time for Christmas is 20th December 2018, so bear this in mind if you want to order anything from me in time for 'the day'. Full postal info for the UK and overseas is on the Royal Mail website. I'll be closing my online shops from 21st until 28th December.

Cheerio for now, and have a great festive break!!! x


Monday, 17 September 2018

Extracurricular Activities!

Hi there


It is probably not the best kept secret but I've been 'covertly' working for the last year on a series of new prints that will be part of an exhibition running from 22nd September until 20th October 2018, at A Month Of Sundays Gallery in Sheffield alongside my friend and artist Jonathan Wilkinson (aka We Live Here). 

The exhibition is entitled 'Extracurricular Activities' as we have both been working on new pieces that are very different to what we are known for. We didn't actually realise each other were doing this until we were discussing what we were up to a few months ago over a pint or two. It seemed entirely logical then to exhibit our new works together!

Jonathan's pieces are semi-abstract paintings, and my new works are large screen-prints, based on drawings I have done of stones found on several beaches around the UK, including North Wales and Yorkshire. I have returned all of the stones to their respective beaches as part of the project, in case you were concerned!

I have had an interest in abstract composition for years now, and felt the urge to work in this way, blowing up my small pen and pencil sketches to create large shapes, and then experiment with composition and colour.

The results are seven new screen-prints, six large scale (76x56cm) and one smaller (38x28cm), entitled 'Stone Compositions'. All are between four and seven colour prints and printed on Somerset paper. The editions are very small, only ten of each print.


I made all of the prints at Sheffield Print Club, and hugely enjoyed the project, tapping into a side of my creativity that I hadn't really considered previously. It has been a real chalenge working non-figuratively and also with the complexity of the colours, overlays and registration. It was also very interesting working with the idea of abstraction and composition, and what feels 'right'. I hope to explore this area of my work further in the future.

The preview evening is on Friday 21st September 2018, between 6-9pm. Anyone is welcome to come along to see our new images, so please do if you are around!

Once the exhibition is over, any remaining prints will be listed in my Folksy shop.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

A visit to a vineyard..

Hi there

A few weeks back I was commissioned to create a linocut for a vineyard in North Yorkshire called 'Ryedale Vineyards'. They wanted a print showing their vines, farmhouse and a fox that visits them every so often. Here is the print. 


the vineyard print
They used the print on their posters, flyers and even a special ordinance survey map!

Anyway, they were a pleasure to work with, and seemed very happy with what I produced, and that was that, or so I thought....

..until I received a letter from them saying how much they liked the commission, and asking if I we'd like to come and visit the vineyard, do some wine-tasting and stay in their b&b accommodation for a night, for free!

I thought about this for around ten seconds, and then gladly accepted.










the farmhouse
So about three weeks ago my wife and I travelled up to Westow, North Yorkshire (not really that far Sheffield!). The countryside up there is beautiful, really idyllic rolling hills and big skies.

We were greeting by Michelle and John, the couple who run the vineyard and were given a potted introduction to vine-growing and wine-making and a tour of the vineyard/winery. I had no idea that the climate in the UK was warm enough for growing grapes, but apparently there are several species that thrive in the climate here.








the vines

the winery
We then took a look at the manufacturing part of the process, the big vats that the grapes are squished in, and the bottling process too. It is all bottled by hand, and they produce (and sell) over 9000 bottles of wine a year!


John and Stanley
Next came my favourite part (the tasting of course!). John talked us through the five or so wines they produce, with the addition of some very tasty local cheeses and crackers. The wine was really lovely, and tasted very fresh, perhaps something I hadn't associate with wine before.



At this point, another helper turned up, being Stanley the dog. Now, I'm not really a dog-person, but by the end of our stay I wanted to take him home with us. A lovely hound, he just followed us around hoping for a stroke and maybe a bit of stray cheese.
lovely Stanley

The accommodation was really quite something, spacious, comfortable and very stylish too. Our room was in the eaves of the farmhouse, and named the 'Fox' room. There were quite a few very nice fox prints on the walls. 


the Fox room
We slept like logs, after a hearty meal in the local pub (The Jolly Farmer), and the next morning had what was quite possibly the nicest fry-up I've ever had (again, all local produce).


possibly the best fry-up in the world?
So we left thoroughly impressed with the vineyard and the bed and breakfast too. We bought a couple of bottles of wine too. Why wouldn't you?
a souvenir

Michelle and John were super-friendly and helpful (as were their two sons). It is great to hear such enthusiasm for making their own produce and their plans for developing their vineyards. I hope we'll be back soon.

If you'd like to find out more about them, go to: https://www.ryedalevineyards.co.uk

Thursday, 17 May 2018

(Kind of) like buses....

Hello there

My productivity feels a little like buses sometimes. I try as hard as I can to start new projects each month, but sometimes life conspires against me, then suddenly I create four new prints in the space of three weeks. Where did I get that time? Who knows?!

Anyway, I'm very happy to show you my new prints, plus a bunch of upcoming events and a workshop date too.

NEW PRINTS
This time I present to you two birds and several donkeys! 

I'm very drawn to the corvid bird family, so felt the urge to add to my collection with 'Raven' and 'Rook'. Both are two-colour linocut prints, in the same format as my previous corvids (Crow, Jackdaw and Blackbird(technically not a corvid!)). I really love working out the intricate patterns on these birds, which at first glance seem like a silhouette. They are both editions of 100, and available in my Folksy shop.
























Here is my new donkey print, entitled 'Yellow Donkey Dream'. It is a three-colour reduction linocut (meaning that you cut each layer from the same lino block and can't go back and print any more. Due to the nature of the technique the edition is tiny, only 5 prints, and I have sold all but one print! If you're quick you might catch it in my Folksy shop.











This print might look familiar to some of you. That is because it is the first ever 'donkey' print I created, ten years ago! To celebrate this anniversary, I have a retrospective exhibition at the wonderful Oriel Mostyn art gallery in Llandudno, North Wales. There will be eighteen prints on display, some rare ones, my 'Donkey Jukebox film, and a I have created a new version of 'Donkeys Disturbed By A Meteor Shower', as a two-colour screen-print for the occasion. It will be available to buy from the exhibition (along with various other prints), and possibly online once the launch has happened too. The exhibition, entitled 'Entering Donkey World' opens on 9th June 2018 and runs until September.










EVENTS

Northern Print Fair
Saturday 26th May 2018, 11am-5pm 3 Sheaf Street, Leeds LS10 1HD
It is my first time at this event, an off-shoot of the Northern Craft events in Leeds. I've heard very good reports, and if it is anything like the other Northern Craft events it should be mighty fine.

Summer Arts Market
Saturday 2nd June 2018, Liverpool Cathedral, 10am-6pm
I've not done this event before, but it sounds really exciting, and in a beautiful venue too.

The Contemporary Craft Festival 2018
Friday 8th until Sunday 10th June 2018, Mill Marsh Park, off St John's Lane, Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9AL
Again, I'm new to this event, but it has a great reputation, and seen by some as the best craft event in the UK, so I'm looking forward to it!

'Entering Donkey World' exhibition
9th June until September 2018, Oriel Mostyn, 12 Vaughan Street, Llandudno LL30 1AB, Wales, UK
Celebrating ten years of making donkey-based prints, I have a solo retrospective exhibition, featuring eighteen works, plus my 'Donkey Jukebox' film. Most print works for sale, plus copies of the Donkey Jukebox soundtrack.



WORKSHOPS
'Introduction to Linocut' workshop

Saturday 29th September 2018
10am-4pm, The Art House, 8 Backfields, Sheffield, S1 4HJ

£40 per place

This workshop is an introduction to linocut printing. There are eight places, and during the day you'll learn how to create a one-colour linocut print (size 10.5x15cm). You'll learn how to compose your image, cut the lino and then print.

All materials are included, and no experience is necessary. Tea, coffee and biscuits are also included. There are eight places in total on this workshop, and all participants must be over 16.

To book, please email me on jgprintworks@hotmail.com