Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Valle de Ordesa

Valle de Ordesa, lithograph, 56 x 76 cm, edition of 8

Another new lithograph, which is currently on display in True Grit @ Megalo (49 Phillip Ave, Watson, Canberra) or @ Port Jackson Press Print Room (61 Smith Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne). Like Ravine this image comes from my experience walking in the wonderful/surreal Ordesa National Park in the Spanish Pyrenees last year. It's printed in two colours - the key drawing from a stone in black with transparent blue-grey from a plate underneath.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cliftons Art Prize

Hello! I really enjoyed seeing lots of friendly faces at the opening of True Grit on thursday night & was very happy with how the show came together (it's on until May 26th if you still want to see it). 

I recently received the good news that my lithograph "Gyre" is a finalist in the Cliftons Art Prize. The exhibition will be on display from Mon 21st May - 27 June at Cliftons Canberra (Level 2, 10 Moore Street, Civic). Anyone is welcome to go and have a look between 9am-5pm Mon-Fri. This section of the exhibition will show the work of fellow Canberra artists while other Cliftons conference & training venues in Australia, New Zealand and Asia will exhibit their local finalists.

Gyre, lithograph on blue Magnani paper, 38 x 86 cm

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Ravine, lithograph, 76cm x 56 cm, edition of 6 (printer: Peter Lancaster)

Ravine II, lithograph, 76 x 56 cm, edition of 4 (printer: Peter Lancaster)

Above are 2 versions of the print that I worked on in early March during my time with Peter Lancaster at Lancaster Press, the first is currently on display in True Grit: The Art of Lithography at Megalo Print Studio and Gallery until May 26th (official opening tonight May 10th 6pm!). 

Spending time with Peter (thanks to Artstart) I learnt a lot about lithography, especially effective approaches to colour, while also working through some relatively new subject matter in my work. Ravine is part of a series of lithographs revisiting/re-imagining my experience hiking in the Spanish Pyrenees: navigating narrow paths hugging the cliff-side (in this case Faja de Pelay, faja meaning a belt/band, running high above Valle de Ordesa). Walking alone on a wet, foggy day I was aware of both the beauty and danger present in the sublime, but eerie landscape. I wanted to focus on the precarious zone of a cliff-face in my drawing because this small section of rock seems to belie the static quality often associated with mountains, instead inviting the imagination and offering a glimpse of a dynamic visual history represented in the writhing, fractured innards of the earth.

For those who are interested here are a few bits of process:

First I made a sketch based on this photo that I took while walking in the Pyrenees

I transferred the sketch to the key stone using red ochre & begun drawing with litho crayon (bottom) & rubbing ink (top)

initial drawing on the litho stone

a novel (and highly effective) way of sharpening crayons using offcuts of rag paper

flat background colour separations painted on drafting film before being exposed directly onto photo-sensitive metal litho plates

painting the last colour separation onto a grained aluminium litho plate using a mix of bitumen, turps & ink

mixing and recording colours based on early watercolour studies

first proofs begin, but weird shape in top right is not helping the transition from mountain to sky...

so the stone is counter-etched and drawing added in top-left, while information is deleted from a couple of the background plates

then proofs start to look exciting!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Upcoming Classes (Picture Books & Printmaking)

I'm thrilled to be leading this class for 9-12 year olds in writing, storyboarding and drawing your own illustrated book (every saturday afternoon in May at the Canberra Museum and Gallery). I'm working with the wonderful Caren Florance (Ampersand Duck) who will be teaching the children how to bind and create covers for their finished books! So if you know any artistically inclined kids there are just a couple of days left to sign up - see the CMAG website for more details! If you love picture books, but are not between the ages of 9 and 12 you should still go and check out the amazing related exhibitions at CMAG:  Look! The Art of Australian Picture Books Today and Mirror by Jeannie Baker.

I'm also looking forward to teaching an upcoming intro/intermediate refresher etching class at Megalo Print Studio 2 x Saturdays, 9 & 16 June 10am-4pm (bookings by phone or in person @ Megalo). We will be covering a range of basic mark-making, etching and printing techniques. If you'd like to learn about the exciting possibilities of printmaking please come and give it a try!

I'm also giving a free demo at Megalo,  May 26th 2-4pm, focusing on some approaches to colour in lithography. I'll be showing some examples then demonstrating this amazing printing process from both lithographic stones and aluminium plates, layering colours to create the final print. (bookings by phone or in person @ Megalo)