Monday, 3 May 2021

Rain stops play

...and the Print Room beckons...

I have taken advantage of the rainy weather 
to catch up on some more monotype printing.

Here are some hand-pulled prints
using my gel plate and Golden Open acrylics.



I like using the Golden Open acrylics as they are slow drying
and enable me to make drawings into the paint. 

Some of my monotypes are multi layered.
I can build up tonal values and texture.


Hand-pulled A4 monotype 


A4 print pulled from the same palette...


A change of colours for this one.
It reminds me of a winter shoreline.

I resisted the temptation to add more,
preferring to keep the composition simple.


A favourite pull from today.

I like the tonal changes which make 
darks 'pop' against the lighter ones.

In this monotype there is a blend of textures.

There is also a narrative.
Although abstract it might have 
 a touch of shorescape.

Before the rain...

I walked around our wild garden to 
enjoy the spring flowers and fresh green leaves.

This view is from the entrance to my studio.

Young growth on Silver Birches in the paddock.

Finally, I prepared my oil painting for
taking to an exhibition next week.

Here is the flyer...

It will be good to have a painting in a 'real' Show
after the restrictions closed the galleries.

That's all for now,
thank you for visiting.


Sunday, 28 March 2021


Here comes Spring...

This means I have to share my art with the garden

Shorter painting sessions may be an advantage,
as working too long can lead to fussing with detail.

I like my prints to be loose and imaginative 
without any literal representation.

They are really just abstract landscapes.

My monotypes are on 300gsm A4 smooth white paper 
using a gel plate and Golden Open acrylics.



My print room is in a spare bedroom at home.
At the end of January I decided to make a 
dedicated space in the house for pulling prints.

Here are some photographs of my work area... 

I use a long table over the end of the bed,
on risers to bring up the height for working.

A sheet of acrylic is taped down on the table
with my gel plate sitting on top.
The gel plate sticks well to the acrylic sheet and 
is easy to peel off for washing in a sink.

Clean up is simple.

The Golden Open Acrylics dry slowly.
Most of the paint is transferred to the
paper so there is little paint to remove from
the gel plate.  Any acrylic paint left on the plate 
is removed with a water spray bottle, 
paper towels or wipes.

Trolleys are handy for storage.

Drying prints...
A folding picnic table holds work in progress 
and a card rack on the bed behind my table
is useful for drying the prints without smudging.

I store my dry finished work in 
archival boxes to keep them flat.

Here are some more recent prints...





Anyone who follows my art journey 
might be wondering if I have abandoned 
my oil and cold wax paintings.

No... I haven't.
I shall run the two side by side.

Now the clocks have gone forward,
warmer weather will soon entice me 
out to work in my garden studio.

There are some unfinished oil paintings 
and frames to prepare for forthcoming Shows.

The first Lincolnshire Artists' Society 
Group Show is in the Stables Gallery,
Doddington Hall, near Lincoln,
from14 May until 31 May 2021

One oil painting submitted for the Show.


Oils and cold wax medium on 12 x 12 inch canvas 

That's all for now.
Until next time...
Thank you for visiting.

Monday, 15 March 2021

Choosing colours

Spoilt for choice...

A world of colour sits in my paint trolley.


The choice is entirely mine,
there are no rules.
It is a personal thing.


I love bright colour but I have noticed 
that some colour combinations 
look better for my monotype prints. 


Neutral colours seem happy in the off-white 
mount mat and simple black frame.


I like the sense of mystery about these prints.
Many are like abstract landscapes.

Some are purely shapes and marks,
lines and scratches but they tell a 'story'.


It seems incredible that only a few weeks ago
this adventure with printmaking was just starting
whilst taking a break from my oil painting.

After some trials with different inks and paint
I settled with Golden Open Acrylics.
My favourite paper is smooth white 200-300gsm.


The slower drying of Golden Open is helpful 
when pulling the print from a gel plate. 
 I have time to manipulate the paint and paper.

I think my printmaking will continue.

That's all for now.
Thank you for visiting...

Sunday, 7 March 2021


Studio goals...

In the winter months I try to build
up a body of work which will be
entered into local exhibitions.


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper 

My workload in the wild garden will 
soon commence when the weather improves.

Our land is on the heavy side so it
stays wet and muddy until spring.

Also, I delay cutting last year's growth 
back until the insects emerge.
Overgrown is natural here and we
have a varied population of wildlife.

I saw this poster on Facebook last week..
it is a reminder that I am not being lazy.
My wild garden can wait until then.

In the meantime my aim is to 
print more acrylic monotypes.

They can be stored in my archival box files
ready to take in a browser to the gallery in June.

My goal is to have a collection of 
60 matted monotypes ready to frame
and 140 loose prints in boxes.


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper 

Pulling prints is a satisfying process but
not every print is successful.

For every finished monotype there
are many failures in the bin.
Overworking them is the main culprit
and totally my fault.

If too many layers are applied, the paint 
can appear laboured and contrived.

When a fresh sheet of paper is laid 
on the plate, there is a 'grab' as 
the surface latches on to the paint.

This lessens as the acrylic paint dries,
and the next layer sits loosely on top.

A squeegee or scraper can make
interesting marks and scratches 
but I need to be careful not to overdo it.


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper 

At first I experimented pressing objects
into the paint but now I avoid using
 any mechanical aids like stencils or shapes. 

I like a loose abstracted style.

Nowhere in particular,
more the atmosphere of a wild place.
Or just shapes and tonal shifts.


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper 

I choose not to make any plan or sketch prior to my work.  
 Even the initial colour choice can be random.

However, my first multicoloured monotypes 
have given way to more subdued colours.

I particularly like the tonal images, 
the contrast of darks and light.

The print below is an example...



Monotype on A4 smooth white paper 

That's all for now...
until next time 

Thank you for visiting.

Click on the image below to
visit my website.

Friday, 5 March 2021


Printmaking in my studio...


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper

Choosing my preferred medium...

I have been trialling Akua Intaglio inks and 
Golden Open acrylics to make monotype prints.

Both have wonderful colours
and both are easy to use.


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper 

My favourite has to be Golden Open.
The acrylic stays workable and 
dries without smudging.

It seems to suit my style of working and
the paint easily transfers to paper 
without a printing press.

Using a brayer or Baren 
I can apply enough pressure.


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper 

When pulling prints from the gel plate
I manipulate the paper, positioning
it to get my composition.


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper 

A squeegee is useful for scraping 
thick paint if I want an abstract design.
Whilst not actually 'pulled',
the effects can be interesting.


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper 

'Happy accidents' are always welcomed
and the element of surprise is one of the
delights of monotype printing.


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper 

I am really enjoying the process
and now have 150 finished prints.

Each one is different.
That is a monotype.
'One of a kind'.

My archival acid free box with 100 inserts.

Some of my prints will be on display in June
in a group show to be held in 
Gallery at St Martin's, Lincoln.


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper 

I have now found a home for the
Akua Intaglio inks so they can be put to 
good use by another printmaker.
Nothing is wasted.


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper 

My adventure with monotypes will continue.
I have found a companion to my oil painting.

Until next time,
thank you for visiting.


Monotype on A4 smooth white paper

Click on the link for my website...

Sunday, 21 February 2021

In the swing of it...

Keep pulling.

Monotypes need to be pulled.
This is the essence of the process.

Each pull reveals a mix of planning and surprise
which is both exciting and frustrating.

For each successful finish there can be lots of rejects.   
My overworked pulls make their way to the bin,
whereas the plain boring ones are placed
in a rack for a second reworked chance.


I am learning to sense when the monotype 
is going in the right direction.

Maybe it's an intuitive thing.  

Or it could be practice.

Either way, I am very pleased with my 
saved monotypes and some will find 
their way to art exhibitions this year.



I work each day for short sessions
so my print room is getting full of these pulls.

Each one is different by its nature and the 
name monotype which means 'one of a kind'.

Some are of similar colours and 'landscape' style;
others are abstract shapes and patterns.

They are made with Golden Open acrylics 
on A4 smooth white paper 200-300gsm weight.


As they dry I am putting them 
in a mount ready for framing


A mount really makes a difference..
It helps to isolate the piece from its surroundings.



That's all for now,
until next time