Posts Tagged ‘ relief prints ’

Into The Light

 

There’s really a hundred different ways I could title this post. Today it will be this though. You might be noticing a patten here. A flurry of blog posts then nothing for months. Another flurry and then nothing and so on. Sorry, that’s just how it is really. Time to tell others is something I’m not good at factoring into my to-do list.

This is something I’ve been working on for almost a year now. In fact when I started it last November, I didn’t even know I was creating a series of interlinked woodcut prints. Sometimes the story evolves and writes itself as you go along. It was an unexpected conversation with a gentleman named John Dyer Baizley in February that not only gave this series focus but in no small part completely upended the way I have created my prints this year. It’s funny how a few well times words can ripple and grow inside your head until they change the way you look and approach everything you make. To me, I have John to thank for the prints below…
Pt.1
This first print was initially titled ‘When Lessons Go Unlearned’. It was a lamentation on the way I have in the past treated (or mistreated) my bones and my physical body. Let’s just say that as a kid, I often found out things the hard way and got to know the emergency ward of the Penrith Hospital pretty well.
Pt.1-2
From there I started to consider some of the ‘near misses’ I have had throughout my life. A cat has nine lives, or so the story goes. If that’s the case then I most certainly do not have all nine left to toy with.
Pt.2

These are shots of the test prints as they have come off the blocks. Each print is an exploration of my memories and thoughts of an exact moment in time. I won’t explain them here, maybe I’ll make an artist book some day soon and include the gory details there…
Pt.3
pt4

Pt.4
Pt.5
This is half of the last chapter in the series. This is the block I finished and printed a few hours ago. There is also a red block to go with this black block. That will be next up on the to-do list.

block
print

Plans are afoot to properly exhibit the whole series in December. More details of that when I have them though. That’s me for now. There will be more to share when I next have the time.

How Do You Sleep? Artist Book #7

How Do You Sleep? Artist Book

So at the moment my world is fast filling up with all the things I need to organise for my solo art show in Melbourne opening next month at The Old Bar in Fitzroy.

Now this is a good thing but also it leaves me little time for distractions and I love a good distraction. Add to this some of my friends who have seen what I’ve been working on behind the scenes lately have had very positive feedback and so last week I thought I’d take a bit of time out to make an artist book. Here it is and it’s titled How Do You Sleep?

How Do You Sleep? Artist Book

There is a undercurrent of thoughts that link a lot of my latest woodcuts, that and my somewhat erratic sleeping pattens of late have culminated in the images and contents of this book. I have handmade it as a concertina style book with a hardback outer cover. It’s a nice size in the hand at 21 x 21cm and I have made it in an edition of 23 copies.

 

book making

Above is my work bench over the last couple of days, basically all that paper, tape and cardboard eventually gets distilled down to this (just like magic)…

How Do You Sleep? Artist Book

It’s for sale HERE in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for reading.

Artist Book #6 – Documenting Memories

The trick to doing something repeatedly is to make it easier the subsequent times you do it. The fun part of making things for me is the challenges I need to problem solve. Those two things don’t always happen at the same time which means it is often interesting how different the outcome usually is to the initial motivating thought.

Making small-run handmade books is really fun. All it is (no joke) is some paper, sticky tape, scissors and sometimes a needle and thread! This latest book has been made specifically to go with my solo exhibition next week and it was supposed to be a piece of cake! At least that’s what I was thinking a month ago.

Artist Book-1

The not to uncommon scenario occurred where the book kept getting slicker and fancier with each new design step but hey I’m not complaining, I love how much like an actual small book this one looks like. I’ve covered some copies in metallic grey Japanese parer and some in metallic blue Japanese Paper. I’ve built the Obi strip into the front cover and hand-bound the spine.

Inside the book are some of the newest woodcuts I’ve completed over the last 12 months. While I’d love them all to be original prints, the variance in size and shape of my woodcuts means that high-quality reproductions was the most practical way to showcase the works. Artist Book-3     Artist Book-4

Of course though It wouldn’t be right to not include an original print so you can see and feel the tactile nature of the image. The roughness, the embossing of the wood into the paper. A hand printed image is always far superior to something spat out of a machine. This print is in an edition of 20 and will only be made available with the book (which is obviously also an edition of 20). For those with good memories (or search skills of this blog), this little bird came to exist on a skateboard last year but seeing as that was a one off creation and I loved how the bird turned out, I’m using this book as an excuse to bring him back and one for myself to keep.

Artist Book-2

I will have all these at the opening night of my exhibition, next Thursday night 23rd from 6pm.  I will also have the last three copies of THIS book available on the night. More details have been put up on the Mild Manners site and of course there’s stuff on Facebook too.

Artist Book-5

Trouble In Paradise

It never really occurred to me, the amount of art I have made that is intertwined with music. Both music that I love and music that I love to make. It wasn’t until the folks at Paradise Hills Gallery in Melbourne recently asked me to be part of their latest R’n’R-themed art show titled ‘Trouble In Paradise’ that I looked over my shoulder and realised the plethora of woodcuts I had that fit the bill.

This is the poster for the show.

From the various commissions and labour of love projects, I’ve chosen a couple of my favourites to exhibit next week… Some of them you will have seen if you’ve been to exhibitions of mine in the past. Others are brand new or rarely seen.

Given the theme, I will be focusing mainly on woodcuts that I’ve done as artwork for bands and musicians. On display and available for purchase will be the original artwork that adorns Kellie Lloyd’s new solo album. The original artwork and very last print that I did for Melbourne band Harmony’s debut 7″. The very last woodcut of artwork used by Brisbane/Austrian musician Heinz Riegler. And a portrait of Mikel from Brisbane/Melbourne hardcore punk band Teargas (below).

…and this? Well, this is a close up of a woodcut that will hopefully go on to have a life long after I’m finished with it. Tim at Tym Guitars and I dreamt up the idea of me using a guitar as a woodblock and on paper it seemed straightforward enough. In the end, it turned out to be a huge challenge and on the most expensive piece of wood that I’ve used to date. So far I have carved and printed both sides of the guitar and hand-printed an edition of four prints. Right now the body is with Tim who is putting the neck and guts onto it and with any luck the guitar will be hanging alongside the print at the show next week.

Anyway, I’m pretty stoked to be showing some of my work and seeing as I won’t be having a show of my own this year, it will be one of my few art outings.

It all opens Friday next week and you can keep up to date by clicking these links below:

PARADISE HILLS

FACEBOOK EVENT

Sneak Preview of Tomorrow night

My friend Heinz hung all the works for my art show yesterday and took this sneaky video.

Luddite: New works by Alex Gillies opens tomorrow night at 6pm!

Owls (revisited)

A little while back I did up a woodblock of two owls for a special friend. The response I got from both them and from others that saw it was overwhelming. I had a print in my recent show and quite a few people wanted a copy even though there was only one available (sorry).

18

So I decided to revisit the owls about a month ago, but of course, I didn’t want to just repeat myself. I decided to do something a little more detailed and not quite so cute. I found some old National Geographic’s and of course (as is the way with me) let things get out of hand. The result is below and it’s a lot more detailed than I originally planned but it seems to have worked out alright.

The first one is hand painted with watercolours.

Owls Painted Sml

The second is made up of multiple blocks to show a background and mid-ground with the owls in the foreground.

Owls Combined Sml
It’s been really challenging and should I get a good print on the Dutch Etching paper I bought today, I’ll do a full print with colour. Don’t expect an edition though.

New works on show at Bleeding Heart Gallery

Recently I was part of a group exhibition at Bleeding Heart Gallery on Ann St in the city. That exhibition was a lot of fun and subsequently, the awesome folks who run the gallery and cafe have asked me to exhibit some of my prints there for the next few months.

Some things on show you might have seen before, some prints you definitly haven’t seen and there are even some new owls on show that I have been working on following the positive response to my previous owl prints.  The one comment a lot of folks have said to me recently is how unfortunate it was that my solo show went for such a short period of time, hopefully this will rectify that.

Here’s a preview of some of the works…

BH1

BH2

BH3

BH4

Bleeding Heart Cafe is in the old School Of Arts building in Ann St (between King George Square & Central Station). It’s got yummy coffee and food and is a great respite from both the bustle of the city and the encroaching summer heat!

Distractions and diversions

Sunset

I was all set, everything was laid out but then I got ahead of myself… and someone bought my skateboard that I had in I Used To Skate Once 5 last week. This is awesome news but also, it has left a hole in layout for my Nine Lives show. So I’ve spent the afternoon getting a good print off of one of my hardest blocks (& hardest to print).

It’s done, I’m framing it up now but the beautiful sunset outside is jut too much of a distraction. It’s a good day when you find time to watch the sun set in the west. Bardo Pond in the background helps too.

I’m almost finished, almost.

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