Posts Tagged ‘ woodblock prints ’

This was 2013

So this is how I spent 2013. If you didn’t see me, well it is because I was at home doing this!

31 woodcuts in total. 2 artist books, 1 zine, a 10″ Ep,  a t-shirt and 3 exhibtions. An honorable mention for the woodcut guitar that while started in 2012 was finally finished this year.

Also a big shout out to my friends in Harmony & High Tension for asking me to illustrate their records. It was an Honour!

Thanks to everyone for the kind words, comments and all round support towards all this. I hope your year was as good as mine and that next year will be better for us all.

Alex.

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Open For Buisness

Well.. opening myself up to sell my woodcut prints.

Seeing as I haven’t, up until now had much of an outlet for my prints to go to new homes and new walls outside of my somewhat infrequent art shows, I finally got around to setting up an online store. I’ve used the crafty, handmade website Etsy to house my little shop. All prints are sold unframed and posted to the person buying.

I’ve just started putting prints up in the shop. 16 or so for the moment but I will be adding more prints to the shop over the coming weeks and months. I’ll also be putting up little projects that take my fancy like artist books, calenders and whatever crazy idea makes it through to fruition.

At this point in time It looks like the second half of 2013 will be the next time I will have a solo show in Brisbane of new prints. Last week in the lead up to opening my online store I did a small stocktake of what I had spread across numerous art folders. I’ve discovered that between May 2008 and August 2012 I have carved 109 woodcuts and printed several hundred prints. That’s virtually a new woodcut every fortnight for the last four years.

So if there is anything that you have previously seen of mine that you have liked and considered adding to your home, well now could be the time to look into it. Thankfully because there are no gallery commission fees and no framing costs, the prints are quite a bit cheaper than they have been in the past.

Anyway, click on the Etsy logo and have a look around but be warned, there are lots of pretty things on Etsy and you can easily get both lost and distracted!

Best Wishes

When it was suggested to me recently to make greeting cards that had my woodcuts on it I thought “sure, why not.” I’d never thought of doing it before but looking at these cards, I have to say that I think they look really good.

There are four different types and they are all blank on the inside and produced on good heavy duty textured card stock. While they are not hand printed from the blocks (which were originally A4 or A3 in size) I’ve been careful to keep the original colours and hues of the prints.

I’ve put them in the Bookstore at the Queensland Art Gallery and in Absolutely Fabulous in the Woolloongabba Antique precinct. The cards are $4.95 each.

I know no one writes letters anymore but when was the last time you sent or received a special card from someone for no reason? That’s what I’d do with them, send them to my friends just to tell them that I think they’re great!

Overwhelming

Thank you to everyone who came down to Doggett Street Studio last night for the opening of my show. It’s a shame that it was all such a blur because I had great conversations with so many terrific people and friends. If you’re yet to make it down or would like to see it all again, Doggett has put up pictures on their website of all of the works that are available. The show is still hanging until the 26th June so you can pop down and have a look in person between Wednesday and Saturday over the next three weeks. Should something catch your eye, there are still prints available in each edition so feel free to give the gallery a call.

Link To The Online Details Of My Art Show

Such a big chapter of learning seemed to close last night with everyone seeing the last 12 months of my excursions, experiments and ideas made real. But that’s not actually the case. Today I start the next experiment and my next big challenge with a new type of wood that I’ve never carved into before… stay tuned to see where this leads.

My 2nd Annual Show of New Works

Here I was all chilled and quietly going about my way, getting my prints framed and thinking that it would be good to show everyone soon when a great opportunity landed in my lap last week. I’m going to have my second show of prints and woodcuts at the Doggett St Studios in Teneriffe, opening on Friday June 4th. This means that the house is now a hive of activity as I prepare everything. The corner of my bedroom is stacked with newly framed works ready to show…

…and of course, I have decided to make a book to coincide with it all. Here are all the raw materials (that I’ve spent the whole weekend preparing) ready for assembly:

As soon as invites and details are finalised in the next few days I will put them up here and let you know. It’s exciting, I’ve just realised that I have around 20 new pieces both big and tiny.

So keep the 4th June, 6-8pm free and stay tuned.

Giraffe

Ok, this is a bit of a strange tale but it seemed like a good idea at the time (and still does as a matter of fact).

So back in October a wonderful friend of mine, Patience sent me a link to a website where a boy had bet his friend that he could get a million pictures of giraffes. Well, this kid was almost half way to his target and for some reason, I got the idea to do a giraff for him as well. The one rule of this boys project was that the giraffes had to be hand made by people, as in no photographs or computer generated images. We’re talking, drawing, painting, whatever, so long as the image was hand made. Well thankfully that includes woodblock prints too!

So fast forward a while (cause these things take time as I’m sure you’re aware) and with some time on my hands over the holiday period, I sat down and designed up an image that I thought was fun and well… kind of an innocent image, just something that was nice. Here is what I finished and printed 48hrs ago…

and here’s what it came from…

I’ve emailed the print to the giraffe collector (wherever in the world he is). This is a nice one to end the year on. Thanks need to go out to everyone that helped me over the last year further my hobby of relief printing and everyone who was so supportive coming to my art show, everyone (all over the world) who bought one of my prints and all the people who have said nice and encouraging things about all that I’ve done so far. I can’t wait to see what 2010 bring for me in this medium.

Cheers!

Alex.

All Creatures Big & Small

In a few weeks time I’m going to be part of christmas show at a local gallery that I like a lot called Doggett St Gallery. Their annual christmas group show is always themed around all of the images being no more than 30x30cm (12×12 inches) in size. I’ve been going to these shows for some years now but this is going to be the first time I’ve ever been a part of one.

I tried one block recently only to realise that it was going to be to big, so I set myself a challenge to try to do a woodblock etching or something as close as I could get to one seeing as I’ve only done woodcuts up til now. I got my hands on three end rounds of Qld Maple that were between 15 and 20cm in diameter and off I went.

The first one I tried turned out all right, if not a little messy (or freehand) for what I was hoping. The second one I tried turned out much better and last Saturday I sat down and designed up one last one in what became a themed series of the sea. On Sunday I had lunch, sat down and four hours later I had this block of a turtle in stormy seas:

Turtle1

I was quite happy with how it turned out and not to make a big deal out of it, the thing that made me so pleased is that a bit over a year ago I tried to do a turtle to the best of my ability and… well I kinda failed at it as far as I was concerned (at the time).

Turtle2

Now after printing my new turtle I made some adjustments and added some lines so that he/she sat down in the water a bit more. This is the final print:

Turtle3

I know it might not be christmasy but that’s not really bothering me at the moment. I’m just happy to have succeeded on a block so small. However now I’m back to starting something large again, more animals, only twice the size of these.

Home Taping Is Killing Music

Or so they said some 20 odd years ago. Thankfully those dark days are over. Possibly because a lot of folks don’t have tape players any more but that’s just a theory on my part.

My friend Heinz Riegler is however bucking the trend and releasing a tape of his music this week. It is a summation of 10 years of various bands, soundtrack projects and solo material – all spliced together into one 30-minute collage of sound. He’s touring the East coast of Australia over the next few weeks with guitar, backing singers and of course, tapes in hand. Check out all the details at: http://www.heinzriegler.com/

Considering this for Heinz was very much a DIY project, he got me on board to be a part of it by making some cover art for the release. A few days and a nice little woodblock later I started printing up this.

Tape 1

Now I did 60 in the blue because that’s the edition of tapes there are to be sold. On top of that I did up around another 20 in orange/gold (depending in the light) for the other artists who are on the tape with Heinz. All ‘n’ all, it was a decent amount of printing over the a period of a couple of days. This was a really fun project to be honest, especially because I’ve had mixed results in the past with commissioned works.

Tape 2

Tape 3

Totally, Totally immersed

It’s funny how, say for example you talk to someone about a red car and then for days, all you see is red cars, no matter where you turn. Well that selective process of identifying the things that capture our thoughts and imaginations has taken a firm hold of me in regards to woodcuts, woodblock prints, relief prints, everything and anything to do with this medium of expression and art.

About a year and a half ago, I was looking for new and interesting design ideas for illustrating cd artwork. My interests were sparked when I looked back as far as Eric Gill. I ended up going further back, back to Albrecht Durer and was amazed at the history, the skill and craftsmanship and a whole lineage of art I’d never heard of or been taught about in my years of regular schooling.

These days I wonder what it would be like to go to art school and learn about woodcut prints but I know I don’t have time to stop and formally learn how to do… what I’m already too busy doing. When I set this blog up in June, I didn’t personally know anyone who was doing this. In a few short months I’ve discovered a handful of people in my town who dabble and create woodcuts, I’ve found a history of people from Australia who made wonderful work (Margaret Preston, Thea Proctor, Adelaide Perry, Cressida Campbell), joined a printing collective and scrolled through dozens and dozens of amazing blogs filled with inspiring work from people dotted all over the globe.

I also recently joined a woodblock forum called Barenforum, an extremely interesting if not slightly bamboozling forum to someone as novice as myself – what with talk of various techniques and multiple block colour schemes and such. Baren however did recently lead me to have my first international sale of one of my prints. That was really exciting for me.

My latest discovery is an artist named Lynd Ward. He was an American Artist who came to prominence in the 1930s with his wordless woodcut novels. I have been overwhelmed with options of late of what to do next, what to learn and what direction to take. Should I do traditional Japanese prints in multiple blocks, should I try reductionist prints, woodblock etchings etc. I’ve felt overwhelmed until a few weeks ago when I finally found Lynd Ward.

Book2

Book1

I just got these books recently and I know that this is the direction I want to take myself in. This to me, and my way of seeing things, is my high-water mark, this is where I want to strive to get to. I’m going to stick to single block images for a while and try to improve my skills. At the moment, just trying to empty the contents of my brain onto various woodcuts is taking almost all of my spare time and I’m really enjoying it.

Funny enough, I don’t want to put up everything I’m doing because that will leave nothing when it comes time to show people in my town in a gallery. That said, I’m proud of what I’m doing and I want people outside of my town to see it. A few weeks back I finished a woodcut that was my tribute to technology. In the same vein, I finished another technological favourite of mine at the start of last week, the Hot Rod.

Roadster

and a few days later I did a North Queensland Palm cockatoo. Easily the most interesting and entertaining of birds I’ve ever come across.

Palm Cockatoo

Today I’m starting the view from my worktable, the place I do all of my carving at. After that? Who knows, I’ve got about another four blocks in the planning stage at the moment. I honestly don’t think I’ve felt this driven at any other time in my life.

More Owls… and some new stuff as well.

I’ve just gone and sent the combined Owls print off to be framed.  Considering the print itself is 70cm wide, It’s going to be a big once it’s boxed and framed. I’m looking forward to putting this one to bed seeing as I have four new blocks all drawn up and ready to go…

Owls (Combined)

There’s going to be an edition of 10 for the combined Owls print. However, for prints that are just of the Owls themselves, I don’t think I’m going to edition it. What I have decided though is that each print I do of this one is going to be on different type of  paper – that way all of the prints will have a very different feel about them. This is some of the different ones:

Owls (V3)

Owls (V4)

Owls (V5)

Also in other small (but exciting news for me). A good friend of E’s, Zena, returned recently from China with a present for E. It was a carvable soapstone that you could make a stamp/seal with. I have a sneaking suspicion that both E and Zena knew where it was going to end up because once I laid eyes on it, I knew exactly what it could be used for…

And after some fine work with a scalpel, here’s what the stamp looked like:

Soap Stone Stamp

Signiture Stamp

…and the first print I applied it to was one I finished just a few days ago, it’s my tribute to the lovers of all things old but not redundant. The Luddite in all of us (well, in me at least).

This block/print was inspired by a friend of mine who so eloquently pointed out to me my inherent suspicion of all things new and technological. It wasn’t obvious to me at the time but he was 100% right.

The Machine Breaking Riots Of 1847

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