Posts Tagged ‘ hand ’

Scratching About

So at the moment I don’t have a working studio space. This means working away on woodcuts and printing editions is a bit of a challenge. So I decided to try my hand at something that seemed both familiar and new. Scratchboards.

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The process is very similar to relief printing in so much as the image is about positive and negative space. But rather than carving on wood in reverse. You simply scratch away at the black surface to show the white surface underneath. A wonderful combination of drawing and the stark reductive process of block printing. Plus that element that I love where all marks are permanent and where nothing can be undone – which makes you commit to what you are creating in a refreshing way.

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So, here are my first few experiments with scratchboards. To say I am fast becoming hooked on it is an understatement. For the forseeable future I am going to continue to experiment and have fun drawing whatever comes to mind…
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Above is Louie, a cool fellow I met last year. His mum and dad, Kristie and Luke let me look after him for a few days. The above scratchboard then led to other friends asking me to do a commission piece and below is Frankie. A cool cat with different Bowie-like eyes.

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And as I play with textures and backgrounds, shadows and lighting I couldn’t help but do one of one of my dear friends, bandmate and favourite noisemaker: Donnie.

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I have a few ideas already forming for what to do next. I am interested to see where this new medium takes me…

 

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My Year In Woodcuts

This was 2012…

January

Draw

Draw

El Corazon

El Corazon

El Nopal

El Nopal

LVC

Lee Van Cleef

February

Eye_Block

Eye Spy

April

skateboard-1

skateboard-2

Sk8 Or Die (I Used To Skate Once 7)

May

guitar

Guitar Print Framed

Giant Sounds (Woodcuts from a guitar)

July

Thanatos-1

Thanatos Pt.1

Thanatos-2

Thanatos Pt.2

Thanatos-3

Thanatos Pt.3

Arrow

Salute #3

August

HumanWarhead_Print

Human Warhead

September

Tall Ship 2012 AP

Tall Ship (Mk.3)

October

Web_TP

A Spiders Home

November

SLW Test print

Do Something – Sol Le Witt

Music Box

Music Box

December

Currawong 2012

Currawong

Balancing Act

Balancing Act (detail)

WalkMeIntoOblivion(Gira AP)

Walk Me Into Oblivion ( A Tribute To Michael Gira)

And some of them even made it here: ETSY SHOP

…here’s to 2013!

It was a good year!

Too much working on art… not enough blogging about art. Oh well, thanks for keeping up with my periodical updates about what I’m up to.

Christmas time means more time spent at home which doesn’t equate to lying around relaxing. No it has meant more time to do more carving and printing of which I’ve been trying new things and resurrecting old favourites.

This is a close up of a piece I finished last week. I’d show you the whole print but I don’t want to do that just yet – some things need to be kept secret, at least for a little while. This print (which I’ve titled ‘Balancing Act’) was a large and challenging print for me at a metre squared. From trying to capture fine detail on Marine plywood to creating a mottled and vivid coloured background – which has turned into a series of monoprint styled inkings – what I planned to do and what I ended up doing has changed constantly. I wanted to add fine text to the print too, 3mm lettering to be exact. I tried my letterpress – didn’t work. I tried writing the text on – didn’t work. I tried alphabet stickers – didn’t work. Nothing gave me the effect I wanted. Then I remembered the ancient technology of Letraset.  No stationary stores had any anymore. The fellow at Officeworks said he’d not ever heard of the stuff. My outdated technology was proving elusive. Finally at a discount art supplies store I found several packets of what I was looking for. 10 hours and several sessions later and the print now had its text. So far it’s an edition of two, we’ll see if that number increases anytime in 2013.

Balancing Act

With the delays in the previous print, I spent a few days getting distracted with this one. When in doubt of what to do next… do another print of my Currawongs! Well, they’re not mine but they do come and sing and sit in the tree over the back deck every day and I’ve grown fond of their visits. Here are some that I have  previously done of them. It is a two block print (20 x 30cm) with the branch hand coloured in gouache. This one is not editioned as I pretty much did it for myself so it’s a one-off.

Currawong 2012

Back in 2011 I did some Mexican themed woodcuts. Recently the original print of the one below left me to go to a new home. Leaving me with the task of re-printing and painting some new prints. I made two and spent a good few hours again battling with the gouache to get the colours I wanted – mint green being a real bugger to nail down. Still I got it and am happy with how they’ve turned out!

El Corazon

And going way, way back. In 2009 I surprised even myself with my attempt at creating a realistic woodcut of two owls. I originally wanted it to be full colour and I even tried once with watercolours (my first attempt at hand-painting a woodcut) but I ruined the paper and it didn’t work out – and so the owls stayed black and white.  A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I decided I wanted to try to have a seconds shot at the owls. Now armed with a much better knowledge of paper, gouache and printing techniques, it was a lot less ominous a task and with a four-hour painting session one morning – I completed my two owls just as I had originally intended. Somehow though I think this print is still not finished… only time will tell on that one though.

Owls

So that’s how I’ve ended my year. Apart from two small group shows it has been me and my carving tools at the kitchen table. I do think that I now almost have enough to have a solo art show in 2013. Putting on art shows is way harder than making art if you ask me so it still could be months away. I’ll start the wheels in motion though for something in at least Brisbane and Melbourne.

Also, if you’re like me and don’t check the blogs as reguarly as you’d like, you will also find photos, updates and snippets of what I’m doing on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/againstthewoodgrain is where I hide so if you like anything here, you can go like it there as well.

Thanks to everyone who has bought, looked at or gave me feedback on my woodcuts over the last year.

From One Hand To Another

Most prints I make for myself. Sometimes I do a couple for friends but the hardest are the ones I do for albums! I’m in a band, it’s only a small group and we do it cause it’s fun – end of story. We also pretty much do everything ourselves – in house  – including recording our music, putting on our own shows, doing all our own artwork and self-releasing our albums. It’s often easier and cheaper that way and we get to do as we damn well please with it all.
So last year we released an album called Real Pain Supernova. I did the artwork and wrote about it here. This time round I tried a lot of different things and themes but everyone in the band liked the recurring elements of the woodcut below. And so it became the basis of the next albums coverart…

…and this is the original print.

I’m really happy with how the illustration turned out. I spent a lot of time trying to place the drama and the pain of the action into the skin and tendons of the hand – that one blinding moment. I’d like to think it worked. As with everything where there are multiple voices, elements were changed, suggestions were put forward and everyone seemed happy when that became this:

The album is called The Golden Bridge and this will be its coverart. It will be coming out on vinyl and digital in two and half weeks time. We’ll start pre-selling the album this weekend. While there will be 250 copies of the album made on vinyl, chances are I will most likely only ever print two or three prints of the original woodcut. It’s nice to know however that what I made will make it to the far corners of the earth.

The album is going to be housed in a gatefold LP sleeve and another print of mine (below) will also adorn the inside on the album. As with the coverart, the end result has turned out a bit different to the original print below but I think it works nicely.

Usually that would be the end of it. But no, not this time, I decided that anyone who pre-orders my bands album will go into the draw to win a deluxe version of the album. So I’m amassing a whole bunch of extras to go along with the vinyl and yesterday I decided to encase it all in a special one off box. This meant going full circle and pulling the wood out again. Plywood coated with hardwood this time round to lighten the load.

I also recarved the coverart into the lid of the special box. Usually I only recarve an image because I mucked it up on the first try. Eitherway, I did this one in the negative to the first woodcut.


And there you have it. A customised woodcut all ready for one of the records – which should all arrive at my door in the coming days from the pressing plant. I love how the whole thing has ended up looking. Now I cross my fingers that folks will like the songs housed inside?