Posts Tagged ‘ printmaking ’

Never Let An Idea Get Away

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Last year I was commissioned to illustrate and design album artwork for a band. It was a fun project that thankfully wasn’t too stressful (meeting other peoples expectations is always different to meeting your own). But like just about any project that requires consultation, there were several ideas in the running but only one used in the end.

What we have here was one of the ideas that didn’t communicate exactly what was needed for the project but still a few months after things were wrapped up, kept coming back to me as something I should invest some time into.

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The piece is titled ‘I Have Seen Death’. It is number two in what could be an ongoing series – we’ll have to wait and see. If it’s not totally obvious yet, the woodcut is of a distressed and mummified face.  I was conscious that I didn’t want this to look like some Converge ‘Jane Doe’ type rip off so getting the right level of detail was really important. Basically this meant that the block was going to have to be large to get the desired effect.

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About two months of carving on and off and I finally finished it off.

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The first test print off the block…

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…and the final proof below.

I am really happy with this, it’s one of those prints that allows you to get up real close and see the totally abstract-like cuts that have gone into the print only to then stand back and take it all in as a whole. Fun! …creepy! …but fun.

The edition is of 10 in total and I have, for the first time, made this print available online. There is only two prints available online so far. Go check it out here…

 https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/AlexGilliesWoodcuts

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Online & Available Now!

 

 
Firing up the site again! Just like my online Etsy store which I have restocked with over 50 of my woodcut prints.
Over there you will find artwork spanning the past eight years and many prints that I have not made available online before now. Handmade and highly affordable, this is artwork I have made for love, for friends, bands, clothing and everything in between!
Click on the link above and have a look around.
…and make sure to stop back here as I get back into the swing of things, showing art in progress, behind the scenes stuff and telling stories about the medium I am happily obsessed with!
Cheers, A.

Once Every 15 Days – 23rd May, Melbourne.

ARTSHOW_poster

Latest updates here: https://www.facebook.com/events/309876035828828/

How Memories Are Made – Now Open

If you follow this blog at all then you will be well aware that everything for me over the last few months have led to my current exhibition that opened last night. Well It was a really great night with so many friends and new faces coming by and having a look at what I’ve been up to for the last few years. Once all the prints were on the wall, I was as amazed as anyone at this collection of work. I hadn’t realised I had done so many colour prints. So much for a narrative though, I guess I’m the narrative and this is how varied my life is at times…

Exhibition prints

Exhibition prints detail

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…and on the opposing wall was the show’s centerpiece. The Fender telecaster that became a woodblock and then returned to being a guitar. It was fun last night to see people walk up and strum the stings only to them seem genuinely surprised when it made a sound. Exhibition-2

For me the music I make and the art I make are one and the same creative past-time.  So it was good to show off some of where my prints have gone.

Exhibition

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As per usual though, I took these shots at the start of the night before anyone showed up and the forgot to take any photos as the night got underway. The artshow is up for the next few weeks and is open every day so if you are down in Fortitude Valley you should stop on by.

k.O.M.A. Project Gallery
Upstairs at Ksubi
Shop 2/30 James St,
Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

A few people have asked about some of the limited Artist Books and records I made to coincide with the show. These are not in the gallery but are now available online here…

A SAVAGE GOD 10INCH VINYL

HOW MEMORIES ARE MADE LIMITED ARTIST BOOK

…and in the lead up to last night i even spent a few minutes having a chat on local radio 4BC about the show. You can go have a listen to that HERE

A big thanks to Matt at Mild Manners for helping put it together!

HAZE XXL

As someone who is devoted to printmaking as much as I am to music. I find that a lot of the people who inspire me don’t necessarily come from the standard cannon of historically successful artists. Sure I can look at Hiroshige or Durer and appreciate what they helped create but in this day and age it’s the hands on artists that I love the most. Mix into that the DIY aesthetic that fuels punk rock music and you get people like Tom Hazelmyer from Minneapolis in the US – quite easily the person who’s artistic perspective I admire above anyone else. Everyone needs people to look up to so they can say to themselves “I can do that” and “I want to be as good as them” – and that’s not coming from a style perspective but from one of attitude.

Here’s a really cool clip I just watched on Tom that showcases his printmaking endevours. You don’t need to like the music to like where he’s taking art but it certainly helps…

and here’s a linocut poster that Tom made that hangs above my stereo.

Lino-poster

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.

I’ve Made (Another) Book!

Well everything art-wise for the last two months has been all about the group show I’m a part of in a few weeks time (see posts below). I’m currently half way through my last woodcut for the show and what better time but to create a great big distraction. One in the form of another handmade book so I can show off some of the work I did last year.

I would almost say that this is becoming an annual thing for me, if it wasn’t for the fact that we’re only three weeks into 2012. In 2009 I made my first hand-bound artist book. I only made 5 copies of it though. In 2010 I made a much smaller sized one and there ended up being 31 copies over two editions of that made (with nine copies still somewhere amongst my books and records). In the middle of last year I made a deluxe book but seeing as it took ages to put together and wasn’t cheap to make, I only made seven copies, I couldn’t work out what I should do with them so I ended up giving them away to people who had bought some of my artworks.

I love making artist books, they are not only challenging to plan, construct and make but it’s nice to look back over what you’ve done recently and it does give you a sense of accomplishment. I always try to do something different each time with the bookbinding side of things and the one I’ve made this time could almost be considered a back to basics artist book. It’s a 16 page double-sided concertina layout with full colour reproductions of some of my favourite woodcuts that I made last year (well Dec 2010 to Jan 2012 to be precise). Also included in the book is an original hand-coloured woodcut that I’ve done exclusively to go with this book.

The original plan was to make a book that I could have to sell at the Wasted Dream art show in February but as everything came together last week I (again) didn’t know how many copies to make. So this time around I’m trying something a little different. Rather than making something and hoping others are interested (because I’ve already got my copy to keep so I’m happy) – I’m going to only make copies of the book for people who really do want one or for folks who are interested in the art I make but maybe don’t want to spend lots of money on a big print.

So I’ve set up a page where you can go and look at the book a bit closer and buy it through paypal. It’s $35.00 (Aus) and there are postage or pick up options available. Here’s the catch though… The book will be available to purchase for one month (24th Jan – 23rd Feb). After that I won’t be making any more. I’ll make the books over the next few weeks and at the end I will edition them accordingly and either post them out or (if you’re in Brisbane) bring them to the Wasted Dream art show. That means that there might only be three books made or maybe 30? I don’t know yet but this way no one misses out and I get to move onto more woodcuts (insert a short attention span).