Thursday, March 16, 2017

Spring Sale

Spring is my favourite season; the first warm days after Winter are so cheering.

Spring flowers are making the garden a more cheerful place:

The pond is teeming with tadpoles and has its own Spring flowers emerging:

I am holding a Spring sale of engravings. These are not work in my current exhibitions and I am offering big discounts and including some prints not on my website. You can see this work in my Etsy store, which you can find here:

I have new work on my desk, an Easter card and some bookplate projects. Time to get back to work!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

New Work: "A Breckland Story" and "Conker Time"

Its been a while since I showed new work here and I'm very pleased to be able to highlight a couple of recent things.

"A Breckland Story" is particularly special since it is a personal project and also, for me, a large engraving. For a change, I will start with the engraving, rather than leading up to it:

As you can see, itis engraved on a large natural round of wood - English boxwood. The dimensions are 13 x 12cm - very big for me.

This is one of a series of engravings which involve both a location, its wildlife and archaeology. There series has no name and are a very loose group of engravings. This one has themes of attack, danger and hiding. The kestrel is swooping down to attack the shrew, which is aware of the danger and may well escape. Underground past dangers are signified by the arrow head and earlier hiding but a hoard of silver coins, specifically those of the Iceni tribe of Iron Age East Anglia. The scene is linked to the Breckland by the inclusion of The Breckland Speedwell and a ground beetle (Amara fusca).

The engraving started with the kestrel and then the shrew:

Some of the artifacts were engraved from life:

 ... others from reference photographs or other drawings:

Engraving was a lengthy process as a result of both the size of the block and the detail of the design.
As soon as I pulled the first proof, I knew that the engraving had gone well and I only had to tidy up some of the cutting before the work was done and the edition could be printed.

Here are some enlarged details - firstly the kestrel:

Andy here the buried coins and arrowhead:

This engraving is initially available only from my Etsy store. It will eventually be added to my website.

 *   *   *   *   *

The second engraving was commissioned by Incline Press to illustrate a short prose piece called "In Conker Time" by Vivienne Palmer who blogs as "The Bug Woman" . I have admired the work of the Incline Press for many years and it was a treat to produce a couple of wood engravings on a theme that reached back to the boyhood pleasure of conkers.

There are several horse chestnut trees in the village and I decided to feature the one that grows on the green. I sketched both the tree and some of its fruit in pen and then using the exacting medium of drypoint:

I used the drypoint as the basis for marking up the block, drawing the design in reverse:

Again, pulling the first proof confirmed that most of the work was done - just a little tidying up to do:

I made a second, smaller engraving of a single leaf. Both have been editioned.

Here is the book published by Incline Press:

Here are the finished engravings:

My "Conker Time" wood engraving is published in an edition of 100 original prints. The smaller leaf engraving has been published in an edition of 25 and these will be given away free with the first 25 copies of the main engraving, which is available from my Etsy store.

Amara fusca
Amara fusca

Monday, February 20, 2017

Exhibition at Babylon in Ely, 24th February - 19th March

I have been framing work for my first exhibition of the year. It is a group show by six artists called "This Country Life". I will be showing about fifteen engravings, several being exhibited for the first time.

You can see from this invitation card that I am in very good company:

Andy here are the details - I hope that many of you will be able to visit. You are very welcome to attend the preview on Friday 24th 6 - 8pm

This will probably be my only local exhibition in 2017 (although I will be opening my studio again in July. This year I will be opening on Weekends 1, 3 and 4 and I will also be showing smaller groups of engravings in a couple of National Trust properties in Suffolk). It is good to use this opportunity to show some new work. I will be saying more about some of this work separately but here is an older work, a preview and a tease. Lets start with the older engraving:

I am including "Tending Young" which is one of the honeybee stamp designs I engraved for Royal Mail. It is one of two hand coloured engravings that I am including. Here it is:

"Conker Time" was a collaboration with the very highly regarded Incline Press. This started life as an illustration and now has a life of its own. Its based on a tree I know well in Little Downham near Ely:

The other engraving that I will feature is a very new work called "A Breckland Story". I only finished it last night. It is part of an occasional series of engravings that I am making for my own pleasure, rather than as a commission. 
I will jsu give a couple of teases here; the whole image will feature on my blog very soon. Here goes:

Tease No. 1

Tease No. 2 

That's it for this post!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Hopefully a Helpful Heron


I am so pleased to report that the entire edition has sold out. I have been asked if more are available but I only have the five Artist's Proof Copies. Two are for my archive, one is a gift for Adewale which leaves just two available. I have listed these on Etsy for £15 each plus shipping. Here is the link:

Thank you so much for your support. Most of the herons have now been posted. Some will go out tonight and the last few after the weekend. They are on their way to six countries, inclusing the USA and Australia.

The original post is below...

If I make a donation, I am usually removed from the events or situation that prompted the act but this time it is different; I am trying to help a friend.

You can read in detail about Adewale's situation here: 

 I decided to try make a contribution by selling a small and exclusive edition of a wood engraving:

This block was engraved from a drawing I made of a small heron sitting in a tree beside the river at Ely in Cambridgeshire. I am rather fond of herons. I have completed the engraving and am making an edition of only fifty engravings which I am selling for ten pounds plus postage. I chose a low price because I wanted these to be affordable. they are available from my Etsy store:

If you like the image, please buy one.

If its not your kind of thing,  please consider buying one for a friend who might.

If you don't want to buy one, please share this so that it reaches other people who might.

If you don't want to buy one, please consider making a small direct donation using the link above.

If you represent a gallery, please consider buying several and sell them at whatever mark up you choose; the important thing is for me to sell them and I really don't mind if you sell them on at thirty or forty pounds.

If you want to buy all that are available and give them to friends then contact me and I will pay for the postage!

I am proud to call Adewale a friend. We attended  their wedding. He is a good man. I would like to be able to help him. Working as an engraver means living from hand to mouth but here is a way that I can make a contribution.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Open Studio Video 2016

It is Open Studio season here in Cambridgeshire and I have returned to my habit of making a "walk through" video to lead you around the space and highlight some of the things on display.

Here it is:

 Go here to watch it full screen

Much of the new work on show has not yet been added to my website but some can be seen here in my Etsy site:

This isn't the end of my Open Studio this year. You can visit during the last weekend, July 23rd - 24th between 11am and 6pm. You don't have to buy - you are most welcome to come and see how the work is made.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Exhibition of Fifty Wood Engravings at The Old Fire Engine House, Ely.

I am really pleased to be showing my work at The Old Fire Engine House in Ely, Cambs. This is my fourth exhibition there and I am hanging fifty works, including a great many new engravings - many on show for the first time.

One of the reasons that I like showing in this space is that the setting is domestic, rather than "white cube". I can hang things in groups and have chosen to do this with the Honeybee stamp illustrations and the five owl images that are included in "The Elegant Fowl", a book of printmakers' owls.

Here is a peek:

Here are details - you are most welcome to come to the Private View if you are in the area:

Click here for further details of the opening hours

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Open Studio 2016

Its that time of year again and I am spending the day getting things ready for the first weekend of the Cambridgeshire Open Studios. I am open on the following weekends between 11am and 6pm:

Weekend 1     July 2 - 3
Weekend 2     July 9 - 10
Weekend 4     July 23 - 24

This is the first year that I have opened for three weekends and there is another big change here. The last couple of months have seen the studio extended and given its own front door and windows so be one of the first people to see the new space.

There will be lots of new work as well, including the engravings I made for the Royal Mail Honeybee miniature stamp sheet. Hand coloured  impressions of these blocks will be available, together with my full range of wood engravings and handmade books.

 I will have an engraving "on the go" and "Red" the Albion handpress will be working.

Another new engraving is this artwork for a vinyl release by Glasgow band Nieves:

Yet another change is that I am now able to take card payments. I believe that Open studios should be more than just a shop but we do offer work for sale during these events.

Here are the details:

 It would be great to see you there - do please feel free to come and look round without feeling you have to buy anything, although you might be tempted by the handmade cards and box of
£10 engravings ;)