World Book Night is here again (23 April) and this year's collaborative project organised by Sarah Bodman at UWE is all about the Loch Ness Monster. A field trip in March and contributions from artists all over the world has resulted in a wonderful publication produced by Sarah called BOOKISHNESS. It contains photos of 'sightings' of the monster and some wonderful book covers designed on this theme. A copy of the publication was sent to each contributor, the remaining 40 copies are available to purchase at £5 each including postage, email Sarah for details at: Sarah.Bodman@uwe.ac.uk. As always, it was really fun to be involved, and I'm thrilled to see my photo-bombing Nessie in print!
The Bristol Artist's Book Event (BABE) at the Arnolfini in Bristol on 1/2 April was an amazing weekend. Beautiful sunny weather certainly brought the crowds out, and there was barely a quiet moment for the whole two days. It was fantastic to meet so many people interested in artists' books and to spend a blissful weekend talking about books and printmaking (instead of Trump and other depressing political nonsense). I'd almost lost my voice by the saturday evening… talking that much is unusual for a hermit like me. Lots of sales and positive feedback, and a strengthened resolve to continue making more books. Just two years to prepare for the next one...
Final couple of days of preparation for the Bristol Artists' Book Event (BABE) at the Arnolfini in Bristol this weekend (1 and 2 April). I've been busy making for months but still seem to take it up to the wire and will only just be ready on time. Lots of new books, cards and a fresh batch of hand-stamped notebooks will be on sale, alongside 79 other stalls of bookish loveliness. Hope to see you there!
Photos show the stages of creating a new mini concertina book – 'Bristol Terrace'. I started by drawing the row of colourful terrace houses above the harbour, then made a gouache painting. I scanned this to create digital artwork, which was then printed (3 up on an SRA3 sheet) by printed.com. After chopping the pages down and folding the concertinas, I made covers in four different colourways and then bound the books. After trying a few different options, I finally decided upon plain grey endpapers… my preference is for patterned endpapers but everything I tried distracted from the houses. Also in the production line are some smart wooden bases for these books to stand on… to be unveiled at BABE (Bristol Artists' Book Event) at the Arnolfini on 1 and 2 April, and then available in my online shop soon after.
Since June last year I've been keeping a regular sketchbook - I've enjoyed working on a small scale (A6) and without the intention of anything being preparatory. Quite liberating, and the first time I've done this since before I started my MA in 2011. When left to my own devices, I revert to pattern and collage, and it's been fun to start painting again. Some pages above from the past few weeks...
The latest illustrations in my collaboration with Swedish book artist Eva Hejdström.
And a chance to try out my new Chromacolour paints...
Have been a little quiet posting on here recently, but will dust off my blogging trousers again in the new year. In the meantime, wishing you a very happy Christmas and a sparkly 2017!
The first illustration for a collaboration with Swedish book artist Eva Hejdstrom - exchanging English and Swedish words. A is for Angulate: to hold, bend or distort a part of the body so as to form angles. Dremelled rubber stamps with black pen.
The collaborative cracker book project with the Artist's Book Club at UWE is finally complete. All packaged up and ready to distribute to the participants. Looking on the bright side, it's taken so long that it's seasonal all over again!
… a new shop in Westbury-on-Trym - We Make Bristol. Featuring the work of local artists and designers (including some of my books and cards). Worth checking out for some early Christmas shopping.
Have been trimming and binding a new book of line drawings of my local shops (Westbury-on-Trym in Bristol). All ready for its launch tomorrow in a brand new shop - We Make Bristol - on the very same High Street. The shop will feature work of local artists and designers (including some of my books and cards)… do pop along and check it out if you're in the area.
A new set of printed cards made from scans of collages...
Trimming and binding 40 copies of a digitally printed version of the very first book I made back in 2012 - Autumn Leaves. I used scans of the original carved rubbers, stamped in black and then coloured in Illustrator. Card covers with a title block cut away with my trusty Sizzix machine. Top notch printing job by printed.com - printed as A3 flat sheets on Acquerello paper.
Really chuffed to have some of my prints featured in Stephen Fowler’s wonderful new book ‘Rubber Stamping’. The found object and plasticine prints were created on Stephen’s Primitive Printmaking summer school course at UWE in 2014, and it’s very exciting to see them included in the book. I may be biased but I can highly recommend getting hold of a copy - it’s absolutely jam packed with unusual project ideas and inspiration for all kinds of low tech printmaking. As Stephen explained in an interview with Sarah Bodman in the latest issue of ‘Printmaking Today’: “(the book is) very much in the spirit of ‘60s and ‘70′s Batsford art books - to share an open recipe rather than say ‘you have to do it this way’. It’s about inspiring people with examples and letting them think how they will use the process; it’s a beginning of something rather than an end.”
Spent a very enjoyable Saturday afternoon helping out at Stephen Fowler’s drop-in rubber stamp workshop at the Arnolfini in Bristol. It was busy all afternoon, and by 5 o’clock two huge paper-covered walls were decorated with an array of beautiful stamps. Really inspiring to see everyone’s work and the excitement it generated - the instant gratification of rubber stamps seems to appeal to all ages.
Using up every last offcut of roller printing