Creek Printmakers Exhibition

Art, Printmaking

Creek Printmakers (of which I am a member) are showing their work this coming week at the Fishslab Gallery in Whitstable. The prints on show are mostly from linocuts but there are silkscreen prints and monoprints too.

Creek Printmakers

Fishslab Gallery,
Oxford Street,
Whitstable, CT5 1DB
Wednesday 16th to Tuesday 22nd September 2015
Open 10.30am – 5.00pm.

Map

New(ish) work by me on show includes This Way! That Way!, Headless Chicken and Da Doo Run Run.

 

 


This Way! That Way!

This Way! That Way! Linocut print and watercolour.


Headless Chicken. Linocut print.

Headless Chicken. Linocut print.


Da Doo Run Run

Da Doo Run Run. Linocut print.


Roger Frames’ farewell

Art, Cartoons

I’ve been trawling through cobweb-encrusted areas of computer hard drives and come across the cover artwork for the last-ever issue of Commodore Format. Featuring Roger Frames and his dog Debit doing the classic walk into the sunset.

The sun set on the C64 in 1995. Ah, but did it ever, really?

Uniquely, this Roger Frames artwork was produced in Adobe Illustrator instead of the usual ink and watercolour on board. I can’t remember the reason for this.

It might have been my reluctance to get out the inks to airbrush all that background area: my home studio in 1995 was a very small room in which most of it was taken up by a computer system!

Roger Frames and Debit

Two good printmaking courses

Art, Printmaking

1. Linocut printmaking with Hugh Ribbans

Hugh Ribbans is a printmaker with a fine sense of design and pattern, whose work I discovered on my first visit to Faversham in a very interesting hat shop in West Street.

Kent Wildlife by Hugh Ribbans

Hugh Ribbans | Kent Wildlife

That was two years ago. I’m not saying that it was Hugh’s work that brought me to live in Faversham, but it was part of the realisation that the North East Kent coast has a strong creative heart.

When Creek Creative teamed up with Hugh last autumn to run a linocut printmaking course, I was thrilled. A group of six very different but very eager students flourished under Hugh’s guidance and encouragement. The course was a great success and there has since been a second beginners’ course and a special one-day workshop concentrating on multi-block printing.

The nicest thing to come out of the course is that the six of us continue to meet up for a monthly printmaking day at Creek Creative.

It took a while to get my head around the reductive method of working – cutting away the whites – when I am more used to drawing on white paper. My first linocut “Beware of the Man” was perhaps overambitious, including reversed lettering, but I got there in the end. An “art cartoon” as it was described and I’m quite chuffed with that description.

Beware of the Man

Mike Roberts | Beware of the Man (linocut print)

My second linocut was completed after the course had finished and was inspired by a dog who followed me along the footpath over the marshes, constantly searching for bigger sticks to present to me. “Stick!” was accepted for exhibition in the East Kent Printmakers Exhibition at Herne Bay Museum & Gallery.

It was a strange experience seeing my work in a gallery – with a price tag on it! Will it sell before June 1st?

Stick!

Mike Roberts | Stick! (linocut print)

2. Silkscreen printmaking at the Print Block, Whitstable

Emboldened by the linocut course I took things on a step further by signing up for one of Suki Hayes-Watkins’ screenprinting courses at her Print Block studio in Whitstable. Located on the East Quay, it was a rather bleak winter setting on dark and windy Tuesday nights! But inside the studio, a warm and happy atmosphere welcomed.

Dancing Man in Whitstable

Mike Roberts | Dancing Man in Whitstable

Assisted by Karen Radford, the course took us through paper stencils, painting directly on to the screens and finally making photostencil screens.

For my photostencil screenprint I took a piece that originated as a doodle which I had already worked to full colour in Adobe Illustrator (for my business card) and pared this down to five spot colours. I printed out each spot colour as black on my inkjet printer to make the artwork for five stencils.

At the Print Block, working with five colours of ink that I physically mixed myself and knowing the order to print them was a new challenge.  It was only when the fifth colour was on that I knew for certain the colours had worked well.

Silkscreen printing at the Print Block

Silkscreen printing at the Print Block

Beach Boy

Mike Roberts | Beach Boy (silkscreen print)

The Print Block was a great place to work: Suki and Karen were expert and supportive teachers and it was inspirational to see the work of people that they print editions for, including Paul Bommer, a favourite a mine.

It’s a mystery…

Art, Cartoons, Illustration

It's a mystery. An editorial cartoon for something or other a long time ago.

… An editorial cartoon involving a whale and Buckingham Palace for something or other a long time ago.

Unless I trawl through all my invoices from 20-25 years back, I’m probably never going to remember why this cartoon was commissioned. I know, let’s have a caption competition

Parasols: Amiga 500 digital art, c1992

Art, Cartoons, Illustration

ParasolsThe late 80s and early 90s were exciting times in the development of home computing. I bought my son a Commodore 64 when he was about eight and three years later I bought myself (although my son disputes it was for me) a secondhand Amiga 500.

I was already producing traditional ink and wash cartoons for Future Publishing but the Amiga give me the possibility of creating digital art for them. The supreme art programme was Deluxe Paint by EA. This was years before Photoshop and Illustrator became as sophisticated as they are today.

This is part of a cover for Amiga Format created in Deluxe Paint on my Amiga 500, probably 1992-ish. Drawn using a mouse, pixel by pixel and before the days of antialiasing, hence the jaggies.