Nov 282017

Net Lace:  A Companion Edition

I often use the triptych form in my paintings and prints.  I follow this traditional form I first saw in the cathedrals and art museums in Europe. Powerful and exquisite devotional triptych paintings and sculptures.

The triptych format has beem used by artists since early Christian times in altar paintings and sculptures.  The form is also echoed in magnificent stained glass windows.  It’s the symbolic manifestation of the Holy Trinity.

Outside that context the triptych has long been used by many prominent contemporary artists.

One of my favorites is by the celebrated  British painter, Francis Bacon, titled Three Studies of Lucian Freud.  He painted the triptych, below, in 1969.  It sold at auction in 2012 for $142.4 million.

I’m most interested in the triptych form as a way of developing a theme.  It’s an opportunity to play around with form, structure, and perspective.

The trilogy is an intuitive way to work.  And I think many artist would agree with me, including writers.

Here’s my recent edition of mono print triptychs titled Net Lace.

Carborundum. etching, mono print, and chine colle.

Net Lace is in part maritime themed.

Shipyard cranes appear in some of the prints. I used fish net material for the mono print.

Metaphorical threads that connect craft based work, like lace making, with the pragmatic necessities of net mending, were on my mind.

These triptych prints are a small companion edition to the larger Net Lace edition project that I continue to develop.

Nov 242017

A Studio Tradition

Every autumn I collect leaves from the garden and on my daily rambles.  I make botanical prints from my collection, memorializing the fleeting beauty of our west coast autumn.

I print directly from the leaves.  It’s simple, direct, and different from my other printmaking.

It requires no press.  A brayer, water soluble ink and paper is all you need.  And leaves.

I have satisfying results with almost no effort.  Consequently, it’s a relaxing form of printmaking.

I give these prints as gifts to family and friends.

I’ve taught this form of printmaking in my studio and at community centres and schools over the years.  It’s a great introduction to the joys of printmaking that anyone can learn.

If you would like to receive one of these small prints through the mail, contact me.  We can arrange an exchange for one of your small works.

Nov 192017

Monoprints: The Early Years

I discovered mono printing in 2004 in a printmaking course at the Victoria College of Art with Alain Costaz.

It wasn’t my first stab at printmaking.  My introduction was in the early 70’s at Langara College Studio Arts programme.

This was the gateway technique to printmaking I’m doing today that includes serigraph, traditional etching, photo etch, carborundum, with chine colle thrown in for good measure.

Mono printing is a deceptively simple method of printing.  Its direct and painterly.  It holds opportunities for working in series, spontaneously and intuitively.  Each print is different.

I enjoy arranging compositions directly on the plate, then mark making.  It’s a process where one thing leads to another.  It’s quite addictive.

Certainly part of the appeal was working in black and white.  The strong graphic images are compelling, especially seen in series, where my visual language is developed and explored.

This is my first edition of mono prints I call Walk Though.

My instinct was to throw away these first works that came off the press.  I was encouraged to hold them to revisit later.

This was very good advice, as time and distance is helpful in objectively looking at my work.  And I think these pieces hold up pretty well over a decade.

Nov 062017

I moved to Victoria in 1985 and discovered the region by driving around in my blue 1960’s Volvo station wagon. I used a map book to find my way. Usually I got happily lost.

Now I use a Smart Phone and GPS to find my way around.  The map book gathered dust in the studio.

I love Victoria and Vancouver Island. I’m a traveler and have lived on other continents.

Arriving back on the island is always coming home to one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

I decided to memorialize my dog-eared Victoria map book about five years ago with this quirky Maphead mixed media series.

This piece has a photo I took at Old San Juan Fort in San Juan Puerto Rico, another seaside city I love.

Here’s a piece with a snippet from one of Canada’s noteworthy Group of Seven painters, Lawren Harris.  There’s also a peek below, out of the battlements at the Old San Juan Fort.

I keep all my travel maps and decided to celebrate a bit of down under and other places I’ve journeyed.

I threw in one of my photos on Rocky Point Road of a beautiful doorway in Old San Juan.  You can find this, and more of my photographs in Doorways of Old San Juan at Blurb Books

Paper maps have become an anachronism and acquired a nostalgic quality.  I love paper maps.  Map colours and graphics are inspiring.

I often see visitors to Victoria wandering about with paper maps. I always ask if I can help with directions.  I still enjoy reading a paper map.