Two years to the day (I had no idea until facebook told me this morning, but I *do* like the coincidence!) since I started this blog with #projectsnail, I've taken another step and launched my online shop! I've also gone for a bit of a logo change - sorry snail! You never know where the snail might appear again though....
The new logo and name fit with my packaging (I made the logo stamp this morning, and it's great fun using it to personalise the packaging) and also with the fact that I am now registered as a sole trader and that's the name I've gone for for the business! I guess it will keep me out of trouble for a bit ;-) It's a relief to finally get it all up and out there, poor Dave has had to put up with me wittering on to him about it for a good while. Thank you too to the wonderful folk on facebook taking the time to answer queries and questions and sharing their knowledge with me, it is Very Much appreciated. My Very First order came through not long after I launched the site this morning, and I did love packing up my cards and sending them off - they should be arriving at their new home tomorrow morning! (Thank you A :-) )
This also means I can now start back at doing arty things again rather than tinkering away at the computer! (I do think my eyes have got a little squarer!) Including hopefully being able to share with you the product of my first commission....
Just to update you too of other things coming up - I have some of my work in the Rotary Club of Kenilworth's exhibition over the weekend (24th - 26th November) at the Holiday Inn as part of 'Art at Kenilworth' (Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon - click the name for the website) - free entry and art from lots of folks around Coventry and Kenilworth. Lots of it is available to buy too (including mine!).
Then on Friday 8th Decemeber I am returning to The Herbert Art Gallery to take part in their 'Making Merry' event from 7.30pm - 10.30pm; lots of local artists and craftspeople. I am planning some 'mini original' drawings to be framed and sold at the event too - something that I will hopefully be able to offer through the website at a later date too. (Click on the art gallery name above for the webpage - it is free entry, the booking online part is to do with the stall people, although I do believe there are also different 'making workshops' available on the evening too).
A huge thank you to you all for your support, and the many kind comments I have received off folks in the past (and recently) which helped me realise I should Just Do This. Now I have; let's see where it goes from here.
Please share the parsnips out of my facebook links/posts to the shop, or via twitter or anywhere you fancy.... follow me on instagram..... the art page on facebook..... anything to get the shop out there would be great. (Hopefully clicking on any of the above should send you to the right places!)
Cheers me dears,
It's a double whammy blog today - two prints in one place - catch up time!
There's been adventures and happenings going on over the past while, as I mentioned in my previous blog, so I need to catch up with blogging the different things I've tried as #projectMagpie2 was a new process I hadn't tried before!
I'll start with #projectPhoebe because it is much quicker; basically a normal linocut using Japanese vinyl taken from a drawing I did as part of #inktober2016 (that reminds me, I haven't shared those pictures yet either!). I finally got her inked up and printed using my Caligo Safe Wash inks in time for the fair at The Herbert Art Gallery last week, and I've also printed her up onto some brown cards too. It is definitely Phoebe at her most peaceful! (She's currently recovering from a mini-op to remove another cancerous sarcoma :-( However, prognosis is good, and she just has two more sleep in the 'cone of shame' before her stitches are out on Thursday and then we can take her for muddy walks again. Hooray!) There's some photos below of the process and inking up, but I hope you agree that she looks lovely in a frame too :-) Butter wouldn't melt...
OK, onto #projectMagpie2..... so called because #projectMagpie1, as previously blogged on here, has ended up being a bit of a learning curve process, which could otherwise be called 'practise something before going at it straight away'. In a nutshell, the ink *still* hasn't dried properly as I think I printed my layers too close together before they dried properly and I am unhappy with the finish. You never know, they may even out one day...... Here's a quick photo of my finished #projectMagpie2 print.... more underneath....
Therefore I needed to work out how to fix it, so decided to try a multi-block print. I haven't done one before, so set about with another piece of vinyl and some tracing paper, working out where I needed to print the grey and the greeny-blue ink to be able to create the colours of the beak, legs and wood and the feathers on it's back and for the black second print layer, using the final cut of the previous project, to fit over the top of the coloured areas perfectly.
Once this had been worked out I carved away some of the lino from around the shapes, but rather than removing it all, used a template made from tracing paper to get the ink onto the places of the block where it was needed Using my smaller rollers meant I could ink up two colours at once onto the print block - so printing the grey and the greeny-blue at the same time. In my search through the garage I managed to find the old glass splash back from behind our old cooker so I have re-purposed it as a surface for rolling ink out on. I cannot explain what a revelation this is to my printing environment! It also cleans up *so* much faster and easier than the plastic I was previously rolling the ink out on to too, and I feel that I am getting a better finish with the ink as I am able to roll it our to a better consistency as I have more room! I made up a registration plate to ensure that I would get the layers lined up properly for each print, and off I went, deciding on a print run of twelve birds.
The first layer of print was then left to dry for a few days before I could then use the last cut from #projectMagpie1 to print over the top to create the layered effect. The registration (lining the prints up) worked perfectly on this print run, and all twelve of the prints have survived to be printed up with two layers of ink!
Time to upload the photies! There's two slideshows below; the top one is #projectMagpie2 and the bottom one #projectPhoebe.
In other news I have been beavering away setting up my NEW ONLINE SHOP, which will be using to sell my prints and products through the website. Just a few last legal beagle things to get sorted and I hope to launch it next week, which is very exciting! You may also have noticed my website address has changed. I am still being hosted by weebly but have upgraded (oo-er) so my web address is now www.alixalmond.com. You might notice a little picture as well, just up there on the tab next to the website name too at the top of your screen... and a couple of other touches round the site.
Last weekend saw me selling at a charity event to support Aimee (my sister-in-law's sister) in raising fund for Children with Cancer UK as part of her fundraising before running the London Marathon in April next year. It was lovely to meet lots of new people and I had some very kind comments made about my work. I'm getting the hang of packing and unpacking my stall now, and am always on the lookout for fairs to attend - watch this space!
I'm also squirreling away at a commission currently, and have another one in the pipeline, so if there is a piece of art work, be it a unique print or a drawing you would like, please get in touch.
That's enough for now, there'll be plenty more coming up soon!
It's been a busy couple of months at Chez Almond. Post Warwickshire Open Studios it was the end of term (always busy) and then our big running event - the Lakeland 50 - at the end of July followed by a short holiday away in the Lake District post race.
Then we've had a bit of a change! I've hung up my teaching bag for a while, and Dave has a sabbatical from work for a year. We've filled our time very nicely so far with a lovely break in the Lakes (again!) followed by a trip to Norway with my parents - it was just beautiful! We sailed up the coast of Norway from Bergen to Kirkenes and back again on the Hurtigruten Ferry - we had snow and Northern Lights; very lucky! Now it's back home for a good while though and time to explore new things and ventures.
The drawing and lino printing has still continued despite adventures! Of course, it's just been #inktober, which I partially completed this year due to the wobbly wavy seas we had on our Norwegian trip during the second part of October which made drawing impossible at times - it was hard enough to try and draw a straight line, let alone try and colour anything in!
I've also just taken part (yesterday!) in The Herbert Art Gallery Print and Ceramics Fair, which was fun to do. I met lots of nice people and had some lovely feedback about my work. Printing has continued - I have created a new print of one of our terrible terriers Phoebe, and also re-worked my #projectmagpie as the ink *still* hasn't dried from the first print run, so I tried out a multi-plate technique which worked well, (and dried!) to create a new limited edition print run.
I'm also at another charity event next week selling my cards and prints, and have just entered some of my prints into the 'Art at Kenilworth' exhibition in late November, so will add dates and information about these soon. Somewhere local has agreed to put a couple of my prints on their wall too - again more details as soon as they're up!
I'll do a proper blog about #projectphoebe and #projectmagpie2 very soon, as well as sharing some different photos of #inktober.
The 'buy' part of the website is also about to be improved too with photos and prices of cards and prints that I have for sale - however, please get in touch though via e-mail if there is anything you are specifically interested in.
In the meantime, here's a few photies of what I've been up to artwise!
Here we go...
The ramblings of a linocut printmaker.... and other artistic adventures!