Sunday, 28 August 2011

Why can't the Buddha vacuum under the sofa?

The end of August can only mean one thing - it's time to promote Herts Open Studios!  So we spent the morning at the Farmers' Market, arriving at 8.30am to transform a bare and windswept stall (mercifully with an awning on it in case we had another bout of torrential rain) into a credible and attractive promotion for Harpenden-based artists opening their studios to the public next month.

Harpenden Artists' stall at the Farmers Market . . .

I'm pleased to say we generated a lot of interest;  given the amount of publicity we do each year both locally and county-wide, it's surprising how many people don't know about the event.  We even found some potential new members for Herts Visual Arts, who organise the Open Studios and support Hertfordshire artists in other ways.  What's more, the sun came out and the rain stayed away for the first time in days!

. . . with my sunflower photo and a print of Cardinal's Wharf on show

This year I'm exhibiting at Artscape again, with three other artists.  Our exhibition is running alongside Open Studios, from 5th Sept - 1st Oct, and from Saturday 10th Sept at least some of us will be at Artscape to meet and chat to visitors from 1pm - 5pm every Friday & Saturday.  You can find more details and get a feel for the work on show here.

As for the riddle in the title above: for the answer to that you'll have to visit my photos on the run page on my website.  The theme is things which have made me smile in August.  We could do with a laugh in the wet weather!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

matching and making

In the midst of preparing to move house, I've been working on a commission which arose out of my exhibition at Art on the Common.  My client saw one of my Acer Leaf monoprints and contacted me shortly afterwards to find out if I could produce one using specific colours.  She sent me a sample of wallpaper and I set about making colour swatches to ensure that I could match it.

wallpaper sample and colour swatches

I'd made the original monoprints in a couple of days apiece, but as this was a commission it needed to be done properly, so I laid down the base colour (lightening it as I went to get the correct shade) and left it to dry for a week before attempting to work on any leaves.  I had to make sure that the first leaf matched the wallpaper but remained dark enough to be seen against the white background:

first leaf laid down
Then I had to be patient again for a week while that dried completely!  however, working this way did mean that the printing fitted in well in around my other commitments.  The wallpaper included a silver stripe so a metallic silver was the next colour to go on.

applying metallic silver to the Acer leaf
The following weekend things got really exciting as it was time for the final colour.  I had a total of six prints - necessary in case any got spoiled - and decided to try three with gold and three with copper.  Then I hung them to dry for the last time.

makeshift drying rack
The client has chosen one of the prints with a copper leaf - which I also preferred.  Here is one of its companions to give an idea of what the finished prints are like:

one of the final prints with metallic copper and silver
As I'd never done anything as a commission before, I was relieved that the client liked the result.  In fact I don't know which of us was more pleased with the outcome!