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Getting ready for Saltaire

So my first show of 2016 is the Saltaire inspired makers market over the May bank holiday.

I love Saltaire as a place and if you ever can its worth a day out. It has the biggest collection of Hockney’s work in Salts Mill, antique shops, coffee shops, canal walks, lots of walks and some really beautiful examples of architecture. Titus Salt, who had a vision of an industrial utopia. Saltaire is now a world heritage site.

Saltaire united reform church

I felt that I needed to have something new for this show, it was a new audience and I want to develop what I do, and not repeat past prints. As I have mentioned in a previous post I knew I had lampshades but I wanted something new.

I had a seascape lino. The drawing was good, lots of line and tone that added something different, transferred onto the lino, fine, printed horrible! There was just too much going on. So in my wisdom I decided to cut it in half, and just sat looking at it thinking what now, no divine inspiration just a lot of frustration and a pile for the paper recycling. I had to leave it. Other work took over, other things cropped up, and I got to a sticking point. I was really struggling, and when I am struggling with something I usually like to take myself off and work on my art work, part of my problem this time was my art work!

I set aside a Sunday, pre-cut paper, had inks, water, watercolours and random art media to hand. There was a flurry of activity and then I thought hang on, I am a print maker, I can mono print. So that’s what I did. I Inked up a spare lino board, uncut, with grey black and white. Mixing the colours as I went, and then drawing into the surface with different tools. Before putting through the press I highlighted areas by painting in the ink. I love this way of working, it’s a throwback to my masters and degree. I felt a sense of freedom and enjoyment that I hadn’t in a while. It helped break through the over thinking cycle of worrying over things I couldn’t control and getting to that place that helps me create, I think, some of my best work to date.

There is a definite argument that art, as a therapy works, for me there is no question. I see it in kids at school, in workshops with adults and every day in what I do. It’s not even about having a final ‘piece’ that you’re happy with, it’s about thinking on paper, with emotions, marks, colour, light and dark.

Saltaire next weekend, I am looking forward to the demonstrating that I have been asked to do, and for the reaction of the new pieces.

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