All site blogs

Drawing on Location

January 30, 2013 by Kate Dicker   Comments (0)

My most recent albums contain drawings made on site this January. Working outside is thwart with challenges:  Keeping warm, not losing the best pastel in the mud, drawing figures that are mostly out of sight as were the tree felling team and accepting what is in front of you and moving with the scene.

I used compressed charcoal and oil pastels as they gave me the most immediate result to my responses as there is not time to compose or consider.  As the time went on I began to settle and get to know the clothing and the shape of a chain saw, all of which starts to give the drawing some gravitas.  I worked on these drawings when I returned to my studio, having observed all that I saw and taken in the whole activity. Watching a tree sway after about twenty minutes of selective chain sawing is a sign it is about to fall down at a pre-meditated place.

The management of this parcel of land where I was pitched lies with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. The felling contractors are Worthy Tree Care. 

55 days since last blog post?!

January 30, 2013 by Nick Davies   Comments (0)

Woah, time has flown by...

So Christmas and New Year have passed and looking back, I'm glad I got some good solid induction in before Christmas. I've not yet been back to PCA (more on why to come) since my print room inductions (which were very exciting: great facilities for sure), and getting them under my belt has meant that the planning of my dossiers is well under way.

Since being back from the winter break I've been very busy trying to earn my way back into the green (via the call centre, PrtScrPress, and some workshops), this has meant I haven't had much time to actually get myself down to PCA. Also, I've spent the last two weeks doing my new quarterly commitment of producing the Loophole Supplements, these are now at the stage of being complete meaning that I'm now free for the next month and a half (on Wednesdays and Fridays thanks to my new shift pattern at the call centre) to concentrate on Public Notice.

Work/work balance aside, I've also been busy with developing much of the backbone to Public Notice. I've created the first 'work' (planning notice), which was placed in Haldon Forest a few weeks back. It was made from air-drying clay and white acrylic paint and proposed a ludricous plan for the soil network underneath Haldon's trees. More will become clear if you see the pic, also once the work is in the dossiers (and on the website). Until then I'm staying schtum.

I've decided that the notices are going to take three forms in all:

  • Air Drying Clay, white acrylic paint, and biro/black acrylic paint
  • Laser-cut perspex (colours varying)
  • Riso printed paper plastic wallets

The three forms are going to be used in different scenarios, depending on the context and aim of the notice. The clay ones are strong handmade objects and contrast completely with the feel of laser cut perspex, they offer up the chance for an aesthetic or conceptual choice for the most planned notices. The Riso print notices will be for 'on the spot' notices, these will be for far away or spontaneous works.

I've also finished the design of the logo for the Dept, see my image gallery

On a related but separate note, the dossier's cover materials and design are all purchased, complete and waiting. The covers are going to be plywood (3.5mm) this choice is based on a variety of reasons:

  • it can be used for screenprinting and can be laser-cut
  • it's strong, cheap, and accesible
  • it gives a real street/construction feel (especially when you find out what the binding is...)
  • and because I like plywood... (if chipboard could be bought this thin and laser-cut, that would have won)

Anyways, I feel that's enough updates for now. More will follow.

I plan to be in PCA this Friday (to get to grips/get used to screenprintin) and then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday of next week too. My aim is to get the dossier covers printed and possibly laser cut too (this depends on a few factors, but aim high I say).

Once this is complete, I will then be straight onto thinking through the next way to use the PCA facilities. That workshop idea needs following up for one...


I spoke to a lady on Twitter yesterday who runs a lovely interview site called 'Drowning Dogs'. It's named after a dog that is in one of Goya's Black Paintings. After complimenting her on this name, I then mentioned that if it is a metaphor for artists trying to keep their head above water and sustain their practice, then I feel more like a chihuahua in a washing machine. At least I'll smell clean once this cycle has finished.


Championing AA2A Forum/ Visual imagery

January 30, 2013 by Ruth Hamblett   Comments (1)

Yesterday was very successful in my campaign to engage with fellow students. Having typed out an invitation to art students at Coventry University, informing them all about AA2A website started to see a few students signing up. It did not help that most the students where not in uni due to doing their dissertations, so my wondering aimlessly around the five floors of Graham Sutherland Building to find hardly any students to talk to about this amazing network for artists had a slow start. Every day would wander up to the top floor to see if any one had signed up yet, then down to the basement to come across another not signed up list. I did not give up and then went into the second years lecture ( when not really meant to be there but no-one seemed to mind), at the end of any questions raised my hand to inform the students about this web site page. After the lecture was approched by a few students who I gave out the information to. Then towards the end of last week after chatting to fellow students was delighted to see the first third year student had signed up for more information, so I put a smiley face and a tick next to the name and left a thank you note and hoped by winding my way to the basement would find some more names added to the list oh well what  a dissapointment well one can dream.  On Monday finally managed to actually see some students in the basement and asked if they had not seen the notice or where not interested and surprized at the response that they had already applied on their own and found it to be a informative website. One student had his own blog page and would be looking into using it as a link in the future but thought it too early to be worring about networking yet. This is where I said it is never too early to network and get your art practice out there for all to see and have a taste of your newly forming talents. On Tuesday was really delighted to see not only had students signed up on the top floor but also had now signed up in the basement and got a few more students than thought to sign up have given the students the deadline of signing up by 30 January so that can then e-mail these details on to the correct person. In all it has been a long but very intresting way of conecting with students and also talking to them about own art practice which I thought was not progressing very far. With showing drawings, research and documentary research books was encouraged to trust in my own convictions more that I have done a lot of research and the small amout of art work that I have explored has the development to go further and not to deter off this journey but to keep on with the small discoveries am making as it is all part of the learning curb. Although this I have found a lot like trudding through treacle with keeping a diary of my thoughts is helping me to negotiate my way but needed some one else's input to see the woods through the trees.. I intend to continue with my essential reading even it I find some of the unusual  material really does push the boundaries. At the moment have just started to read See Yourself Sensing: Redefining Human Perception written by Madeline Schwartzman and printed by Black Dog Publishing. This looks at Reframers, Environments, Tools, Mediators and Speculations in the extremes of the use of the body its interactions with computers, interactive robots. Ann Hamilton;s "Face to Face images. 2001 an eyes view of how they view the world in its distorted black and white photographs  encapsulates how as a person with dispraxia often views the world and gives me the opportunity to explore this further through out my own practice in visual imagery.

Investing in inks

January 30, 2013 by Denise Swanson   Comments (0)

, ,

After the successful experiment with Akua Intaglio water-based inks, I decided to invest in a set of the inks so I can play til my heart's content. The Akua Intaglio inks will give me the best of both worlds in that I can use them straight out of the pot for painting on the plate for monoprinting, but I should also be able to use them for rubbing in to the collagraph plates and then putting through either the intaglio or relief presses when I have acces to the printroom. Sounds perfect.

I have ordered 6 inks to give me a minimal, natural palette. I can mix a selection of other colours then as needed. I've also ordered the Transparent Base.

Can't wait for them to arrive so I can start using them. 


January 29, 2013 by Alexandra Harley   Comments (1)

, , , ,

Today was the first time all the artists met at Chelmsford college and what a great experience that was! We each gave a short presentation to students and why is it I always manage to forget half what I planned to say? Apart from that, it went really well and I got a real buzz from seeing the other work, such diversity but connections too. I strongly feel the possibility of discussion, crits and collaboration. This is getting better and better! 

using a tumblr as part of my research

January 29, 2013 by Mark Leahy   Comments (0)

, ,

I have set up a tumblr as a way to organise some of the research material for this project; see it here: 



Signing up Prospective Graduates

January 28, 2013 by Ruth Hamblett   Comments (0)

To try and encourage current students to look into exploring AA2A artists network have actively been asking students to leave their e-mail contacts then forwarding these on to this networking site so far managed to get 6 students to sign up, although only e-mailed 4 of these so far the other 2 only signed up to day and am hoping that a few more may feel encouraged to sign up seeing how I leave a little star against those who have signed up, almost a reward point. When I was at school if you did well you got a coloured star against your work. I regularly got most of the coloured stars but failed to obtain that gold star and always seem to be constanltly chasing it hoping to be slightly nearer that dream. This site is an amazing opportunity to showcase your art work and am hoping to demonstrate this to current students.

Progress !!

January 27, 2013 by Roy Pearce   Comments (0)

My second Blog!!  Have been working on Silk Screen printing with four colour separation portrait images on glass and mirror glass so that when you look at the image you also see yourself. For some reason, people much prefer to see images in this way as 'good' people rather than 'evil'. The work has been a slow process of getting to grips with the Technology and so far the only satisfactory combination of images has been Mother Theresa, but more to come.

I have also some visual biographic references, objects and images, 'embalmed' in resin upon found glass sheets used in prior exhibitions. These are intensely personal and disturbing to myself and am not sure whether to continue on this vein. As with the silk screen work, the manner of display and encounter with the viewer is paramount.

Shortly, I hope to be experimenting with sublimation printing on various materials with a view to producing a lot of quickly made images that offer more than a 2D encounter.


January 24, 2013 by Deirdre Porter-Hanson   Comments (0)

real anticipation...can't wait to get back to my white paper...it is stretched to perfection...beautiful.

Dilemma ..can't wait to plunge in...can't bear to make the first mark.

There are possibilities...do I pre -ordain or see what comes?

Can't start... 

Porcrastinate with the taking of useful photographs. (See new photo album)


OK there is a bit of a plan emerging... how about taking the monoprints I made before and cutting them onto metal sheet, glass or even slate with the laser... a reversal of the traditional printing method. From the print to the plate..I like that idea.

Also on the go... the field drawings...a drawerful.

And at home the slow methodical oil paintings.It is good to have all these posssibilities and varieties bouncing off each other.


Mo suggests I borrow a tripod for my cameraand introduces me to Abi the 3-D technician.

He talks me through the possibilities of laser cutting - Glass, metal, slate! Yes!!!


Need to work out the proceedure from drawing, to Illustrator, to cut plate... this feels exciting.


Great to spend time with Abi at her studio space...chat about life and art...


She looks through my drawings with me. It helps me  decide what to do with my white field...but I've left it too late in the day to begin...it remains immaculate...

...and I have a good reason to rush back to Luton asap.


Experiments with Akua ink

January 24, 2013 by Denise Swanson   Comments (0)


After spending an afternoon playing with the sample of Akua water-based ink for monoprinting, I am really excited about the results. Unliked the acrylic paints, which dry far too quickly before you even finish 'inking up', the Akua ink just stays wet so you can slow down and take much more care.

I carefully painted directly onto the collagraph plates I had made previously, knowing that I would be able to simply wash off the ink with warm soapy water afterwards, unlike the aycrylics which dry and harden and get stuck in the recesses.

When it came to tranferring to paper, I tried using both wet and dry papers of various thicknesses just to see the effects. I am using scraps and oddments of paper for these experiments so I don't create unnecessary waste. The best results were on Hahnemuhle etching paper which seems to accept the inks beautifully, the amount of detail that transferred quite extraordinary but the Khadi papers did not work as well.