Archives for July 2011

Fresh & spontaneous collage at the Paint-In!

Paint-In collage

Yesterday was the 24th Annual TD Art Gallery Paint-In, commonly known to the locals as the “Moss Street Paint-In”.  At the beginning of the day the weather was not in our favour, steady drizzle and gray skies however that changed about noon and it was very pleasant for the thousands that came out to support the arts.  The emphasis was to be on artists’ demonstration so I threw a bunch of my painted papers and other scraps and printouts of my photos into a shoebox with sheets of 5” X 8-1/2” Bristol paper.  When I wasn’t chatting with people or showing kids how to use a calligraphy pen I was working on collage and lettering pieces throughout the day.  Here are a couple that I brought home (people were buying them up as I was creating them!).  I love working spontaneously with what’s available at hand.  The result is so fresh and lively!  Thanks to all who came by to say hello and support my art and especially to Lionel who helped me put up Rose’s tent in the rain and to Peggy and David who helped dismantle it.  I am blessed with good friends.

90th birthday print

90th birthday print

On August 20th my father, Neil Simpson, will turn 90 years young! Can you imagine living for 90 years? We are having a celebration in his honour where I grew up in North Bay, Ontario on his birthday. I decided to embark on a special printmaking project that will be given as gifts to my parents and six of my living siblings. The above image will be one of the first few “pages”. The pages will not be bound as in a book but be singles wrapped and tied in a folder that I have yet to design. I am using a kraft coloured Stonehenge paper (I love this paper!) and have torn it down to 8-1/2” X 8-1/2”. I have collected photos of my Dad from his youth into old age. This one is him and his sister, Jean. My Dad is an Ontario Land Surveyor hence the bit of Ontario map, roadways and symbols. The photos were scanned and printed from my laser printer onto “Usukuchi” paper which is very thin and translucent. I bought it in large sheets at Island Blue and cut to 8-1/2” X 11”. The plate is zinc and I used a “diamond point etch” tool to draw onto it. I bought this tool at Opus. The maple leaves were cut from Thai mango paper that I bought in large sheets from Island Blue. The ink is Graphic Chemicals sepia. The lettering is my own and written with a 2B mechanical pencil. This is turning out to be more work than I imagined but it will be beautiful when complete! Hope to see you at the Moss Street Paint-In July 16!

Preparing for ARTISHOW Artist-in-Residence

sea side painting

sea side painting

Since returning from our visit to New York City I have been busy preparing to do the ARTISHOW Artist-in-Residence program at the Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites. These images are two of several pieces I have been working on by combining drypoint prints on Dai Chiri paper and fluid acrylic and Derwent watersoluable ink blocks (like a pastel stick) on BFK Rives paper. When the paint was still wet I used my glass pen to draw fine lines which then filled in with paint. The papers are glued to 6” X 8” wood cradles and coated several times with matt medium. These will be for sale along with other prints and paintings during my time at Chateau Victoria. Check my schedule page for dates & times and hope to see you and your visitors there!

Still playing …

pastel paper artwork

When I studied printmaking with Susy Raxlen at the Vancouver Island School of Art a few years ago, she introduced the use of chalk pastels on our prints.  I bought some single sticks of these lovely soft pastels by Unison.  I also bought a few soft pastel sticks by Rembrandt however they are not quite as nice as the Unison. So I thought I could incorporate the use of pastels in this latest collection of seaside/shoreline works.  The one pictured here was done on BFK Rives (my new favourite paper) with fluid acrylics.  While the paper and paint were still wet I took a glass pen (it has a very small monoline tip) and began making marks.  I love how the paint filled in the fine lines made by the pen.  I cut stencils in a variety of shapes and sizes then used both types of pastels to arrange the shapes on the paper.  I also cut more shapes from some of the translucent chine papers I have been using on my drypoint prints.  This piece will be attached to a wood cradle like the one from the previous post.  Let me know what you think!

Creative play with print & painting combo

print paint combo

Over the weekend my husband and I were invited to friends for dinner. As a hostess gift I like to bring a few of my own cards. I created two cards using scraps of some intaglio drypoint prints on various papers, enclosed the cards with an envelope in a cellophane sleeve and tied them with a piece of beautiful satin ribbon printed with a graphic floral pattern in rich browns and grays. Yesterday the scraps were still strewn across my work counter and I started to play with them then brought in other paper scraps that had been painted with fluid acrylic and watercolour pencils. I’d also punched holes in the torn edge of one side. Then I brought out some of the Japanese papers I was using in my recent prints (see May 16 post). The circle shapes began to appear as I worked and this is the result. The support is a 6” X 8” wood cradle with a ¾” profile that I sanded lightly before attaching the papers with Golden Regular Gell (gloss). I will need to apply a protective layer of medium over the entire piece before I add the hanging wire. I think this fits with the water/shoreline theme I’ve been working on.

Chine colle print

Chine colle

Here is one of several prints made from the intaglio drypoint plate I posted last week. Before I began inking the plate I spent a while cutting out shapes from three different papers that were included in a package from the Japanese Paper Place called Chine Colle Assortment. A former neighbour gave me some old boating charts which I tore into small bits. I applied Yamato sticking paste to one side of these pieces and set aside to dry. Then I inked up the plate and hand wiped it. Next I spritzed these delicate collage pieces with a fine water mist and lay on top of the inked plate, glue side up. A slightly damp sheet of BFK Rives paper was placed on top and all run through the press. When you add collage to an inked plate during the printing process this technique is called chine colle. Originally I thought I would add additional marks or shapes with chalk pastel but it looks like they may not need anything else. I haven’t decided what to title these prints as they are a continuation of the shorelines theme I created using fluid acrylic paints on paper (see “Down by the sea shore…” post).

The first step of many …

Drypoint on Copper

Here is a small (4-1/2” X 6”) print made from an intaglio drypoint plate.  My plan is to use some fine translucent papers as collage over some areas of the print and to paint in some opaque and transparent areas to finish it off.  This is the first of several in a new series.

Unforeseen Opportunity

Unforeseen Opportunity

Above is a detail of my painting Unforeseen Opportunity (16” X 16” mixed media on wood cradle) that won a Juror’s Choice Award at the Saanich Peninsula Arts & Crafts Society Exhibition & Sale this past weekend in Sidney. The juror, Alain Costez, made these comments about the painting, “Nice expression of form and space. Well executed colour transitions.” Alain is an accomplished painter and printmaker from Victoria. Thanks Alain!

Down by the sea shore…


Here’s a sneak peek at one of a small series, Shorlines, I have been working on that will be entered in the upcoming Saanich Peninsula Arts & Crafts Society Exhibition & Sale this coming weekend April 30 – May 1 in Sidney BC. Sidney is located a few minutes from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal which connects islanders to mainland Canada and is 30 minutes north of Victoria where I live.

It’s not often that you can steal away for a few quiet moments to stroll the shoreline but if you do you can stop and bend down to examine tide pools that are teeming with tiny marine life and other scraps that land in these puddles of sea water. This is what inspired the Shoreline series.

Layer Upon Layer


Here’s a piece I’ve been working and reworking on BFK Rives paper. The first image that went onto the page was a photo transfer of the hand then a “ghost print” made from the mylar/brayer print I showed in the last post. I kept adding layers of words and drops and scribbles and splatters and more words and more paint! I’m still not sure if it’s finished, what do you think?

Visit me in person while I demonstrate on Sunday, May 1, 2 – 4 pm at the Saanich Peninsula Arts & Crafts Society Exhibtion and Sale (wow, that was a mouthful!) in Sidney BC at the Mary Winspear Centre.

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