Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year !

Since the last newsletter / blogpost I have had my knee arthroscopy. All is going well, lots of physio, walking and cycling to get my leg working again. It is quite astonishing the extent to which muscles waste if they are not used! I should be more than ready for the last stretch of the Coast Path in April.

This hiatus in the project has allowed me to reflect on what I have done so far. These reflections have ranged from wanting to re-do everything I have done so far to feeling quite smug about the whole thing. The benefit of hindsight is not always a positive thing, you can always see ways of improving your work and wishing you had done things differently. Like most printmakers I am highly critical of each print I produce and strive for perfection, but ultimately you have to trust the decisions you made at the time, enjoy the process and be content with the outcome. 

I still have a few of the South Hams prints left to make before I start on the final stretch from Brixham to Poole. I look forward to getting back into the landscape to refresh my memory as the sketches I made back in the long hot summer feel quite unfamiliar now.  But as it is home turf day trips out are nice and easy.

Thank you for your continuing interest in the project, lets hope 2014 brings us another good Spring and Summer!

Linocut “Hawthorn & Snow near Tunhill Rocks, Dartmoor”

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Latest News - Autumn 2013

Exhibition at Harbour House, Kingsbridge

I had a very successful exhibition at Harbour House in September. We hung all of the daily prints on the double height end wall in the shape of the South West Peninsula. I doubt this will happen again for a while because very few galleries have such a big wall. It was amazing to see all the prints in one space - it made me realise how much work I have already done and gave a real sense of the journey.

Update on the Walk

I have been busy in the studio continuing with developing the sketches from the path. We have 140 miles to go from Brixham to Poole. This last stretch has had to be deferred as my left knee decided it didn't want to walk anymore - the arthroscopy is on 19th November! If all goes well we should be back on the path in the spring.

Other Exhibitions and Workshops

In collaboration with the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and Villages in Action, the Outline South West exhibition is visiting two villages in rural Devon (South Zeal and South Brent). In addition to the exhibition I am running one-day monoprinting workshops - here are some of the beautiful prints made at South Zeal:

The South Brent exhibition is next weekend Sat 9th - Sun 10th November. There is an exhibition launch on Saturday from 10 to 11am with coffee and cakes; the exhibition runs each day from 10am to 4pm. The venue is The Old School Centre on Totnes Road, TQ10 9BP.

Other News

I was asked by the Moor Poets group if they could use a piece of my artwork for the cover of their latest anthology of poems. We chose a detail from one of my tin mine collagraphs called Wheal Betsy. More information about the Moor Poets and the book is available here.

This month I also ran a two day collagraph workshop in the fantastic loft studio belonging to Salcombe Art Club. On day one the plates were made using mountboard as the matrix and then a wide variety of textured materials glued on and sealed with shellac. Then on day two the plates were proofed and printed onto paper using the press. It was a very productive couple of days as you can see from the montage below showing just a few of the finished prints:

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Week 7 'In the Studio' & Exhibition

This summer's heat wave was just getting started as we finished week 7 - I have to say that last year's cool and damp weather actually provided better lighting conditions than all this sunshine!  I also noticed this week that my creative tank appears to be full again so I have decided to defer the rest of the walk until next spring.  I am looking forward to spending more time exploring the coast in Dorset - an area with which I am totally unfamiliar.

Meanwhile, back in the studio I have been working on some large monoprints and trying to get up to date with the daily drypoints before the exhibition in September. 

For some of the monoprints I have been using viscosity inking. This is where you use inks at different viscosities (runny and sticky) which when applied using different density rollers do not mix. This allows the application of several colours with only one pass through the press. You also get the most amazing images left on the roller which look as though you should be able to print them - but they just don't come out!
Exhibition & Open Studio

The next Outline South West exhibition is at Harbour House in Kingsbridge from 3rd to 8th September - full details here. I will be printmaking in the gallery throughout the exhibition and showing a film about the project twice a day. 

I am also opening my studio for a couple of weekends as part of Devon Open Studios (DOS): Studio open 12 - 15 and 19 - 22 September from 11am to 6pm. 
DOS brochures are widely available or you can download one here
I am venue 121, page 58.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Week 7: Plymouth to Brixham - Day 47

Dartmouth to Brixham
11 miles (walked 5)
Word of the day: Sea-mist

An early morning ferry crossing of the River Dart on the lower ferry and we were disappointed to find the cafe did not open until 10am. So we walked out to the old gun emplacement at Froward Point for home made mint tea.

We met Arthur Metcalfe from Yorkshire who was walking the path for the sixteenth time, just for a change he started this time at John O'Groats in mid March!

Sea-mist got even thicker this afternoon, but at least the rain stopped. Called it a day at Ivy Cove and walked up to Coleton Camp so that my Dad could pick us up and take us home. I will return in a few days time when the visibility improves. 

I have had a really good week. It has made me look at and appreciate my local beaches and cliff-walks in the context of the whole coastline. I will never look at them in the same way again. 

Week 7: Plymouth to Brixham - Day 46

Start Point to Dartmouth
13 miles
Word of the day: Clammy
Walked down to the beautiful Start Point lighthouse and sat on top of the ridge, enjoying the sun and sketching. The sea was calm and flat, beautiful sunshine - diamonds on the water. No other people around except for a couple of fishermen checking their pots. I could hear seals calling, birds flying close to the water, fishing made easier with the sea clear and still. A totally perfect day!

Stopped on Hallsands Beach for a paddle before walking on to Beesands for a cup of tea at the Britannia Shellfish cafe. Very hot today and initially windless, but the sea breeze came in at lunchtime for a while and helped to keep us cool. 

Had fish and chips at the Start Bay Inn at Torcross. Then called in on another artist friend Alan Jones in Stoke Fleming as the coast path runs just near his house. Rejoined the coast at Little Dartmouth and stopped on the ledges below Blackstone Point to sketch the offshore Blackstone Rocks covered in Shags. Finally made it to Dartmouth for a night with friend Vicky Maxwell in whose garret I used to paint!

Today was an odd day - the first on which we knew every part of the path well, very difficult to concentrate (not helped by the heat). 

Week 7: Plymouth to Brixham - Day 45

Salcombe to Start Point
12 Miles
Word of the day: Friends

We walked, accompanied by Doug, to Gara Rock in very poor visibility but stopped to sketch anyway just east of the beach. Moved on via Gammon Head and Elender Cove to a point just short of Prawle Point - the most southerly point in Devon. 

Stopped to sketch the ancient field boundary stones known as Dragons Teeth - and Maggie Smith (printmaker) joined us for lunch.

As the day got warmer we headed along the raised beach below the old cliffs at East Prawle to within a few hundred metres of Lannacombe. We were then diverted 2 miles inland to avoid a major land slip.

Met up with poet Jenny Osborne and her partner Kevin and went for a paddle to cool our feet after the steep hills on the diversion. Walked with them to Mattiscombe and then headed inland for a night with artists Ysabel Winzar and Tony Watson.

Week 7: Plymouth to Brixham - Day 44

Hope Cove to Salcombe
8 miles
Word of the day: Loss

Another dodgy forecast but no rain this morning. We were joined by fellow artist and walker Amanda Pellatt for the first section to Soar Mill Cove. 

Stopped for a breezy sketching session on Bolberry Down above Fernyhole Point. Then escaped the wind for a while on the beach before heading up to sketch the rocky coastline to the west of Soar Mill Cove (in the sunshine). 

As we were about to leave Tim stood up and his insulated seat (a swimming float) blew away down the cliff. After 7 weeks and nearly 500 miles it will be sadly missed.

More windy cliff-top walking and some very jagged rock formations brought us to Bolt Head and the final sketching stop of the day. Strolled into Salcombe along the spectacularly rocky path below Sharpitor. Tim found 30 Namibian Dollars on the path - dreaming of great riches we discovered they were worth £1.89!

Just as we were leaving South Sands the weather changed very suddenly, a warm wind bearing a few heavy spots of rain brought high humidity and a very sticky walk up the hill to Martine & Doug O'Malleys house. 

Week 7: Plymouth to Brixham - Day 43

Wonwell Beach to Hope Cove
9 miles
Word of the day: Forecast

Despite a dire forecast we set out hopefully and, in the end, were amply rewarded. The dramatic cliffs and coves between Wonwell and Bigbury were even more atmospheric in the wet and misty conditions. We passed a rock stack that looked just like a seal pup!

Took some shots of multi-coloured slate cliffs at Hoist Point and had tea in Ayrmer Cove. Other hopeful people were preparing for a soapbox derby in Challaborough and by the time we reached Bigbury it was warm and almost dry. 

The Avon ferry doesn't run on a Sunday so we were very grateful when fellow printmaker Diana Miller drove us round to Bantham - saving us an 8 mile walk to Aveton Gifford and back. My boots leaked badly today! Stopped at Warren Point near Thurlestone to sketch the rocks and flowers but the unseasonably cold weather got the better of me and we had to repair to the Beachhouse at South Milton for more tea.

A 2 mile diversion brought us to Hope Cove and a comfy nights stay with our friend Mary Northcott.

Week 7: Plymouth to Brixham - Day 42

Noss Mayo to Wonwell Beach
10 miles
Word of the day: Foxgloves

Blustery walk from Cellars out to the Warren where I tried to sketch the foxgloves and burnt gorse but the wind and rain conspired against me, even using the camera was difficult. 

On to Stoke Point where we went down to sea level for some energetic sketching and photos. Then into Revelstoke and a quick visit to the atmospheric church of St Peter the Poor Fisherman - half the roof missing but retaining a great acoustic.
After Lunch in a ruined tea room on Beacon Hill we covered some rougher ground and had to air our feet at Butchers Cove. Eventually arrived at the river Erme and waded across to Wonwell Beach for a well-earned hot chocolate.

I was worried that walking the home stretch would feel odd and that I would not be able to concentrate.  In reality it has felt just like the rest of the path - in fact walking to places that we normally drive to has made me look at them in a new light and allowed me to relate them to other sections of the path.

Spent the night in Kingston with artist Anne Scarratt and her husband Bill - another lovely meal and relaxing bath!

Week 7: Plymouth to Brixham - Day 41

Plymouth to Noss Mayo
8 miles
Word of the day: Oysters

We started this week with a bus ride, just a 5 minute walk to Shinners Bridge and an hour later we were sipping mugs of tea and munching bacon butties at Cap'n Jaspers on the Barbican in Plymouth. After a short ferry ride we arrived at Mountbatten and donned full waterproofs and rucksack covers, only to remove it all again half an hour later when the sun came out. The grumpiness engendered by yesterday's frantic preparations, a late night and an early start were soon banished by the warming rays! First wet and warm, now dry and warm!

Stopped to sketch the greenfinches on Staddon Heights, just below the huge wall built to distract German bombers during the war. It didn't work - Plymouth city centre was flattened to such an extent that the whole lot was demolished and replaced in the 50's.

The quiet was broken by the disembodied pipes (tannoy announcements) drifting across the water from the type 23 frigate anchored nearby - a steely grey war canoe reminding us of Plymouth's primary role as the biggest Naval Base in Western Europe.
Stopped for a lovely cup of Owen's coffee at Wembury Beach, served by Steve. After a lunch of lentils and ham amongst the rockpools we stopped at Season Point to sketch the foxgloves with the Yealm Estuary and Mouthstone Point in the background.


We took the ferry from Warren Point to Noss Mayo and sat on the foreshore admiring the oysters that had taken up residence in every crevice, even amongst old lengths of chain piled on the beach. A short walk through lush woodland and up Revelstoke Drive brought us to Cellars, the home of Sue Spooner and her sister Penny. We spent a very comfy night in the garden room, admiring Sue's colourful textiles.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Week 6: Falmouth to Plymouth 'In the Studio'

It has been a busy time in the studio, with Totnes & Dartington Open Studios at the end of May and an exhibition starting in the National Trust Gallery at Cotehele in Cornwall (see below). 

I am still enjoying the process of plate making and editioning, even on such a large scale.  I am finding new ways of using carborundum and collagraph in conjunction with the drypoints. The materials chosen for each plate are determined by the subject and how it should be expressed, this leads to me finding new methods which in turn maintains my interest.

right - Day 31 "Hawthorn in Bloom at Nare Point"
below - Day 34 "Wild Garlic at Gerrans Bay"


The exhibition at Cotehele is on until late July - for further details click on this link

I am a member of Press Gang, a group of printmakers who work together in Salcombe. The Press Gang annual exhibition is at Harbour House in Kingsbridge from 2 - 14 July, more details here.

Finally, there is a printmaking exhibition called "The Working Landscape" at the Birdwood Gallery in Totnes from 17 - 22 June. More details here.

On the left are some of my plates under production.

Week 7 Itinerary
Fri 14th      Plymouth to Noss Mayo
Sat 15th     Noss Mayo to Wonwell
Sun 16th    Wonwell to Hope Cove
Mon 17th    Hope Cove to Salcombe
Tue 18th    Salcombe to Beesands
Wed 19th   Beesands to Dartmouth
Thu 20th   Dartmouth to Brixham

I must stress that the itinerary is only a plan, and is therefore subject to change - usually due to inclement weather.  

If you wish to join us for part of the walk, or just meet us at a particular place then e-mail me at: so that we can make arrangements.

We have a few tidal issues this week - fording the River Erme at Wonwell on Saturday afternoon should be OK, but there is no ferry across the Avon from Bigbury to Bantham on Sunday. If anyone happens to be on the Avon estuary with a boat around Sunday lunchtime please get in touch!

Thanks in advance to all the lovely people who are giving us places to stay this week - six nights without the tent will be bliss!

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Week 6: Falmouth to Plymouth - Day 40

Tregonhawke to Plymouth
9 miles
Word of the day: Sails

After the heat of yesterday we started a bit earlier and had plenty of breaks to air my feet. Stopped to sketch Rame Head from Queener Point. I was hampered slightly by some very inquisitive, but friendly, ponies.

Then went up to St Michael's Chapel on top of Rame Head and spent an hour in the sunshine watching the ships and boats go by. 

Stopped for our last Cornish Pasty in Cawsand and then walked on into Mount Edgecombe Country Park - a place we last visited in the early eighties when we were both students in Plymouth. 

Said farewell to Cornwall - after four and a half very enjoyable weeks. Caught a very crowded Cremyll Ferry before walking through Plymouth City Centre feeling like aliens - two hot, sweaty and rather dishevelled rambling hikers amongst the Saturday shoppers. Back to reality!