“The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty,
you know you’re an artist.“David Hockney
Alongside the six-foot canvas on the theme of North Shields I have produced a series of other artworks including a series of photographs taken at different times of the day to capture the changes at the Fish Quay and three lino cuts depicting the Fish Quay, which I have printed onto both paper and canvas.
While doing some general research on fishing and boats, I half remembered how boats use flags to inform other ships of issues etc. I researched this and found the “International Code of Signals”. I thought it would be interesting to spell out the words “North Shields” using these flags and print my lino cuts on top of them.
I tested out different mediums including Brusho, fabric dye and acrylic paint to get the desired effect.
I made smaller samples and tested a lino cut of a lily I had made previously to test out the differences.
Eventually I settled on acrylic as it gave a good colour and it didn’t run when I applied the wet ink from the lino cut.
As the lino cuts are 30cm x 30cm I decided to cut the canvas 40cm x 40cm to have some space around the printed design.
I used painters masking tape to section off the different patterns required and painted the flags at home in batches relating to the colours.
I then made a structure out of recycled cardboard to hold the primed lino cut so that I had continuity when I printed onto the flags.
The printing went well overall however, some of the prints are more visible than others because of their background. I don’t mind this variation as it just looks like some are more “worn” than others.
I spoke to my tutor J O’Rourke to ask about the best way to display these flags. On a ship the flags would be fastened to the rigging however we decided the best way would be to hold them by using mini bulldog clips and using simple picture pins.
As a contrast to my work I looked at the work of Melvyn Evans. Melvyn Evans has been a professional artist, printmaker and illustrator since 1992. His work has been shown at the Royal Academy, Royal College of Art, Somerset House and more recently at the YSP.
I was drawn to Melvyn’s work as one of his inspirations are boats and the quayside. In contrast to my own work I see his as far more professional and complete. his palette is limited, but much wider than my own as I usually print in one colour and hand detail after my prints are dry. He has also used Barbara Hepworth’s sculptural work as inspiration, which I admire. Going forward, I would like to try and incorporate some of his chunckier solid shapes into my own work to see how it sits alongside my naive style.
In the next blog I will tell you about my foray into using Kickstarter.