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Archive for the ‘Just pictures’ Category

It has been a while since I wrote in my little digital diary… the usual excuses apply… life just gets in the way… So here it is folks… the reduction print using my colourgraph block…

…first print with the unadulterated block…

After that bit was done it was time to hack away at the original block… although I sort of wish I had taken another print as I quite like it as it is… anyway… draw more lines… almost take off finger with stanley knife… cover block with new red paint so it looks like this…

Print the red onto the blue and then start cutting more bits up… white print ink next… chop … cut … hack … final print in black… …et voila…

…I think next thing to do is cut out a few bits from the block to sort of neaten it up before sticking it to mounting board…

Oh

Here is the jigsaw of all the bits put together again

I musn’t be very good at puzzles as it didn’t start off this wonky!

***

…Next project is painting with oils, turpentine and inks… teacup theme for me…

CREATE!

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It’s been a faff of a job in the editing… and because I had to shorten it for facebook I stuffed up the music on Legal Man… but hey… you get the picture… if you want to see what we got up to… watch the video here!

I can’t recommend Hoi An Motorbike Adventures highly enough… best weekend in Vietnam… Fact…

…Happy Days…

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Friday evening for me usually comprises of take out coriander chicken salad, a cup of tea and a trashy movie on HBO… Yes… I am well aware that for someone in my early thirties this is tragic… not this Friday though… the opportunity to do something totally different for a change… Wine & Art… not schmooozing in a gallery drinking free wine whilst I look at art I don’t understand… actually drawing it myself… A life drawing class with added wine…

It had been nearly a decade since I picked up a pencil and drew a picture so it was a little nerve wrecking… can I still draw and make it look like something recognisable?

Now i wonder what all the fuss was about… after a series of 30 second sketches – which were terrible by the way – we moved on to 5 minute, 10 minute and 20 minute poses… 3 delightful glasses of Chardonnay later I felt happy with what i was producing and actually thought some of the sketches didn’t turn out too badly…

I still maintain that the paper was too small not that I draw to big… or that I only draw torsos because I can’t draw anything above the shoulder or below the knee…

All in all a super time was had by all…

Will definitely go to the next one… beats chicken salad for one any day of the week…

…20 minute pose…


…final 10 minute pose…

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Art Wednesday folks… another thrilling installment on how my project is coming along… Okay… so I was really excited to get going on this part of the project… creating a paper upon which to print using my print blocks… Turps transfer is a pretty simple technique… you take an image… photocopy it (prererably using the crummiest old photocopier you can find), place the image face down on cartridge paper and then using an old cloth rub a small amount of turps over the back of the image… this is the clever part… the turpentine releases the ink from the photocopier and transfers it to the cartridge paper below…

Sounds easy right?

…Wrong…

So this was my idea… take a collection of images and photos from my time in Vietnam and combine them to create an interesting background in which to print over with my print blocks… I felt that the geometric print block was somewhat reminiscent of propaganda posters and then by replacing the buttons in my other print block with more Vietnamese coins it would provide an simple yet eye catching contrast…  I had it all planned out in my head… I went to a few photocopier places to test out different machines and in the end chose some images of electrical wire and propaganda posters I like… Here is the layout i thought i would start with…

Test one… the colour images… didn’t work at all… no ink released whatsoever… nada… next time must use colour photocopier and not printer… and here is the result of test number two…

After several tests of different prints… this is what comes out… interesting… but hardly going to rock the Turner Prize anytime soon… change of tack… too much blur and black means all the detail will be lost as soon as it is printed over…

Final attempt… a montage of street maps of saigon with some propaganda posters thrown in for good measure… It looks quite interesting and I think will make for a cool textured background to print onto…

To be brutally honest… it turned out okay… but I am not entirely happy with the composition so I will print onto it but keep working on the turps transfer until I find a photocopier that works – the older the better apparently – when I hit upon the magic combination of amount of turpentine and photocopier I will return to my original plan…

I still really like propaganda and cables….

As for using translucent gold acrylic for a printing ink… the less said about that the better…

Wine & Art on friday… time to get out the sketch book…

Night all xx

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Contrasting Sunrise

I think this is possibly my favourite photograph that I have taken to date… sunrise at Angkor Wat… worth getting up at the ungodly hour of 4.30am and waiting for hours until the perfect picture came into frame.  The light was poor being a somewhat overcast day but using my sunglasses as a lens filter it gives the photograph a golden glow… I love the contrast of the modern cheap plastic chairs against the stunning silhouette of Angkor Wat… it evokes wonderful memories of my travels and time with my wonderful Mom and friends… this photograph makes me happy happy happy…

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Print Block... before printing...

Art Wednesday… and I very nearly didn’t make it… buildings in Saigon get demolished, renovated and reconstructed on an almost daily basis and i wasn’t entirely certain the studio would still be there… however… hiding down a side street beside an abandoned cinema and tucked behind a thousand motorbikes is the Out-2 Saigon studio… actually… it isn’t that hard to find… I just missed the bloody enormous sign…

A small but lovely studio with super friendly people… projects nearing completion and stunning pieces hang on the wall, filling up the space as well as serving as inspiration… the course will run over the next 8 weeks… just long enough to get me through the last term with my sanity intact…

Printing… cut glue stamp stamp roller stamp… actually… as you can see from the photo above I got as far as the cut and glue stage… a cathartic process… selecting pieces for their texture and the negative shapes they will create… I chose circles… I wasn’t sure where I was going… to be honest I still have no idea how it will turn out… but I liked the idea of diminishing circles using everything from hessian & ridged paper to coins & buttons… I know it may not look like much yet (although i think it is a little bit pop arty and kitsch)… but when it has all dried the fun part will come next… rollering on the acrylic paint and seeing how it turns out on paper!

….Let’s hope it turns out as well as I imagine it in my head…

2 hours disappeared… but at the end I had made something… something not for work… something not for another person… and something that on Tuesday I didn’t know how to do at all… how awesome is that…

Sarah, the Out 2 Saigon chapette in charge of us budding artistes was really supportive and encouraging – exactly what you would hope for in fact – and made sense of some of my odd ideas to incorporate my print block with fabric or photographs… mission for this weekend… find a photocopy and print place… oh and learn all about terps transfer technique…

…As I suspected… Highlight of my week…

…Oh… a few pretty Hoi An lantern photographs added here

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Saigon Post Office

So often I forget just how wonderful Saigon actually is… how many strange and curious sights i overlook because they just become part of the blur of daily life here. Not today though… or yesterday for that matter… Two of my most favourite people have arrived from England… Cat & Toby… this is there first trip to Asia and it is my opportunity to share with them some of the things I love most about the city.  We started off the day with a traditional Vietnamese breakfast… a hot spicy bowl of Pho… a delicious noodly soup that you can’t perfectly describe in words… the crunch of the beansprouts, the tang of chillies and limes all combined in one delicious mouthful of this delightful meal.

With bellies full and a good caffeine zing we ventured forth into Ben Thanh market… a place I usually avoid… as much because of the tourists as the locals… wandering through the cramped aisles piled high with fabric and food, a bag of freshly prepared jack fruit in hand… stopping to marvel at the weird and wonderful produce… it is quite special… even if a white face means you have to work incredibly hard to get a bargain!

Slowly strolling along the city streets we followed Le Loi down to Dong Khoi to the Opera House and then Notre Dame and my favourite building… the post office… just as stunning outside as inside… would be the perfect backdrop for a Poirot mystery to begin…

The heat is somewhat oppressive this time of year and instead of opting for a bottle of overpriced water on the street we went to NYDC for a delicious ice cold glass of Lemon Shiver… thirst quenching and fabulous for stabilising the core temperature of parched tourists…

Thumbs up for Lemon Shiver!

Onwards… this time to China Town… aniseed… the first thing that hits you is the pungent aroma of herbs and spices… huge sacks brimming with all kinds of oddities which will eventually be pulverised, mashed or ground into some truly foul smelling Chinese medicine…. we were content just to look…

....don't eat the mushrooms...

A walk through Cho Lon and into the haberdashery market before heading to Pham Ngu Lau… backpacker district… for another icy cold beverage… ca phe sua da… people watching and street hawker avoiding…

All the delicious sights and sounds and smells absorbed it is time to head home… only to refresh… dinner at the superb Quan An Ngon… over ordered again… but you just want to try everything!

Fresh rolls with shrimp barbequed on sugar cane

I love being a tourist where I live… It makes me appreciate how wonderful Saigon truly is… it may be prettier but the grass isn’t always greener on the other side…

Daisies at Quan An Ngon

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