Having no other place to exhibit my work during lockdown (apart from online, but that doesn’t really count) I have been displaying cards showing my Green Man design, on trees and gate-posts at various places, whilst out on our daily walks. Despite being in Rotherham, we’re very fortunate to live near fields and woodlands in Wickersley, Rotherham, so the environment is, I feel, fitting for these cards. Although there is the opportunity for feedback (I put my email address on the back) no-one has been in touch – I didn’t really think they would – but at least two of them have been taken, so they are being seen. I’ll never know whether they were taken by people wanting to own the card, or by kids trashing them but either way, they are being interacted with!
Here is the completed print of Cadman Bridge, a bridge built in 1819 over the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal in Sheffield City centre, England. The bridge is on one of the streets or lanes in Sheffield bearing that name – my name. Research shows that my ancestors, the Cadmans, were mostly scissor or knife makers ie. some of the so-called ‘Little Mesters’ who populated the City many years ago, working in Sheffield steel. A couple of years ago, my band played at a wedding in the Millennium Galleries building in the City centre – it was only recently that I discovered the room we were playing in is called The Cadman Room!
The print is a reduction lino-cut, with four layers. I kept it in monochrome as I felt it better reflected the history and culture of the area – there are still small steel workshops there.
For my next image in the ‘Shouting at The World’ series, I have combined two of the gargoyles/grotesques I found on the churches in Lincolnshire, with a Sheela-na-gig found on The Church of St Mary and St David, in Kilpeck, Herefordshire. Having spent quite a lot of time working with various images of the Green Man, I felt it was time to redress the balance somewhat and feature this ancient, scared female form which can be found, in various forms, throughout the world.
This is the second image in the “Shouting At The World” series, inspired by the gargoyles and grotesques found on many medieval churches around Britain. This particular gargoyle is from a church in Lincolnshire. I have intentionally designed the image to have a similar look to the picture cards in a deck of cards.
The Machrie Moor Standing Stones on the Isle of Arran, are some of the most beautifully placed stones I have ever seen. They are at one with the landscape, their shapes echoing the surrounding hills perfectly. I have wanted to represent them in print for some time.
This piece was completed using a technique that is new to me – lino printing in a ‘jigsaw’ style of working. The original in-field sketch was painted using water colours, then transferred to soft-cut lino. I cut the block into several sections, inking them up and printing them in separate colours at the same time. This continued with further cuts being made before cutting the final outline block to tie everything together.
Having taken the photographs of the various Lincolnshire Grotesques, I chose three that I felt were most appropriate to the theme of ‘Shouting at The World’ and drew them as a group. The feature that struck me most when I first saw them in situ, was how often the figures are depicted holding their mouths wide open. I exaggerated this by having one of them holding open another’s mouth. The lino prints were a three-colour image, the second layer being drawn into so as to allow the first layer to show through with some degree of texture. The final, detailed layer was intentionally fairly rough-cut, in keeping with the old, often crumbling nature of the figures.
Having seen some of my prints scanned and enlarged, I wasn’t entirely happy with the original Lino cut so decided to recut it with a bit more detail. This one I am much happier with.
Having printed a rectangular version of my original Green Man drawing, I returned to the basic face shape, cutting a new lino block with a view to printing a triptych version. The colours used are blue, green and red (with a black, green and red version also available) for no other reason than those are the only colours of ink I currently have left!
To celebrate the first birthday of a very special little girl (my first grand daughter) I created this print. It is from an original, observational drawing I made of a rose, planted in our garden shortly before Rosie was born.
The two print layers are now completed. I initially tried to produce a ‘clean’ print with no evidence of the cutting being shown. However, having made some mistakes at the inking stage, thus showing some of the cut lines, I decided to intentionally include them in the final print. As seen in the pictures, they add a certain, appropriate ‘feel’ to the final image, seemingly more organic. I am happy with the framed print.