Saturday, 21 November 2015

From a Ginger Cat to a Pirate!

How to turn a simple photo of a ginger cat into many prints and paintings!

This is the naughty ginger cat that comes and visits us and very often steals my cats food! He had such a cute face that I had to take a photo of him and I couldn't resist using him in a few of my artworks!

This is a quick photoshopped version of him as a pirate about to raid my cats food dish, which I used as a template to paint him from.
Pirate Ginger Cat Acrylic Painting
 I then decided to paint him as one my Cats in Hats series of square acrylic paintings. Here he is with my tuxedo cat Morpheus in his various costumes!
Cats in Hats Acrylic Paintings
He proved really popular so I had to make him into a greeting card.
Pirate Ginger Cat Greeting Card
Next I decided to make him into a lino print to go with my Steampunk Cat lino print.
Steampunk Happy Cat Linocut Print

Pirate Ginger Cat Linocut Print
Once I had the lino printing plate ready I just had to print up a few Pirate tote bags.
Pirate Ginger Cat Tote Bag

Pirate Ginger Cat Red Tote Bag

 And of course a cushion!
Pirate Ginger Cat Hand Printed Cushion
I don't know his name but when he nexts visits I will have to give him some commission in the form of some crunchies for giving me so much inspiration!

Clare xx

Thursday, 20 August 2015

First Ever Collagraph Prints

A very recent collagraph print "Temple of Concordia"
I thought I'd dig out and show a few of my very first collagraph prints I ever made!

Collagraph Print - Print created from a card plate made by adding paint, glue, enamel and other textures. This holds the ink in varying degrees and is printed through the Intaglio process.The more texture on the printing plate the more ink it will hold and the darker the image will print. The smoother the surface of the plate it will hold less ink and therefore print whiter.

My first ever collagraph prints were made a bit differently to what I am doing now. I was first introduced to the technique in 1992 by a visiting art tutor at my college. We did a whole project which started off with going out and photographing rooftops around the town for some strange reason! We then developed the black and white film in the dark room and printed off some photos to inspire us to collage together an image to then make the printing plates.

Heres my first ever collagraph printing plate, its a bit battered! It is made from mountboard which is cut into, has sandpaper stuck onto it for the really dark tones and sellotape for the lighter tones. Very fiddly but fun to make!

Heres one of the prints from the plate. Not bad for a first attempt!

I then decided to focus a bit more on the parts that I had liked from the first print - the roof with the missing tiles, the chimneys and the brick work. Again this was made with mountboard, sellotape and tiny pieces of masking tape cut out for the bricks!

 The finished print. Sadly I only have this one as the college liked them so much they kept the best ones! This also has a cyantotype print behind it of one of the rooftops.

Another collagraph print completed while at college. I did this as a series of four prints with the trees gradually growing up the building and engulfing it.

Which bears a striking similarity to a collagraph print I did only a few years ago which shows I still love my windows, doors and columns!

Ruined Forecourt collagraph print
 Was really interesting seeing how different and also how alike my older collagraph prints are to the ones I do now, I'm so glad I learned all about them many years ago!

 Clare xx

Monday, 3 August 2015

Printing Artwork Cushions!

I love making my artwork more accessible to people so really enjoy printing my art onto different items other than paper. I've worked a little with wearable art - printing onto fabric and then making into fabric cuffs like these examples:
Hand printed flower fabric cuff

Hand printed Steampunk tentacle fabric cuff

Recently I decided the living room needed a little brightening up so I thought I'd print a few cushion covers for myself. I'm now a bit addicted and can't stop making them!

Heres one I made from some scraps of fabric and a Steampunk Cat linocut image.

Some Linocut beer bottle cushions!

 I decided to then have a go at making a few to sell and had a search through some of my existing lino printing plates and I know that cats are always really popular so couldn't resist trying out my black cat lino prints onto fabric! Loved printing onto the pinky/purple fabric as its thick wool felt and took the ink really well.

Black Cats drying!

The finished Black Cat Cushion

Black Cat Cushion in blue

Next I had to try my hippo linocut printing plate!
The finished Purple Hippo Cushion
Of course when I'm taking the photos of any of my items my favourite model Morpheus the cat always likes to supervise!  Not sure what he is saying about this cushion but it all got too much for him and he had to have a little sleep!

Looking forward to printing a few more cushions soon!

Clare xx

Friday, 24 July 2015

Crazy Cat Lady!

I've been doing a lot of arty networking recently and I have been finding sometimes when I introduce myself as soon as that person hears my name they say "Are you the cat lady?" I always then think of the Crazy Cat Lady from the Simpsons cartoon!

I admit I have been doing a lot of cat themed artwork recently especially since I got my very cute black and white cat Morpheus a few years ago!

Who could resist this little face!

 My very first painting of him when he was still a kitten.
Kitten Acrylic Painting

 My very first and still my favourite collagraph print of him as a kitten!
Dreamy Collagraph Print
 I started doing quite a few collagraph prints of him dressed in his finest hats!
Captain Jack Kitty Collagraph Print
 Even printed him onto bags!
Steampunk Cat Bags

I also do an ever expanding range of acrylic paintings of him in various disguises! Also occasionally featuring his mortal enemy the ginger cat who is always trying to steal his food!

Cats in Hats acrylic paintings
 He even has his own Christmas card too!
Christmas Cat!

And he has been featured in the Printmaker Cat book with a double page spread of all my prints of him!
Printmakers Cat Book
So I suppose I can see why people know me as the Cat Lady, hope they don't start adding the Crazy part soon though!

Clare xx

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Printmakers Cat

In the beginning of 2013 I was contacted by a book publisher Mascot Media to see if I could like to contribute to a new book they were publishing called the Printmakers Cat. Of course I couldn't refuse. I wasn't sure what to expect but sent over a couple of images of my cat prints and wrote a small piece about myself and waited to see what would happen. At that time I didn't have a cat as sadly my 20 year old cat had died a few years previously so all the neighbours cats and every cat that came into the garden was fair game to be made into an artwork!

A few months later a parcel arrived with two copies of the book and I couldn't wait to get to my page!

Of course all my friends and family got a copy of the book for Christmas too!

The beginning of this year I had a message from the publisher saying they wanted to produce a revised softback copy of the book with added artists and if I wanted to add a few more images I could. By this time I had a new cat Morpheus and I had done loads of artworks based on him! It was difficult choosing which prints to send in as I had so many!

I narrowed it down to a few favourites a "Dreamy" collagraph print from when he was a tiny kitten!

Dreamy Collagraph Print
 And a "Play With Me" collagraph print too.
Play With Me! Collagraph Print
  A couple of my very popular cats in hats prints!
Captain Jack Kitty Collagraph Print
Happy Kitty Collagraph Print
 And a couple of linocut prints.
Kitten Cute Linocut Print

Kitten Play Linocut Print
 I was pleased to see all of these were accepted into the new book and I ended up with a double page spread and one of my linocut prints also featured on the back of the book!

Morpheus the cat really loves being in a book!

The book is available direct from the publishers Mascot Media or from Amazon 

Clare xx

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Cat Helper!

My mews Morpheus the cat turned two a few weeks ago so I thought I'd look back on some of his adventures and a few of the many artworks he has inspired!

Here he is tiny and curled up with his mum Pixie, I couldn't resist that little face!

And here he is two years later helping out with printing some bags with his smiling face on them of course!
Steampunk Cat Linoprinted Bags
He likes to help out when I'm painting and for some reason loves hiding behind my easel and also grabbing any paintbrush he sees!

My easel always has legs!
He can also be a bit of an art critic and can't have liked this painting as a few seconds later he pushed it to the floor in disgust and it ended up with a huge hole in it!
He also likes to help out with framing, usually making sure he leaves a few of his hairs inside the frame as an extra special touch!
Dreamy Collagraph Print
At Christmas time he likes to send out his special Christmas cards to all his friends. Here he is surpervising the design process!
Christmas Kitty Card  
But the one thing he loves the most is posing in costume for the many Cat in Hats series of paintings! (Don't tell him his arch enemy the Ginger Cat has posed too as he won't be happy!)
Cats in Hats Acrylic Paintings
There will be lots more cat themed artwork to come as I still can't resist that little face!

Clare xx