Printing Experiments

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Inexpensive rollers from B&M;

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Home made collagraph blocks;

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Print experiment using the rollers and the home made blocks with acrylic paint on old book pages;

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Lino cutting a circular design;

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A couple of the results from the linocutting. The last was embellished with a pastel rubbing, picking up the scratches and marks on my work board, which I like. It’s definitely work in progress, and I need to refine my technique, but I’m enjoying doing something different and exploring the possibilities of new mediums. I think they may make a reappearance in some collage work!

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May Sketchbook

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This week my shared sketchbook with Louise arrived back. I was immediately drawn to the muted palette of her contributions, and the way she has arranged the pieces reminded me somehow of an exhibition; each piece arranged to complement and follow on from its predecessor, and all linked. Some of Louise’s images also contained text, most noticeably references to memory. This led me to think about photographs and printing, and about old books, which I love to use in mixed media work.

I started exploring and building up layers using pen, collage and pastels. I was fortunate enough to have some happy accidents in my use of pastel; images of marks from the board below the paper showed through – memories of past work showing up in new pieces.

I’m enjoying adding pastels to my work at the moment; I find it soft and forgiving and it invites a tactile and immersive connection with the work. I enjoyed a couple of happy hours in a state of flow whilst my daughter played outside with her friends; I could carry on and on. But the secret is knowing when it’s time to stop.

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Sorry Nicky, I’m out.

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Dear Nicky Morgan,

Please accept this as written notice of my resignation from my role as Assistant Head and class teacher. It is with a heavy heart that I write you this letter. I know you’ve struggled to listen to and understand teachers in the past so I’m going to try and make this as clear as possible. In the six short years I have been teaching your party has destroyed the Education system. Obliterated it. Ruined it. It is broken.

The first thing I learnt when I started teaching in 2010 is that teaching is bloody hard work. It’s a 60 hour week only half of which is spent doing the actual teaching. It eats into the rest of your life both mentally and physically. If it’s not exercise books and resources taking over your lounge and kitchen table it’s worrying about results or about little Ahmed’s home life keeping…

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New Perspectives

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I’ve been doing alot of mixed media art journaling this week; the weekly challenge on the Documented Life Project, which has just dropped into my inbox, is about gaining new perspectives. This is very relevant to me at the moment; I have just been offered a place on the Artist Teacher Scheme at Birmingham City Uni, which I am very excited about, and am looking forward to a creative and life-changing challenge ahead.

I’ve got three sketchbooks on the go at the moment; a notebook for rough ideas, sketches, lists and notes; a larger A4 sketch book where I’ve been doing more illustrative work such as the Doodle Street Gang; and this latest book where I’m currently experimenting with collage, gesso, drawing, felt pens, oil pastels and anything else which springs to mind.

I’m also waiting for my shared book to come back from Louise, so will be off on new tangents again when that drops onto my mat.