Thursday, 23 October 2014

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Etching, Soft Ground

Mondays at Art School Waihi is open house, free for all and my friend Barbi has been coming every week and getting into the print-making. Here's what we did today, the first bite in the acid of a soft ground zinc etching taken from a drawing Barbi did years ago from life.
Next Monday we will print it and then make whatever changes she feels are needed, chase this puppy down..

Spring Time in New Zealand

Friends of mine who live a couple of streets away have a sheep who just delivered triplets. Here is the one they are keeping, 3 days old and cute as -photo taken just before we head out to the Waikino Tavern 10 minutes drive away in the Karangahake Gorge to have a few beers and listen to the local musicians at open mike on a Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Vampire Barbi

My friend Janice donated Vampire Barbi to Art School Waihi to scare the cats and kingfishers away from the goldfish pond..

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Pastel Portrait

One of my artist mates. He's not winking, he lost an eye. Looked everywhere for it, no luck, carried on.
He was born in Shanghai, was a schoolboy when the Japanese invaded, hated the Japanese, loved Chinese calligraphy. He's gone on now but lives on in my memory. Personality plus. An Inspiration....

Monday, 25 August 2014

Printmaking at Art School Waihi

Mondays at Art School Waihi are reserved for print making and other entertainments and above is my friend Barbi jubilant after success on number four of her Salvador Dali moon prints.
It is a dry point on perspex print. It is nice for me to have friends coming on Monday so that I must put down all the urgent other stuff and do art myself. Sandra, Bill Barbi and me are going to keep it up, continue to make the time to devote Monday to our real job...

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Wwoofer's at Art School Waihi

I signed on to be a Wwoofer host to get some help around the place and to be reminded of my ignorance of German and French and to brush up on my Spanish.
And what a wonderful idea Wwoofing is!  Wwoof stands for Willing workers on organic farms and is an international thing.
I am now a Wwoof host and my job is to feed and house the Wwoofers and in return they do 4 hours work a day for me.  I don't have an organic farm but I do have an organic Art School and an organic Etching Press Manufactury. Well. Organic if you don't count the acids and solvents and inks used in the print making and the solvents and epoxy resins used in the press construction...
My first Wwoofers were a lovely French couple; Baptiste and Clara from a Northern suburb of Paris and they got the lawns and bamboo and firewood in order for me while I made an etching press.

The second Wwoofer was Quentin, a young French builder and joiner who helped me finalize the design and construction of a new workshop above. We knocked this out in 4 mornings work and in the afternoons I took him to Waihi Beach so he could fish off the rocks for hours in the freezing cold like a real fisherman.
First time he caught two kawhai which he prepared as a Japanese raw fish dish.
He had no luck the next two times and then he flew out to New Caledonia.
The next Wwoofers are an Irish couple; Saoirse and Joshua from Galway.
What luck! Joshua is a cabinet maker and builder and he finished the floor of the new shed and then got stuck into building inside the house with efficiency, speed and ease.
Saoirse makes fabulous food, and totally reconditioned the pantry and kitchen garden.

When Joshua was about 
the framing in the laundry, hallway and third bedroom he insisted that the lovely old Rimu and glass door that I had stashed, nicely painted white, must be stripped to bare wood and oiled to show off it's beauty. That was three hours hard careful work for the both of us but hey! He is true craftsman with an appreciation of beautiful old hardwoods and the man in charge of this building site.
The pair of them are cruising around the Coromandel this weekend and back to the building tomorrow and tonight I make them my fabulous Chilli Con Carne and a fabulous French dish called French Fried Potatoes.
Living like Kings we are...

Thursday, 24 July 2014

School Etching Press; Te Wharekura O Te Kaokaoroa O Patetere, Putararu

The deputy Principal of this Maori School came to see and decided to buy this press for the Art Room.
It was unfinished when April saw it but she has vision and faith and I set to and finished it, delivered it today, through the Karangahake Gorge and across the Waikato and into South Waikato to Putararu.
I dis-assembled it to fit in my car and to carry it piece-meal into the Art Room and 30 minutes later here it is, a paradox in cast iron as it is 100 years old and brand new at the same time.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Lou Ann Barton - Shake a Hand

I do like that raw Texas Blues. It's got a real feel...

Table Top Etching Press Sale

 This 24 inch press is posing for a photo on my kitchen table before delivery to Pack and Send in Hamilton, the art and antiques logistics specialists, who arranged insured delivery to Celia in Oxford, a wee bit North of Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand.
Celia sent me this photo of her press just unpacked in her studio in Oxford, arrived safe and sound.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Shellac on Cardboard Print

 Above is the shellac on cardboard plate and below is the first print off it. My son Eli showed me this method of print making years ago and today was my first effort using this method.
I suppose you could call it organic print making, certainly it is easy; no acids, no resists, the shellac dries in 30 minutes or so and straight into it with a point or blade. It is fast intaglio.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Table Top Etching Press

This press I delivered personally to Janet in Wellington. It's made from a 1903 design antique and is the baby of the range I make with rollers 18 inches wide. Going to Wellington instead of sending the press by my favourite transport company enabled me to catch up with my brother and a couple of old friends and also to blow an evening in my favourite Wellington Irish bar in Courtenay Place.
This post is brought to you by the word favourite..

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Table Top Etching Presses For Sale. enquiries:

A 24 inch 1908 and an 18 inch 1903 pose on the studio table.

 Left in stock are a 24 inch and a 20 inch and several 21inch 1908's and one 21inch 1903 looking for new studios to work in as well as many free standing presses of similar vintage

Friday, 4 April 2014

Training Mural Artists in Nelson

 I was invited to to teach some Nelson artists the many and various methods of  painting large scale in public places.
Funding was found for me, a wall and a design and off I went on the long drive down the North
Island in my mobile mural studio, like an Art Gypsy, to the Inter Island ferries at Wellington and then 
'Baby let me take you on a Sea Cruise' to Picton at the top of the South Island.
Over the bush clad hills along Queen Charlotte Sound and on into the lovely small city of Nelson.
The sometimes controversial and brilliant portrait artist Nikki Romney was the instigator of this project
and we started at 5.30 the next morning, a Friday, screening up Nikki's design with the overhead projector, in the dark. There and then the scale and sizes of the design elements were fine tuned and painting began.
Acrylic paints were new to Nikki, who works in oils primarily.
The mural tutorial project was widely advertised and other artists wandered in to help over the weekend;
there were eight of us on the Sunday, the place was packed, standing room only, by Monday we were down to a tight and efficient team of four artists, myself, Nikki, Betty Salter and Karin Fruehauf and each of us with our own style and areas of the mural to work on. It was fun and I made three new friends.
My Son and grandson live in Nelson and I stayed with them which was lovely and I also took there one of my antique table top etching presses for the Nelson print maker Esther Remnant to try out and it worked perfectly and she bought it.
Altogether a very busy time, especially in the lead up to it all, planning, booking, fine tuning Esther's press,
packing etc. I gave them four days on the mural and left behind three new mural artists and one mural being finished off.
On the way home I had the opportunity to visit the talented mural artist Janet Collenette in Palmerston North with whom I had been communicating by email for a year or so. Mural painting can be a lonely job and it was great to meet so many other like minded people in one week.
I'm still buzzing from it all. Good times...

 Nikki, Betty and Karin

 Temptation' by Nikki Romney, Johnny Mulvay, Betty Salter and Karin Fruehauf

Monday, 31 March 2014

Table Top Etching Press For Sale

On a recent trip to Nelson in the South Island of New Zealand, what we kiwis call the Mainland, I took this table top etching press to Esther, pictured above, who was interested in buying one if it printed her beautiful lino cuts OK.
I was down there to give a mural painting tutorial to a few Nelson artists and share all my knowledge and tips and tricks of painting large scale on exterior walls and so for Esther there was no freight charge, the press went into the back of the wagon along with all the mural painting paraphenalia and she was able to spend a day with it at no obligation to buy and test its efficiency in printing.
I just knew she would love it and buy it and she did and I have a new friend.
Her prints are awesome and she told me the best thrill for her was the actual carving of the lino.
You can see her work at    Enjoy...

Monday, 10 March 2014

Anatomy; Drawing Feet

Drawing feet is not easy. There's the ankle and it's complicated bones and then the phalanges and then there's toes and toe nails. And there is usually two of them in all sorts of weird angles and situations.
Tricky stuff, drawing feet. Best, I reckon, to do thorough research so one is up to speed on what is what and how it all comes together.
And, you know, feet are not always a foot long. True. I put this to the test just recently and photographic proof was provided as seen above in a carefully prepared scientific analysis of foot sizes.
Luckily for me, I live in enlightened times, wonderful for an artist-= did you know when Michelangelo and Da Vinci did their foot size comparisons on corpses and that they risked their lives doing it?
True. Brave men, both of them, carving up stiffs and making drawings that advanced medical science flying in the face of the almighty Catholic Church and it's particular PC dogma of the time.
Medical science is sorted on the foot questions now and it's only my individual quest to be a better portrait artist that drives me to utilize the nearest handy grandson to help in my search for knowledge.
A word to the wise; if you are going to try this yourself be real careful not to tickle your volunteers.
The little buggers wriggle like wriggly things and squeak and squawk and can be an interruption to the required concentration on the task at hand.