For the past month, we have been counting down the days until Christmas with our very own Live Advent Calendar displayed in our window in our Hove shop. Each day, we revealed a new piece of artwork that was created by either our fabulous customers or dedicated team members. We would like to say a huge thank you to those who took part, and we can now enjoy looking back at all the entries. Furthermore, we would like to congratulate our three competition winners: Elsa Hubbard, Janet Stocker and Lucie Maynard!
Phyllis is part of the #LiveAdventCalendar, our Christmas window display featuring new artwork for each day of the Advent period. This bubbly snow lady has so been popular with our customers (especially with children) that we decided to share Judy’s pattern with all of you. You will need some basic crochet skills but even if you never attempted amigurumi before, you will find plenty of tutorials on YouTube to bring you up to speed and get you started on this lovely Christmas project!
Card making is a wonderful excuse to get creative, practice your skills and show your loved ones what a terrific artist you are (or in my case, the artist I wish I could be). Since Christmas is just around the corner, this is the perfect time to create something unique and personal; something completely original from what you might find out on the high street. Here are some of our top tips!
Relief Printing consists of cutting or etching into a surface, applying ink using a roller and then pressing onto the desired paper. This is a great way of replicating your design onto a series of cards.
Below is an example of a Christmas card design by our very own Georgia Flowers, made using lino cutting materials.
Georgia’s piece “A Partridge in a pear tree”
In this blog post we are answering one of our most asked printmaking questions: What should you do to keep inking rollers in good condition? Our rollers are made of high quality materials and are durable when properly looked after – there is no reason they should not look, feel and work as well as these brand new babies, fresh off our production line:
Summer is finally here and with it comes the possibility to paint plein air and explore new locations. Most of us are hoping to get out of the country and spend some holiday elsewhere, take a painting course in Italy or check into an artist retreat in rural France. If you are travelling with artist materials and taking a plane, you are most likely dreading security checks. What can you take on board, check into the cargo and what restrictions do you need to consider to avoid your equipment being confiscated? In this article we hope to shine some light on some of the rules and regulations of air travel, help you prepare with the right materials and sizes and offer some practical advice on what to do when your materials fall into the absolute no-no category.
Lawrence Art Supplies is now stocking Canson Héritage, a brand new watercolour paper that is a result of centuries old tradition and modern technological innovation. This 100% cotton paper was specifically designed to allow artists to lift colour easily and without damaging the paper’s surface. To celebrate the release of Canson Héritage, we decided to put its lifting ability to a test and give our readers a little insight into what it feels like working with this new paper.
Welcome to our new series, ‘Starting out in…’, where each time we will cover a different art form and give advice about the materials you need to begin your journey with. This post is all about watercolours, but it’s more than just a buyer’s guide! We are giving away a QOR trial and sample pack to two of our lucky readers – stay tuned for more details below!
Del Thorpe illustrator and Lawrence staff member has tried and tested the QOR Water colour ground. He discovered its brilliant use for recovering mistakes. The watercolour ground acts like watercolour paper so you can continue your work as if nothing had ever happened. Brilliant!
Tell us a bit about your artistic background and education
I studied Graphic Design at Brighton University, then became an illustrator kind of by accident – an illustrator friend passed on a commission to me when she didn’t have the time to do it. It was for a charity so I didn’t get paid, but it gave me a lot of confidence as they loved what I did for them. I did a few more illustration commissions but generally found the experience quite terrifying – the tight time pressures and having to meet the expectations of a client just wasn’t for me. I landed at Lawrence’s about 5 years ago, and through working here I’ve discovered printmaking. I now have my own fully-stocked printmaking studio, where I can experiment and create whatever I want, whenever, to my heart’s content. I think my work is very informed from what I learnt about design on my BA, with the very ‘human’, hands on, lo-fi aproach of relief printmaking.
What is it like working for Lawrence Art Supplies?
Working here you get to know about all sorts of different art materials, perhaps in mediums you’d never considered trying before but always wanted to. This knowledge is so useful for an artist – and I think it makes you bolder about trying new things out and pushing your work further.
What inspires your work, generally?
Making documents or social records of current times, in order to understand them better, think about them, be fascinated by them, and in the future look back at them.
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.
I spend quite a long time turning over an idea for a subject matter in my head. Once I’ve settled on it I’ll begin scribbling out composition ideas in pencil. Composition is a huge part of what inspires me to create a print – I always like it to be quite unusual, not go with the obvious. Next I’ll think about colour, and usually experiment with swatches, over-laying colours to see what new colours I can make. Once I’ve decided on composition and colour, I’ll divide the image up into about four or five separate layers of lino, each a different colour. Hopefully, if I’ve worked it out correctly, once they’re printed one on top of the other they’ll create the image I want. Usually things go differently to how you plan, but this is usually a good thing.
What does your typical day in the studio entail?
I like to start early – about 9.30 – so I can start printing and get a lot done at once. I’ll stop for lunch then maybe work on another project while the prints dry, perhaps drawing up a new composition for a print idea I’ve been thinking about. About 5.30 I’ll stop for dinner then a walk. I’ll almost always have something to listen to when I’m working in the studio – music, podcasts, radio shows, audiobooks – to help get me absorbed in whatever I’m doing.
What is your favourite product and why?
The set of Japanese woodcut tools Lawrence’s sell is excellent value for a beginner and really helped set me on my road to printmaking. The Lawrence linseed oil-based relief inks are brilliant too, endless colour experimenting fun.
I’m always keen to talk to people about relief printmaking – how rewarding it is, how you don’t need expensive equipment and anyone can have a go at home. I don’t have a huge breadth of knowledge to impart yet! Only what I’ve picked up as I’ve gone along – I think that’s the way that works best for me – get an idea of what you want to create then try and figure out how you can get it to work. I’m usually quite unorthodox in my approach to things – I like to make it up as I go!
What inspired you to become an artist?
A life-long steely determination to be completely myself, completely free, and therefore completely happy.
Who is / are your favourite artists and why?
Picasso, for taking on every medium and doing it completely differently. Hockney for his inventiveness.
What is the most valuable piece of advice anyone has given you that you still use today?
Don’t give up! Self-belief is paramount.
To see more of Hannah’s work see her website www.hannahforward.com
If you took all the pigments in the colour spectrum and mixed them together, what colour would you make?
Every spring, Gamblin Artists Colors collects a wealth of pigments from our Torit® Air Filtration system. We filter the air around the areas where we handle dry pigments so that our workers are not exposed to pigment dust. Rather than sending any of our high quality, expensive pigments into the landfill, Gamblin paint makers recycle them into “Gamblin Torrit Grey”.
“Pigment dust should not go into the earth, water or landfill, but into paint,” says Robert Gamblin.
The mix of pigments is different every year, so Torrit Grey is always unique and will never be repeated. Torrit Grey tends to have a greenish tinge because of the great strength of the Phthalo Green pigment, which is a dark bluish green. Torrit Grey varies from a medium dove grey to a dark earthy grey.
We are now dating the tubes, so artists can collect them from year to year and enjoy the unique qualities of each edition. Whatever you create with these popular limited edition colors is solely up to you and your imagination.
Our Torrit Grey store promotion, which runs each year through the end of April in celebration of Earth Day, not only recycles pigment dust into paint but focuses artists on the importance of recycling, studio and environmental safety. Complimentary 37ml tubes of Torrit Grey are only available while supplies last through Lawrence Art Supplies alongside any order of a Gamblin product! Last year, we distributed more than 11,000 tubes of Torrit Grey! Limitations are often your greatest creative assets and it is remarkable what talented artists can achieve with a color palette limited to white, or black and Torrit Grey.
The Torrit Grey Painting Competition, conducted annually in the Fall, attracts more entries every year. In 2008, we received over 160 submissions from painters willing to take the challenge of making a value based painting using only Torrit Grey and any black or white oil paint. The competition is judged by Robert Gamblin and the winners receive a supply of Gamblin Artists’ materials.
You can see the winning entries from the 2008 contest at Torrit Grey Winners. Torrit Grey Painting Competition entry forms are available from your local fine art materials retailer, and from our web site at Guidelines & Entry Form.
“We invite you to enjoy the paint today—to capture its subtle monochromatic excitement – because this special color will only exist next year as paintings,” says Robert Gamblin.
Donaldson® Torit® has been improving industrial air quality for over 90 years. To learn more about the their various air filtration solutions, visit Donaldson Torit.