Thursday, 30 December 2010

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Drawing Dialogues Conversations...

In October the first Drawing Dialogues took place at QUAD in Derby and we had very positive feedback from participants. Beth Heaney helped me to get this off the ground under the banner of Derby Big Draw which she initiated and organised. We have decided to get together and organise a whole series of Drawing Dialogue events over the coming months including talks, seminars, workshops and conversations. The initial idea came about as I felt there was a space for artist focused events and to fill a gap in my own practice, outside of the educational environment, for dialogue and discussion.
The initial project (starting in January 2011) will be an informal monthly or bi-monthly session at The Crompton, Derby where someone will put forward a reading or proposition which will start off the conversation. This can be something which has direct relevance to work being produced or just be something of interest which the initiator thinks worthy of discussion. The only rule is that it must be drawing related (and not too long!). All participants will read this before the meeting, the initiator will start off the conversation (referring to examples of their own work if  they wish) and a dialogue/ debate will then hopefully develop. Participants will take it in turns to put forward a reading/ proposition giving a varied programme and encouraging people to think outside their own practice. Initially we're looking for expressions of interest, (either Beth or myself will provide the reading for the first meeting) so if it's something you would like to be involved in let me know.....We have set up a blog just for drawing dialogues HERE with an email link.

Saturday, 27 November 2010


I've decided that I find it really difficult to make decisions and my head is spinning with options regarding my digital drawings. The size is easy as at least initially I'm only printing same size as produced - the dilemma comes with the printing - what paper, how many etc. so I've drawn a very small 'pinch' piece to experiment with. I'm currently waiting for print samples on bamboo paper (which is environmentally sound, a lovely off white colour but not as heavy as the other papers), a photo rag which has a very smooth surface and an Etching paper which is matt with a slight texture. Hopefully when I see them side by side it will help? I've recently found a printing company in Nottingham - printing on metal - which prints on all sorts of interesting materials (aluminium, fabric, wood, glass) and I also quite like the idea of laser etching onto acrylic or glass sheets.......

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

test digital drawing print

The print of my digital drawing arrived this week - I didn't proof it because I didn't want to affect the outcome i.e. be tempted to try to make it look like a pencil drawing, just sent the file to be printed at default setting. I'm pleased with the result -  in between a pencil and ballpoint drawing - but it was really weird to finish a drawing and have no idea what it was going to look like at full size!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Front cover G1 magazine, 17.11.10

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

One down, one to go...

I have a meeting in early December with Derby Museum and Art Gallery when I need to take along snapshots of work which will be potentially shown in my exhibition next year. Seemed like a good idea to see it as a deadline for finishing the two large pencil drawings I had on the go - so one down (above) and one to go...

Monday, 8 November 2010

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Setting up shop...

I'm having a big clear out.and I am going to set up shop to sell stuff made from my studio-sweepings. Using  Ecwid to set it up - and it will be up and running when I've worked out how to do it.......

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Activity (Year 2)

Activity (Year 1) now complete and stored - Year 2 now in progress. Below is the first week's worth and almost 3 weeks worth (all since 15th October) - this time I'm using a clear film instead of paper - still considering presentation options for this one

Friday, 29 October 2010

Scribble and Scrawl...

Some images from the Scribble and Scrawl exhibition - more on the Crompton website here...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Art Matters Exhibition

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The First Drawing Dialogues is happening on October 9th at QUAD...

The first Drawing Dialogues event is set to take place on October 9th at 7.30 p.m. at QUAD. It is intended to be an opportunity for all who draw to engage with others in an informal setting
Four local artists – Alyn Mulholland, Liam Sharp, Kate Smith and Jane Stanton will each give a short presentation identifying some of the questions which have arisen out of their own studio practice – providing a starting point for further consideration.

·        Alyn Mulholland, a sculptor and curator will discuss how drawing relates to the 3-dimensional and question whether it requires a different approach to the 2-dimensional.
·        Liam Sharp, a comic book artist, writer and publisher will be talking about the death of ‘fantastic art’ and at what point the imaginary became undervalued
·        Kate Smith, an artist whose work is exclusively drawing based, will talk about traditional vs digital drawing and issues of terminology, value and audience encounter.
·        Jane Stanton, an artist and academic, will present  her documentary drawing and discuss representation, voyeurism and the effectiveness of drawing versus photograph

Chaired by Katrinka Wilson, artist and academic, the discussion is intended to be an opportunity for all to participate and express their opinions and the audience will be encouraged to contribute to the direction the discussion takes.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Artslant 5th Showcase Winner

A few week ago I heard from Artslant that I'd been chosen as a 5th Showcase winner. I'd only just 'claimed' my profile (available as a result of the  Drawing Center show in New York) and had only submitted a work as it was part of the signing up info and it was free. Forgot about it until I received the email - so a really nice suprise. The next stage is juried winners (selected from each of this years 6 Showcase winners) Juried winners then become eligible for the Golden Frame Awards when 3 overall winners are selected. Prizes for the Golden Frame include an exhibitions in a major city - so fingers crossed

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Drawing Paper #2

We are delighted to announce Drawing Paper 2 has recently been published to coincide with the opening of the 10th Liverpool Biennial ‘Touched’ ( It features work by 19 artists (Sachiko Abe, Richard Creed, Jagjit Chuhan, Mathilda Roussel Girauldy, Lizzie Hall, Kentaro Kobuke, Karin Lindholm, Katherine Lloyd, Jim Loftus, Lucy Macdonald, Julia McKenzie, Tabitha Moses, Al Murphy, Matt Niebuhr, Anita Plank, Kate Smith, Andrew Wilson, Kirsty White and Alexandra Wolkowicz) some of whom have come to our attention via this blog.
If you’d like a copy posting to you please send an A4 self addressed envelope with £1.20 second class postage (UK addresses only) to Mike Carney, 26 Moss Street, Garston, Liverpool L19 2NA. If you’re overseas and would like a couple of copies please email me your address and send £5 via Paypal to

Sunday, 12 September 2010

When is a drawing not a drawing?

Back in 2002 when I started my MA in Printmaking I became interested in the whole idea of multiples, repetition etc. and I suppose started to question when is a print not a print? One of the things I did was hand cut very large stencils of fragments of  fabric showing the spaces left by removing stitching. I then draw through them by hand with various grades of pencil, ballpoint pens etc. Each drawing was different and often I would only do one drawing/ print from a stencil.(although there was always the potential for an unlimited number).
 I also did  series of drawings from the same  stencil using different media and surfaces including 'Blueprints' below where I did 5 drawings each with a different make of blue ballpoint pen - each turned out a different colour and was hand-drawn so had individual marks/ variations in tone. (Actually this was intended to be a series of drawings where each was finished when the ballpoint pen ran out but none of them did.....)
 Work undertaken at this time was the beginning of my whole body of work produced since then which has been exclusively drawing based.
Drawing digitally has led me to revisit many of these thoughts but from the opposite perspective. Instead of a print possibly becoming a drawing - a drawing is now possibly becoming a print?
I am fairly confident that I can describe the above as an original drawing (in progress) - it is produced in exactly the same way as my pencil/paper drawings - just with a digital pen and 'paper'. The problem really arises with the method of exhibition/ presentation. If the drawing is projected same size (1016 x 1372) or shown on a computer screen at same size it is still the original drawing - in fact probably more so as it allows it to be viewed at 1:1 scale. (I think it can be called a print if screened/ projected / printed at a different size/ resolution to the original as there has been an intervention and the original has been altered) But what if it is projected 1:1 a number of times simultaneously? Or shown on a number of screens? If the file is copied is it still the original? How can there be two or more identical originals? What about if printed on paper - but only once and never again?.... Lots of questions and no answers at the moment but I am wondering if the language which has developed to describe/ categorise traditional art work is actually inadequate for describing digital artwork?  Maybe trying to fit a round peg in  a square hole?

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Digital progress

Digital drawing in progress - no quicker than drawing with pencil on paper as the digital paper is the same size and the method of drawing is identical - so I'm expecting it to take 400+ hours to finish. I decided that doing a 2 x layered drawing for my first digital drawing wasn't a good idea as it would take twice as long before I could print it out. Therefore I've started a new single drawing (I will do double layer if this works out). I am quite patient but 800+ hours of drawing before seeing it printed was too long even for me! Size of above: 1016 x 1372 mm, software: Corel Painter 11 (I think I have tested every natural media software out there and this was by far the best for my needs - Photoshop didn't even come close to recreating the 'feel' of drawing and Alias Sketchbook Pro wouldn't allow a digital canvas the size I wanted...) , single layer, 4H, 2H, 2B and 4B default Corel pencils and eraser. Aiming to have it finished by December 2010 and hoping to show a digital drawing at Derby Museum Show in 2011.....

Thursday, 19 August 2010

'Hold' part one - digital drawing....

Many people, at first glance, think my drawings are digital prints (especially the ballpoint pen on aluminium panels)and lots of people have also asked why I don't make prints of my drawings to make them more affordable. It has always been an idea I have rejected because the whole idea of the work is that it is of the hand by the hand (in simplistic terms) and to then print it makes it something else entirely. Thinking about not doing it led me to thinking about doing it (as it does). I decided I would do a digital drawing of exactly the same dimensions as my paper drawings and then the digital print would be the acceptable and inevitable result. (I've just realised it could also be projected?) It will still be hand-drawn but with a digital pen instead of a pencil and on a digital canvas instead of paper. The size of the digital drawing will be the size of the print (or projection) and at least initially, I am going to try to replicate the process/ experience of doing my 'real' pencil drawings. Researching maximum print sizes led me to the discovery that it could be printed on clear film which is ideal for a double (layered) drawing I have been thinking of doing for a while. So a couple of weeks ago I started a digital drawing (first of two that will ultimately be layered) with a digital canvas size of 1016 x 1372 mm at 300 dpi (slightly shorter at the moment as I've removed excess white space whilst drawing to keep file size down). I am drawing with a Wacom Intuos 3 graphics pen and A6 tablet using only the pencil tools and the eraser on a single layer. (In other words a digital equivalent to my real paper/ pencil) and I have set about it in exactly the same way as I would the 'real' drawings - inital quick sketch and then gradually building up tones with a 2B pencil. The file size is pretty big  although my computer seems to be handling it O.K. so far and the experience of drawing is very weird - especially scale issues (drawing on an A6 area)/ zooming out instead of standing back and I can't control the pressure or mark as well as with a pencil  -but that may improve with practice?. I'm pretty sure that my lack of knowledge of the software etc. means I am going about it all wrong - but I think that's part of the attraction for me- approaching digital drawing with a traditional mindset.( As I'm still doing my 'activity' piece and the carbon taped to the tablet keeps transferring to my hand it's even still as messy!!) I have 2 weeks until my trial software stops working - have a feeling it won't be long enough......

Dalton Ghetti - pencil carvings.

A friend shared this link about artist Dalton Ghetti's pencil carvings which I thought were really cool so I thought I'd pass it on!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Sketchbook Project book has arrived from America...

This morning my sketchbook arrived from America. It's a 5.5 x 8.5 inch moleskine with really rubbish paper (as expected) so I think the first thing I have to do is work out how to change that! You can do anything to it provided it is still 5.5 x 8.5 inches when closed, but it will need to be pretty durable as (hopefully) hundreds of people will look through it on it's tour of America and subsequent permanent home in Brooklyn Library.
On the back is the barcode (which enables tracking of who has looked at it and when), my name and the theme I chose: 'If you lived here..'

So now the difficult bit - what to put in it?? Has to be sent back by 15th January 2011 so have a while to think about it. Country, City, Street, House, Universe, Head???? Who knows....

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Good News...

One of the blogs I've been following for a while is The blog is an online supplement to Drawing Paper a printed publication which contains drawings by around 20 artists. Drawing Paper was conceived and designed by Mike Carney and Jon Barraclough from Liverpool. My work is currently featured on the blog and will also be included in Issue 2 of Drawing Paper (which is under construction and will be published to coincide with the Liverpool Biennial in September). I am really looking forward to receiving a copy of Issue 1 in the post in the next few days...

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Sketchbook project

As you can see by the link on the right hand side, I've just signed up for The Sketchbook Project. I've signed for the theme 'If you lived here...' and have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do - but thought it looked fun!!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Half way there!!

A while ago  I wrote about my 'activity' piece and at the moment I'm about half way through joining it (and 9 months into producing it). Hoping to get it almost finished for the 'art matters' show in October (I'll be 9 days of the finish date). I've worked out the final dimensions should be around 16 x 12 x 35 cm stacked and 16 x 4380 cm fully extended - so probably not much chance of ever seeing it completely opened!

Friday, 30 July 2010

Back to the drawing board!

Final 2 image publications uploaded and linked to my blog and website. I have quite a few large drawings still undocumented but I shall probably wait until after my Derby Museum show next year to sort them out. As I have a number of exhibitions in the pipeline  I'm trying to make sure that they all have different work which is involving a bit of juggling and a fair bit of making so time to get back to the drawing board!!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

First issuu publication!

What a fantastic site!! I've just uploaded my first test publication (needs some additional work like text!) and embedded it down on the right. Haven't worked out how to make it fit the sidebar yet but early days - and it does seem to work!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

On-line frenzy....

Over the last week or so I've been concentrating on streamlining and redesigning on-line stuff - website/ blog etc and set up my digital sketchbook. At the same time I've been discussing with a fellow artist ideas for an on line catalogue - we've got a group exhibition in October and want to do something visual and accessible. I've been thinking for a while about doing some on-line promotional booklets/ catalogues (portfolio of work, exhibition info etc.) but don't want to spend lots of money on printing. I have software to produce pdf's but I really wanted a format where the pages 'turned' and I really, really didn't want to have to learn any complicated software!!. Whilst researching possibilities I came across which looks absolutely ideal. It looks as if I can do the layout and design, upload it and it will do all the complicated stuff for me. Also lots of really interesting publications to download/ read/ explore. Going to do a sample over the next few days to test it out....

Sunday, 25 July 2010

sketchbook bits and pieces

All the bits and pieces for inside my digital sketchbook. Just got to start using it now!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Digital Sketchbook

I've been playing around with the idea of a digital sketch book......but I wanted one which would let me stick/ staple and generally add bits and pieces as well as type, write and draw. Think I've found the answer....time will far all I've done is the front cover!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Drawing dialogues

Hopefully a couple of drawing dialogues coming up this year during Big Draw in October. A group of us are having an exhibition at the LCB depot in Leicester where artists exhibiting will give a talk about the role drawing plays in their work. Derby Big Draw (organised by Beth Heaney) is also hopefully having a drawing dialogues event at Quad, all very exciting!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

New blog AND new website!

After much thought about my online presence I decided to merge my two blogs, firstly to make life easier (it means I only have one to update!) and secondly because Blogger have recently introduced 'pages' and updated their templates which makes it much more versatile. I also decided that I should have my name in the url to make it easier to find and so I set up  a completely new blog and imported both of the older ones. However, I then realised that my web home page linked to one of my old blogs.... In theory I should have been able to just change the old link, but due to a number of factors (change of computer, old software...) this wasn't going to be as easy as it sounded so I made the decision to design a new website from scratch. I decided to keep it really simple and to make sure it loaded onto smart phones/ i-phones as well as on computer and to make it as easy as possible to update. It's now up and running here. I still have a lot of work to do, on the images page in particular, but it's a start!!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

In progress...

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

More small stuff...

Today I have been really, really good and have continued scanning and framing smaller works as part of my aim to have all my work logged and documented by the end of the year.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Have spent all day sorting out a selection of 'activity' (Year One) and I.D's to print out for applications present and future. Have over a 100 of each and hoping at some point to do installation shots but my studio isn't suitable (and 'activity won't be finished for another 4 months) so decided I needed an interim solution.....

Monday, 31 May 2010

Small stuff

Sunday, 30 May 2010