Yesterday my favorite Latvian radio station was two years old. I listen to it over the net quite alot. It is a great way to keep up to date with what’s happening there while I am in England. They also play a great variety of songs across many genres and countries making it a wonderful background for lazy days at the studio. What I love about this station is it’s very connected. You can call them, e-mail them, tweet (my personal favorite) them and they will read/listen to what you have to say, or what song you would like to hear. They are a very personal radio. And I love them for that! On a quiet day for me at the studio, a busy day for them on their birthday, I took my time to hand print this simple poster for their two year anniversary!
I wish them many more great years and who knows.. I might make one next year as well.
Last year in the University was not the best of times.
I made these prints as part of my final project. They were largely based on the idea that there are different animals that represent a way how a person deals with obstacles in their lives. They are monkeys, geese, tigers and sheep.
Monkeys that laugh things off, geese not noticing that their head has been cut off but still running around, tigers for people who fight relentlessly no matter what the setbacks and sheep, the animal who cries all the time, no matter if there are any obstacles or not.
In my first Uni year I volunteered to take pictures of a poetry reading, that I didn’t really care for nor do I remember now. My ex-boyfried and I nearly missed the door! It wasn’t exactly easy to find!
I hated Luton then- the amazing place where I was form, and by my own choice had nothing form it, was kind of terrible. But going up the semi-spiral staircase to the most incredible creative space behind the mysterious red door, was something memorable.
And after that life spiraled, like it does…
The guys in Old Shop ‘grew up’ and now you can’t find them behind a mysterious red door anymore, they have their own building now where this memento apparently hangs on a wall, framed. Well, it does not matter if it doesn’t. It’s a memento I made for myself, because that May evening, I kind of found out that there are like hearted spirits in a place where I though there are none.
This print was not about the Deerman. BUT it happened, this was the first deerman and it stuck!
This is the First One!
Not actually the first one, but the first one in a sense that with this print I discovered what amazing things screen-printing can do. Although it still can be discovery in process, a slow one, as I take my long, precious time to create new work.
I made a collage and decided to screen-print it. I did it all in one layer and one colour and then Richard told me off! And then it started - layers upon layers, colour upon colour.
It was a magical moment and I believe this is my best print ever!
I was creating business cards for myself one dark and dingy December night. It was with my handprint on each one and no two were looking the same. I was using dense etching ink and seeing how my hand was getting more and more rolled up black I decided to make a whole hand print. Might as well as the hand was black already.
I am aware that this is not the first, not the last hand print that will appear and that’s ok. I am not claiming this as something original - I just wanted to indulge in some silliness and have my own handprint in black.
How does my youthful hand look so ragged and mummified, I don’t know, but I love it!!!
Made with an artistic hand, in the literal sense!
This is another print I made of my beloved Deerman. This time it’s a lino reduction print Deerman.
To make this reduction print I first cut away all the highlights. I am willing to admit that the muscle groups look a little bit dodgy, but it is a deerman, you don’t know what the right muscle groups would look like - these could be as accurate as any.
It took some hours to cut away everything where you can see white, but I think I love the carving process the most. It is always nice when the print comes together at the end, but the most appealing thing in this printmaking method is the carving itself.
Once the orange was printed, I returned to the lino plate and continued carving away. This time I carved away all the hours of hard work I put into carving the first layer. So I left only the green background and the nose and mouth detail. all the time lines and shading was carved out.
It looks strained and rightfully so, the shading isn’t accurate and the position is awkward, but I found it to be a great exercise in lino.
For a while I had an idea for a screen-print that was about a murder of crows. Somehow that hasn’t happened yet, but I did grab one of the birds and made it into a lino. It was like a pre-screen-print teaser thing. I am really proud of this three colour reduction lino print, even if I fell through on the screen-print, but then again… I might have just stored it for a rainy day. You never know.
So how this works is you start with a piece of lino. I inked it all crimson red and printed just a single colour square and let it dry for a nearly week. Then I carved out the circle of the eye and lines for the legs and some feather details. This time I inked the lino piece with ash gray and then tried to line it up perfectly on top of the red. The gray isn’t thick enough and the red is so bright that it is coming through and turning the background a little pinkish, but it is not so bad (for this print). Then I went back to the lino plate and carved out the bird. Leaving the bird to be black and the margins so I could line it up more easily.
The black detail on it’s own looks quite cool as well.
I wanted to make an angry, ugly crow, but it didn’t really turn out as bad-ass as I wanted. Yet it still looks pretty impressive to me.
The three colour print traveled to Baiba Šustere, a friend of mine, then based in Sweden doing an MA in English. She demanded it in a polite manner and I was glad to give it to her as no one really owned any of my prints at that time.
The autumn just passed, one quiet day in the Uni Richard asked if I’d like to try linocutting as we had nothing to do and the students were not turning up at all. Yeah, sure! Always up to try something new. I didn’t want him to give me a theme, because as soon as he mentioned doing a lino I knew I want to carve out a pair of ovaries. I guess because of the fact that it is a constant health worry of mine, I wanted to dedicate something to the healing powers of the Universe.
So this is my first ever lino, a very feminine one…
It was kind off difficult at first. To see what to cut away for the two colours to come out. It took me some time to get used to the blades and remember to always cut away from myself. I have no idea why I carved my signature in there as well, but I’m really proud that I realized I have to do it mirrored. I still tend to forget it…
These are my dry point etchings. Created specially for the Transition/Pareja exhibition.
Secret Forest Trails is a mixture of longing for home and memories of childhood. I like to create environments for mysterious creatures, drawing on the powers of imagination, magic and secrets. The wonderful lines the dry-point process leaves help to illustrate the mysterious, dream-like environment much better then a more defined mark made in other print processes: for nothing the viewer looks at is either defined or real.
Secret Forest Trails 1, dry point, edition of 5, 2012
Secret Forest Trails 2, dry point, edition of 5, 2012
Secret Forest Trails 3, dry point, edition of 5, 2012
Secret Forest Trails 4, dry point, edition of 5, 2012
All of them are currently on display in The Gallery Space, University of Bedfordshire till 24th May.
Quite proud of these I have to say!
Transition/Pareja is a little group exhibition that I am part of. There are four of us, all Latvian, all printmakers in one form or another, and we all have ties to the University of Bedfordshire.
It all started in the Uni. Richard got us into printmaking and we still do it, and we do it well (mostly because he though us well)! It actually was his idea to get his Latvian student bunch together in an exhibition. And after the thought was released into the Universe, it suddenly traveled to the right ears and the right people and became a nice exhibition with good work, awesome private view, some sales and four very proud artists! The biggest Thank you! goes out to Colin Davies and Rachel Gannon who curated all this and made this look really, really pretty.
If you live in Luton or somewhere near it, you should come and see it. It’s on display till 24th May, it’s admission free and opened to everyone. The Gallery Space, University of Bedfordshire, Park Square, LU1 3JU
The four of us:
Photos by Ben Hodson http://atpphotos.zenfolio.com/transitionexhibition
I was reluctant to start a print-making blog. Mostly because I don’t think I have a lot to offer. But I’ll try anyway!
To keep myself positive and excited I made a logo image for my new blog. And so this is the first print of mine that I’ve put out there in the wast world of Tumblr.com
Lino reduction print, edition of 1, 2012