Friday, 28 June 2013

Against a dark background

A few weeks ago author Iain Banks passed away, taken before his time by cancer. His work has been a part of my world for almost all of my adult life. He wrote and released a novel a year throughout his career and I am very sad that I no longer have that yearly marker to look forward to.

Last night I watched an interview with him, purportedly his last one, and it reminded me of how well he bestrode two literary fields. While his mainstream novels were critical and commercial successes, every second year he wrote science fiction as Iain M Banks and although those works did not meet the same level of success, they nonetheless were a game changer in their genre and something Banks was hugely passionate about.

Four drying limited edition prints of '51 Plymouth.
Among all the other feelings I have about his life, his philosophy and his work, there is something that is personally very inspiring in the way in which Banks carved out his double success. He proves that a creative individual can have more than one identity.

It is a dark and rainy Friday afternoon, at the end of a week that has not been overly troubled by sunshine. Following last weekend's Art Market, this week I made eighteen new linocut prints from three designs, adding to the other new ones I made last week. Planning for the Art Market brought home to me the realisation that my abstract art and my illustration are not necessarily suitable for the same audience.

Like Iain Banks, I have more than one identity as a creator. Unlike Iain Banks I do not yet know how to manage my differing identities. This is something I want to give some thought over the coming weeks. If anyone has any ideas, I'd be very happy to hear them!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Art Market time already?

Tomorrow is Art Market time again at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall and this is not a post I had imagined I would be writing. After a slight case of confusion over the application dates, I missed the deadline to apply to show. However luck smiled on me and a few days ago Nicole from the Drill Hall let me know a spot had opened up. It's been all action since then!

For the past few months, I've been thinking about making prints of late Mid-Century British cars. You know, the kind of car your dad drove until it had to go to the scrap year to be put down (surely it wasn't just my dad that did that?) and were always in the background of grim '70s television programmes. Cars with names like Anglia, Victor and Minx, cars the world has mostly forgotten. I've always had a fondness for those old bangers and now felt like a good time to go back and have a look at them.

So when the call came from the Art Market, I headed right along to the Greyfriars Art Shop for some ink, lino and new blades and spent the following twelve hours drawing and tracing and cutting and pressing.

To start with, I have made two designs, both small cars with big names and bigger personalities. First up is the Austin Mini, probably the single most recognisable British car. Minis are wonderful things and there are still a few on the streets even today. The second design is the Hillman Imp, something of a rarity these days and the last car ever manufactured in Scotland. When I grow up, I think I want an Imp.

I've got plans for more cars prints and ideas for doing more than just lino cuts, however for today that's all I'm revealing. If you're in Edinburgh tomorrow, do drop by the Art Market to get a glimpse of my new prints. I'm off now to try mixing printing inks to make new colours. See you tomorrow!