Sexy Peat/Tìr mo Rùin

Artist Diary 24 July - Fabric Lenny Sketchbook

Follow Fabric Lenny’s Peatland blog: http://fabriclenny.blogspot.co.uk/

24 July: iPad to Press – Photo Polymer Photogravure

After having had a few days to reflect on my time in Scotland as part of the Sexy Peat project, I can now reveal that it was a truly amazing experience. The two weeks on Lewis exploring the Peatlands and producing a healthy body of work on paper, followed by a week working at the Highland Print Studio were invigorating and have reignited my interest in the printmaking process.

But for now, I want to share the process of liberating an iPad painting from the digital format to a rich paper print using a combination of age old and modern approaches in the form of a photo polymer photogravure plate process.

Moorland Discussion - Procreate

Moorland Discussion – Procreate

This image was fingerpainted on the iPad in the Procreate app using a range of grey-scale tones.
The digital file was then sent to Photoshop via Dropbox, and then processed through the Nik Silver effects plugin to enhance the contrast within the image. The image was then printed onto a transparency sheet with the aid of some clever under-lighting that tricked the printer into thinking the milky transparent film was more opaque than it actually was.

Printing a transparency on a large format Epson Printer

Printing a transparency on a large format Epson Printer

This transparency was then used to expose the light sensitive coating on the test plate.

exposing-a-test-plate

Followed by the developing of the plate in water.

developing-the-plate-in-water

The test plate was then inked and printed.

ipad-and-test-web

The test print looked fantastic and held an amazing amount of detail, whilst adding a rich organic feel and a certain softness to some of the tones. Following this initial success a larger plate was prepared, exposed, developed and left for several hours in daylight in order for the plate to ‘bake’.

The following day the plate was inked and printed using a wonderful traditional press.

The inked plate

The inked plate

Looking pretty pleased and chipmunk-like, printing the first full image proof

Looking pretty pleased and chipmunk-like, printing the first full image proof

Print and plate

Print and plate

This was a wonderful process, taking a screen based digital image back into the traditional realm and liberating it from its locked in format. As John at the studio commented, Apple are set on producing devices that are virtually obsolete within two years of purchase, whereas this printing press is likely to be still printing in another 200 years time. Thoughts?

19 July: First Edition of 12 Screen Prints in the Bag

I am nearing the end of my time on Scottish soil for now as I move into the last couple of days of working at Highland Print Studio as part of the Sexy Peat project. Yesterday saw the completion of a three colour print run, with two more print editions and a photogravure plate (to be printed from an iPad painting source, in an attempt to liberate the file from the digital domain)  to be printed today. I fear I am now hooked on printmaking!

Print001

Blue

Blue

Blue and grey

Blue and grey

One of the Final Edition

One of the Final Edition

 

 

16 July: First Day at Highland Print Studio

A great first day at the Highland Print Studio in Inverness as part of the Sexy Peat Project. A really enjoyable return to screen printing after 20 years, and a test print made! Images below are of some of the process.

HPS002web

 

Working with a variety of mark-making mediums on truegrain film

Working with a variety of mark-making mediums on truegrain film

Checking the opacity of the image against the window before exposing the screen

Checking the opacity of the image against the window before exposing the screen

Washing out the exposed screen

Washing out the exposed screen

 

Clamping the screen in place prior to printing

Clamping the screen in place prior to printing

First test prints

First test prints

14 July: Last Day on Lewis for Now

So here it is. My last day on Lewis. What a fantastic experience it has been. I am really pleased with the body of work I have produced in response to the blanket bog and peat lands, and  look forward to a week in the print studio next week, wrestling with the images and making a series of prints.

The final treat for the trip was a drive out to the Shieling Village near Sgiorgarstaigh, Ness. A fantastic site with a wonderful quirky aesthetic and amazing views of the coastline.

SV003

SV001

SV002

water-hoose-web

12 July: Drawing in the Heat

I was offered a space at An Lanntair in Stornoway today so I could spread out and work on several pieces at once. It was a fantastic space with windows around 3/4 of the circular room – great light too. Despite the heat I managed to work for a solid four hours and made a series of drawings. Some of them I am REALLY pleased with!

Hooded Crow

Hooded Crow

Watered Horse

Watered Horse

Shieling-Icarus

Three

Three

Three Two

Three Two

Horse on Shieling

Horse on Shieling

Wood, Ink and Midges

Drawing continued today with further ink and Posca work on paper, followed by the cutting of a couple of wood blocks in preparation for my time at Highland Print Studio next week. I haven’t cut a wood block for close to twenty years and have no idea how well the blocks will print, but they will provide a good starting point, and hopefully be a springboard to further work.

Blue-Lewis-Period-web

wood001web

wood002web

The day ended with a walk out from the Pentland Road on to the moor, where I witnessed the dreaded swarms of Scottish midges for the first time. Rather unpleasant….. luckily the company, views and beer were all good!

11 July: Sleeping Giants

Maybe the moor is full of sleeping giants…

Gentle-Moan-Of-A-Sleeping-Giant-web

The Gentle Moan of a Sleeping Giant

…and shieling eagles…

Shieling Eagle by Fabric Lenny: http://vimeo.com/70033035

10 July: A steady day of iPad painting

Tuesday was a gentle day of activity, painting mostly digitally on the iPad screen whilst reflecting on the previous days trek across the moor. I have also started to read through a variety of stories and myths of the moor which have begun to influence imagery within the work. Lots of fun!

Hiding-Behind-the-Shieling-web

Taking Shelter Behind the Shieling ©FabricLenny2013

The Awakening of the Sleeping Giant ©FabricLenny2013

The Awakening of the Sleeping Giant ©FabricLenny2013

The Each Uisge and the Eagle © Fabric Lenny

The Each Uisge and the Eagle © FabricLenny2013

8 July: A walk to the shieling

On Sunday I headed off across the moor to spend the night in a shieling. As part of the Sexy Peat project, Lewis based Artist Anne Campbell offered each of the artists an opportunity to spend the night in her family shieling across the moor from Bragar. We set out on Sunday lunchtime, barefoot across the moor, and reached the shieling at around 3:30. This was a magical and inspiration experience. A place of tranquility and beauty, and the lovely smell of burning peat!

peatlandsweb

Looking down to the shieling

Looking down to the shieling

A couple of spectacular wrecks on the moor

A couple of spectacular wrecks on the moor

drawing-at-the-S---iphoneweb

I spent a lot of time drawing, sat on top of the chunky grass covered gable end of the shieling.

Some of the drawings made at the shieling

Some of the drawings made at the shieling

The Shieling Golem - iPad painting

The Shieling Golem – iPad painting

Door of the shieling

Door of the shieling

7 July: More studio time

I allocated yesterday as a making day. Following the previous days walk on the moor my head was so full of images I just had to get them down on paper. Below is a selection of ink drawings from that process.

Drawings001web

Drawings002web

Drawings003web

water

In the evening I was asked if I wanted to have a trip out on the harbour. It was a beautiful clear evening, and great to get a look at Stornoway from the water.

Today its back to the moor for an overnight stay in a shieling. More bog walking…. maybe I will try barefoot this time?

moor001

6 July: First walk out onto the peatlands

Working on a mixed media painting inspired by the moor

Working on a mixed media painting inspired by the moor

Today I had my first walk out on the moor with fellow Sexy Peat artist Anne Campbell. Anne has lived on Lewis for most of her life and has specialist knowledge of the Peatlands. It was wonderful to be guided through the peat roads, bog and moor, whilst hearing stories and other related information from someone with such passion for the moor. Anne crossed the moor barefoot, effortlessly making her way gazelle-like through the terrain, whilst I trudged on behind, overdressed in several layers, walking boots and gaters.  Once again I am desperate to respond to the moor through images, so plan a studio day today to start the process of transcribing what’s in my head.

Composite birds

Composite birds

peatland001

peatland002

4 July: A studio day

After borrowing an easel from the lovely folks at an Lanntair arts centre, today has been pretty much a studio day. Sketching, drawing, some editing, some iPad experimentation, but mainly sustained work on the piece below, and a lot of thinking….

paintingweb

peatweb

http://vimeo.com/69707410

http://vimeo.com/69683166

A first look at the island of Lewis

workspace

Yesterday was my first full day on Lewis and I really felt like I needed to get out and look at the island. After picking up a few supplies I jumped in the car and started to drive. The roads were clear and the views spectacular. I spent a long time watching a murder of hooded crows mobbing a pair of large raptors above the road near Dalbeg, stopped off at a Norse Mill and Kiln, and then at Gearraanan Blackhouse. After a few hours of sight seeing I headed back across the island. It was an exhilarating drive on a single track road through blanket bog with spectacular panoramas . Awesome!

I worked into the night on a series of paper based works and a couple of iPad based paintings.

Bog cotton on the way to the Norse Kiln and Mill

Bog cotton on the way to the Norse Kiln and Mill

After getting bitten in Germany last week I was taking no chances with the Scottish midges

After getting bitten in Germany last week I was taking no chances with the Scottish midges

Raptors on the iPad

Raptors on the iPad

3 birds - mixed media

3 birds – mixed media

Silenced - bamboo pen and ink

Silenced – bamboo pen and ink

Perched on a sleeping giant - graphite

Perched on a sleeping giant – graphite

Magic Secret - iPad painting

Magic Secret – iPad painting

3 July: Starting a dialogue with nature

Following a lovely drive from Inverness to Ullapool, and a very pleasant three hour ferry journey I finally find myself on the Island of Lewis.

View from rear as we pull into Stornoway (Photo: Fabric Lenny)

A relatively modern sheiling (Photo: Fabric Lenny)

I was fortunate to be taken for a quick preview drive into the peat bog last night with Lewis based Artist Jon Macleod. I was immediately struck by the vastness of the place, the quiet and the abundance of wildlife. The image above is one of many Shielings that we passed that are still maintained and in use. The door mat here reads ‘No Junk Mail’.

Below are a few images I made as an immediate response to that initial visit to the bog. I look forward to spending more time on the bog over the coming days.

 

Follow Fabric Lenny’s blog here: http://fabriclenny.blogspot.co.uk

Fabric Lenny, 3 July 2013

Be Sociable, Share!

Be Sociable, Share!

Be Sociable, Share!

Deirdre Nelson, Inge Thomson. Sleeping Starfish @ The Glad Cafe as part of Luminate, with Fraser Fifield, Kerri Whiteside

Glad Cafe, Glasgow. 15 October, 7.30 pm. £5

Surrounded by a relentless sea, Fair Isle is an island of strong traditions and fierce beauty. Celebrating this, and running in support of the island’s bid for marine protected status, two artists are knitting together waves of sound and yarn, stories and starfish. Sleeping Starfish is both a work of environmental advocacy and a portrait... Read More ›

Working the Map: Islanders and a Changing Environment

A portrait of the Northern Isles with art work by John Cumming

Beautiful artists’ book by John Cumming: Working the Map – islanders and a changing environment Available from just £9.99 http://www.capefarewell.com/art/media/working-the-map-book.html Shetland/Orkney artist and Sea Change commissioned artist John Cumming has created and edited an artists’ book documenting social and ecological change across the Northern Isles. Produced in partnership with Orkney Nature Festival, the book includes... Read More ›

Andy Crabb’s film portrait of Inge Thomson’s Da Fishing Hands

May 2014

In 2014, Sea Change artists Andy Crabb, Deirdre Nelson and Jennifer Wilcox, with filmmaker Peter Cutts, returned to Fair Isle with Inge Thomson and her band to record the premiere of Inge’s song cycle, Da Fishing Hands. The first performance took place in Fair Isle’s community hall in May 2014, and Da Fishing Hands has... Read More ›

James Brady. though everything was gone, we would stay

‘The essence of Orkney’s magic is silence, loneliness and the deep marvellous rhythms of sea and land, darkness and light’ George Mackay Brown See the film here: though everything was gone, we would stay Artist and curator James Brady joined the 2013 Northern Isles expedition, sailing from Orkney to Shetland via Fair Isle on Shetland community-owned... Read More ›

Deirdre Nelson’s The Kildas project returns to the Glad Cafe Glasgow, with Jason Singh, Inge Thomson, Hanna Tuulikki, Mischa Macpherson and Borderline Theatre

Thursday 26 January 2015, 7pm

DStitch presents: The Kildas + Seachange Thursday 26 February @ The Glad Cafe, Glasgow In partnership with Cape Farewell, the Kildas project will present an evening at Glad Café,  26th February 2015 7pm. Cost £5 The evening will partner the remote islands of St Kilda and Fair Isle in an evening of islands, songs and loops... Read More ›

Inge Thomson’s Da Fishing Hands in Celtic Connections

23 January 2015

‘Some of the finest music and poetry ever to have emerged from these fair isles’. Fair Isle musician/singer/composer (Fair Isle is full of multi-taskers) Inge Thomson brings her haunting and mesmerising Da Fishing Hands to the Tron Theatre, Gladgow, during Celtic Connections in January 2015. Written with Fair Isle poet and singer Lise Sinclair, Da... Read More ›

Julie Fowlis Band win Scots Trad Music Award

13 December 2014

Congratulations to Julie Fowlis and her band, who have won best group of the year at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2014. Julie was recently the first Gaelic singer to be honoured with a ‘Tartan Clef’ Scottish Music Award. Julie sailed on the 2011 Sea Change Western Isles expedition. See the full list of awards... Read More ›

Away with the Birds returns to Canna: Review

Hanna Tuulikki

Click here to read the Away With The Birds Review from The Scotsman  › Costumes by Deirdre Nelson Read More ›

Mathematics, making and birding

Deirdre Nelson

  Fair Isle bird made by Tommy H Hyndman At Da Fishin’ Hands premiere at the community hall I noticed a beautiful Fair Isle jumper in shades of mossy green and later discovered that the wearer was Inges grandfather Stewart, a retired Light House Keeper, fiddle player, spinner and spinning wheel maker.  His wife Annie... Read More ›

Fair Isle treasures

deirdre nelson

  On Saturday morning we made our way to  the rock pool at at Muckle Uri Geo. Ready and waiting were a group of young islanders armed with small fishing nets alongside Nick Riddiford, a passionate Fair Isle ecologist.  As they dispersed on their mission, Nick told us about the area and the many species... Read More ›

‘An eye to the Windward’: Sea Change on Fair Isle

Ruth Little

Anne Sinclair points at a narrow yellow pine door leaning against a wall in the Fair Isle Museum: ‘When I was growing up, nearly all the internal doors in people’s houses were from shipwrecks.’ Fair Isle may be largely treeless, but there’s wood to be had. Over some 5000 years of settlement here, the sea... Read More ›

Data and culture rich

Deirdre Nelson

Due to a rather atmospheric blanket of fog I arrived into Fair Isle two days and 1 hour late.  From my first glimpses of the island from the ferry, it was well worth the wait, and Inge Thompson, on a break during rehearsals and preparations for her performance Da Fishing Hands, was there to greet... Read More ›

Lost Birds and Fishing Hands: Getting our Bearings on Fair Isle

Ruth Little

  It’s a Caspian Stonechat, and it’s lost. Its feathers are spiked with rain, and it seems to have a hacking cough. It’s been on Fair Isle for a month, and the word around the island is that it’s unlikely to see the Caspian Sea again. ‘Blown off course, all of them’, says one of... Read More ›

Skye Loneragan and Q-Poetics: Culture 2014

XX Commonwealth Games

Poet/performer Skye Loneragan took part with Cape Farewell in Glasgow’s Merchant City Festival at the Ramshorn Theatre, hosted by GalGael in 2013. Skye is Q-Poet at the Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014. Q-Poetics is a Culture 2014 project placing poets and poetry in places and spaces of of waiting. See Skye’s video-poems at http://qpoetics.com/ Skye Loneragan is... Read More ›

Grounded (Freumhaichte/Wadlu-Gnana). Judith Parrott

An Lanntair, Stornoway: 13 September - 11 October

Grounded is an exhibition of photographic prints, audiovisual, sound and prose, resulting from residencies with Gaelic speaking communities of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and with Wangkangurru, Arrarnta and Arrernte people of the Central Australian Desert. The exhibition was launched at XX Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014. Follow Judith’s Grounded blog at http://judithparrott.wordpress.com/ Arriving in Steòrnabhagh (Stornoway) The... Read More ›

Andy Crabb’s short film Sea Changes

Part 1 documents the Orkney Expedition

Sea Changes, part 1 featuring Karine Polwart from Andy Crabb on Vimeo. Filmmaker and SAMS artist-in-residence Andy Crabb joined Cape Farewell’s Northern Isles expedition in August/September and reflects here on the first days of sailing in Orkney waters. Sea Changes is the first part of a film about Cape Farewell’s Northern Isles expedition, on board... Read More ›

Karine Polwart sings Freedom Come All Ye in Orkney’s Italian Chapel

http://vimeo.com/73406037   Read More ›

The Swan Northern Isles Expedition

See the 2013 Expedition site

In August 2013, Sea Change set sail with two crews of artists and scientists from Orkney to Shetland via Fair Isle. Sailing on 113-year-old community owned Shetland Fyfie The Swan, the journey took us around Scotland’s most northerly coasts and islands. Click here for Expedition site >   Read More ›

Sexy Peat / Tìr mo Rùin. Highland Print Studio/Cape Farewell: Year of Natural Scotland 2013

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery 8 March - 5 April 2014

Following the success of Sexy Peat/Tìr mo Rùin as part of Sea Change at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, the exhibition transfers to Inverness Museum and Art Gallery in March-April 2014, before returning to its island of origin at An Lanntair, Lewis. Sexy Peat/Tìr mo Rùin artists: Anne Campbell: http://www.annecampbellart.co.uk/ Jon Macleod: http://www.jonmacleod.com/ Kacper Kowalski:... Read More ›

Things Unspoken / Things Unseen. Andrea Roe, Anne Bevan

Book launch 20 August 2013 at Pier Arts Centre, Orkney

Things Unspoken Things Unseen by Anne Bevan and Andrea Roe 2 volume artist book Things Unspoken Things Unseen, by Anne Bevan and Andrea Roe, was launched with Cape Farewell’s 2013 Swan expedition at the Pier Arts Centre in August 2013.  Including contributions by Janice Galloway, Jen Hadfield, Kathleen Jamie, Robert Alan Jamieson and Alan Spence,... Read More ›

Air falbh leis na h-eòin – Away with the Birds: Culture 2014

Isle of Canna, August 2014

Hanna Tuulikki’s body of work exploring the mimesis of bird sounds in Gaelic song was described as ‘heartbreakingly gorgeous’ on BBC Radio Scotland’s The Culture Show in January 2014. Performed in collaboration with vocal artists, field recorder Geoff Sample, filmmaker Daniel Warren, Gaelic singer Mary Smith, textile artist Deirdre Nelson and choreographer Rosalind Masson, the... Read More ›

Air falbh leis na h-eòin – Away with the Birds

Hanna Tuulikki's Complete Audio Diary

28 June 2013 Listen here to an extract from Hanna’s diary: Voices at Dusk http://www.capefarewell.com/seachange/wp-content/uploads/canna-diary-extract-13.mp3   29 May 2013 Listen here to an extract from Hanna’s diary: Tracing Lines http://www.capefarewell.com/seachange/wp-content/uploads/canna-diary-extract-121.mp3 19 April 2013 The creation of Air falbh leis na h-eòin: Hanna on tumblr 14 January 2013 Listen here to an extract from Hanna’s diary:... Read More ›

Mapping the Sea: Barra. Stephen Hurrel

Timespan, Helmsdale. 5 - 29 July 2014

Stephen Hurrel’s Sea Change commission, Mapping the Sea: Barra, will feature in an installation at Timespan Museum and Art Gallery, Helmsdale. Stephen is one of the artists for Generation – Scotland’s largest ever art show –  involving 100 artists in 60 venues, coinciding with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Generation is produced by Glasgow Life and... Read More ›