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Musicians on the move!

Earlier this year I was Artist-in-Residence at The Great Rhythm & Blues Festival…often referred to as The Colne Blues Festival..because it happens in Colne, Lancashire. You may have seen my blog on The Great Rhythm and Blues Festival where I posted photographs of pages from my sketchbook. Throughout the festival I sketched the bands live which demanded that I worked extremely quickly to try to capture the essence of what I saw. The French artist, Paul Cezanne, reportedly described Claude Monet with these word, “Monet is only an eye, but my God what an eye!” I make no claims for my art in terms of making profound statements, I rather like the words of David Hockney when he said, “I paint what I like, when I like and where I like.” The sketchbook drawings are kept fairly small as it is easier for me to work quicker on a smaller scale and I love to use cheap Bic ball-point pens. They provide a vast variety of types of line. By their very nature they are sketchy..it aint easy drawing musicians whilst they move around the stage but I have to say it is extremely worthwhile and relevant to my work. No matter how many photographs I take, often the sketches done during the sound-check or during the gig provide me with great insight. If you’ve ever spoken to me about my work you’ll probably have heard me say that when you draw from life, you have to really look and when you really look you really see. The residency at Colne has provided me with a rich source for work. For some time I’ve admired the soft lines that can be achieved with “trace mono-printing”. Whilst I like the effects of the ball-point pen I wanted to explore the gentle, velvety lines available with trace mono-print. The often accidental or incidental tones remind me of a certain quality I used to achieve when using lithography… lovely delicate greys. I haven’t touched lithography since 1982 but just recently I’ve wanted to experiment with trace mono-print and it seemed a worthy technique to try some slightly larger works based on the energy of my Colne Blues sketchbooks. To do this I photographed a page from the sketchbook, digitally enlarged it, digitally flipped it horizontally and printed it. I then used this to produce a series of trace mono-prints. The acts that I’ve printed so far are: Alex McKown, Elles Bailey, Gerry Jablonski, Gwyn Ashton, Jo Harman, John Fairhurst, Kaz Hawkins, Yoka and The Sugarbeats, Sam Kelly’s Station House, Ten Years After and Troy Redfern…can you spot them? Here they are- all about A4 in size-measuring approximately 19cm by 25cm…