Entertaining Children with Potato Prints in the Summer Holidays

I hope you are having a fun time entertaining your children in the summer holidays! I always have Mondays alone with the children and look forward to no work days ( if I’ve caught up the day before!) so that I can relax and just enjoy the day with them. After a morning out yesterday in Holt plundering charity shops and buying some chips to eat on the journey home I set up my kitchen table for painting and potato printing fun with my son and daughter.

I cut out a leaf from a potato and a star. The star was fairly pants but we liked the leaf! Freya did a thumb print portrait which she didn’t want me to look at until it was dry. Not sure if it was of me or her!

I concentrated on lino printing.. although ‘concentrated’ is probably not the most apt word as you can see! I made the classic mistake of cutting lettering the right way round so that it was back to front when I printed it! DOH .. I had enough room below to do it properly and I quite like the pattern like effect you get. This makes me think what fun it would be to create a textile design entirely the wrong way round – make a skirt and then if you happened to be in front of a mirror – only then might people know what it says or that it says anything at all! Must have been done;))

My son did a great job with the leaf print!

© Elliot Buckingham – age 9 – 2012

I was surprised I liked doing lino print; I hadn’t done anything like that since I was a child and I think the forward planning involved doesn’t come so naturally to me:) As a painter primarily I suppose you enjoy the immediate most.

I have a whole collection of cutters now so I will have to investigate further how each cuts and write about that. I imagine there will be some I love and some I don’t use much. We’ll see.

Happy holidays!

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Play time – win a print too

Remember that slightly boring wreath design that I didn’t really want to finish?  (see previous post)

I painted over it and thoroughly enjoyed creating this, this afternoon.

Happy Weekend to you all!

I’m turning this into a print this weekend and am proofing it as I write ( well the printer is!)

copyright – Gabriella Buckingham 2012

Do you ever buy prints? If you do what sort of thing do you look for? How much do you spend on an individual print? Are you concerned whether or not it is a limited edition?

I’d love to know what you think. Comment below and I will chose 2 UK only residents at random on Sunday August 5th 2012 to win one of the finished prints.

This print will soon be available to buy in my Etsy shop if you like it and don’t win one!

Pattern love

 Little update on the plate:

The plate is back! Love the colours. Surprisingly the blue has remained the same blue throughout so that’s really good. The painting of the red is a bit messy – too many little brush strokes but it really seems to sit happily with my other random china – particularly my orange teapot pictured here. The bear seems to like it too!

I’m starting to realise the sort of imagery that appeals to me most. For example I love the chunky geometric 1970s prints like the ones on my studio curtains, and the huge scale florals in my living room but know that the delicacy of the 1950s line work appeals to me more- if it comes to me designing something. Orla Keily has pretty much cornered the market in those simple graphic shapes – they are gorgeous but certainly not what I was born to design! I love the print work of Angie Lewin with its variety and delicacy among the strong lines too…but of course I want to find my way and the last thing you want as a designer is for someone to say “Oh that’s just like X’s work!” Which it wouldn’t be!! I’m not suggesting for a minute that I could do anything like Ms Lewin.

I did do lithography and etching at art college. Both approaches resulted in illustrative work if I look back – my lithographs were full of squiggles and patches of coloured background with figures dancing – A1 scale. And the etchings were quite detailed and tiny! It should be – no it will be, quite an adventure to get a few days solid designing. That may be ambitious but I am going to set aside at least one whole day and a couple of half days this week just to concentrate on the surfacepatternecourse the 3rd part of which starts tomorrow.

It’s tricky for me to really find my way, or a style, right from the off as I have been a painterly illustrator for years -one who that loves line drawing on the side… when I can face challenging myself to do it. There’s enevitably this horrible stage where what you draw disappoints you, if you were once good at drawing and haven’t done much for a LONG time.
I painted this plate in a ceramic cafe today. I wanted a 1950s inspired look incorporating some of the motifs that I find myself scribbling most often.
I sat with the plate in front of me staring at its white surface. All I had in mind were Alliums and squiggles… after about 3 mins scribbling thunb nail size plates in my sketch book I just aimed for the centre and did my favourite spiral shape and worked outwards without thinking too much what the end result would be. As I was just drawing it out with felt tip that burns off completely when it is fired I didn’t worry too much. I was there to have fun after all!! the plate should end up red, beige, brown,blue and quite probably purple where the blue is over the red… that bit is the bit I am doubtful about!!
But I did really like the effect and feel that as a piece of pattern work – rather than illustration, this is very me.
I just hope it turns out to be a strong red – not too wishy washy – although I do like the dry glaze colours. So it is very hard to be sure which I am going to prefer. I should get it back by next weekend so I’ll post a picture even if I don’t much like it.
I hope you all had a good weekend. x Gabs