Vernon Hall print

Last weekend, I started work on another. Enron park related print. This time, I created a dry point print of Vernon hall using a technique to blend colours on the printing plate.

Blended inks on the drypoint plate

The technique I use is to add blocks of coloured ink to the areas such as the lawn in the foreground. I do this for each area adding small amounts of ink used by a fine small paint brush. I then use scrim cloth to remove excess ink and then blend the ink by lightly going across the paint in a horizontal direction right to left (as I am left-handed). I then remove any further ink with tissue paper. I try and leave some excess ink in small areas to add some contrast. I then print the plate running it through the press at least once.

Finished print

I created a number of prints from coloured blends to sepia and using black ink. See gallery below.

Exhibitions on the horizon

I am currently busy getting ready to show some new prints for two forthcoming exhibitions.

The first exhibition is not related to Stockport and relates to another town in the Manchester area called Radcliffe and the project is called ‘Spirit of a Place’ organised by Bury Art Museum. The second will be the annual art exhibition organised by Stockport Art Guild later this year.

Earlier this month, I took part in a 1-day photo screen-printing workshop in Derby. During the workshop, I learnt the process how to create a full colour CMYK prints using acrylic inks on paper.

The day was very interesting and enjoyable and I produced a number of prints for the Radcliffe project. Here is a photo of me screen-printing at Green Door Printmaking Studios.

Screen-printing workshop at Green Door Printmaking Studios, Derby

The Stockport Art Guild exhibition will be held at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery between late November until early January 2023. I will be submitting two etchings aquatint prints on the theme of Stockport which I will reveal in a future post.

History walk around town

On Saturday, I organised a guided tour around Stockport starting from Stockport railway station and finishing at the river Mersey behind the precinct with the British History, Social Group on Meetup

Preparing for an exhibition

Since my last post, I have been on a much needed break from my printmaking. Yesterday, I started a new drypoint print which I hope to combine with a chine collé technique (which uses different colours of tissue paper overlaid on the print during printing). The new drypoint depicts the Masonic Guildhall which is located opposite the college. I used a photograph as a reference. I managed to get a proof done and hope to complete the print soon.

Stockport Masonic Guildhall drypoint

I am hoping to enter two of my prints in this year’s Stockport Open Exhibition which is returning to the art gallery in Stockport.

The exhibition is on from 22nd July to 23rd September.

I also printed a couple of prints from the Stopford House etching I did a few months back. I hope to enter this into the open exhibition.

Stopford House etching aquatint

May photo walk: Vernon Park & Woodbank Memorial Park

Last Friday, I had some free time to visit Vernon Park just outside the town centre of. My first place to photograph was the hall inside the park.

Vernon Park hall

Vernon park was opened in 1858 and is the oldest park in Stockport. The hall which was restored recently as 2017 has some ornate brick work and decorative façades.

My walk took me around the rear of the hall where I spotted a pair of replica Russian canons. The original cannons were captured from the battle of Sevastopol. They were donated by the War Office. However, the originals where unfortunately scrapped for the war effort back in the 1940’s.

Rhododendron’s in Vernon Park

Beyond the hall are the gardens with the bandstand. This is not the original bandstand from 1888, but a reconstruction build in 2000. The gardens are large and well maintained. I particularly liked the Rhododendrons and the sunken garden next to the hall. To the left hand side of the hall is the bowling green where a path led me down to the rest of the gardens and took me to the furthest edges of the estate.

In the middle of the gardens, is a lovely ornamental Victorian statue in black with gold leaf.

Woodbank Memorial Park

On my return to the car park, I decided to go and explore Woodbank Memorial park which is nearby and seek out and find the hall which I have never visited before. As you enter the park, there is a stone arch way which is in need of some restoration. As I walked down the path towards the hall, I spotted a tree sculpture which honoured the animals who were in service during the world wars. The sculpture has not weathered well to the elements and looks as though it to needs some work to restore it. As I continued my walk, I passed what looked like a music festival which was being held in the park, I finally spotted Woodbank hall in the distance.

Woodbank hall

According to records, the hall was built between 1812-14. From the outside, the hall looks ok, but closer inspection you realise the building needs restoring back to it’s former glory. The building looks abandoned at the moment with no current use as far as I could make out, which is a pity as it would make an excellent arts venue.

To sum up my thoughts of visiting the two parks, these two places are a real treasure to the folks of Stockport and I would certainly return again. I now have plenty of photographs as inspiration for some new prints.

White Lion pub etching

Yesterday, I continued my work on the etching depicting the White Lion public house, which is now private flats in the centre of town.

White Lion pub

There is still some adjustments to make on this etching. I have recently purchased a couple of blue permanent markers which I use to stop out areas on the plate. I tend to use a medium size marker but also have a small marker for finer details.

Printing plate and print compared