Screen printing Experiment

I’m sure a print maker would throw their hands up in horror, but anyway, here is my first attempt with screen printing! I hope I’m going to improve when I find the time to do some more! Still, at least I feel like I’ve already learnt something in the process. I quite like the fact that each one ends up slightly different. Hopefully though, some of the surprises in  future will be more along the lines of happy accidents rather than total disasters.


As you can see, I’ve cut up quite a few of the prints as they were really not worth keeping as they were!

Below is the finished thing in its entirety. I based it on a part of one of my paintings.

Screenprint 1 -  Feb 2016


The Presence of the trees

2013 August -Sept The presence of the trees

Acrylic on canvas 116cm x 89cm

I just turned on the computer after getting back from school & found a message to tell me that this painting, which I finished quite recently, has been selected for the Adour  – Bidasoa competition/exhibition, so that’s a good start to the week-end anyway!

Having just started a new school year meant I hadn’t even got round to posting it here till now; It’s the only large painting I managed to do in the holidays (see previous post!) I wanted to explore by doing a bigger & slightly different version of something I did  several months back.


Concurso de pintura Adour Bidasoa

Acabo de volver del colegio y al encender el ordenador he aprendido que este cuadro ha sido seleccionado para el concurso Adour Bidasoa. Quería explorar un tema que he hecho hace unos meses y esta versión es mas grande y algo distinto  que aquello.

La inauguración sera el día 20 de septiembre a las 19.30 en la Sala de Exposiciónes del centro Amaia de Irun c/ A. Lopez Becerre.

Concours de peinture Adour Bidasoa

Je reviens de l’école et je viens d’apprendre que ce tableau ha été selectioné pour le concours Adour – Bidasoa.

Le vernissage aura  vendredi 20 septembre à 19.h30, au Centre Amaia d’Irun.


A few very quick drawings

It’s ages since I’ve posted anything here!  The main reason being that I haven’t been doing much in the way of serious painting during the summer as our house has been quite busy. Which is very nice as well, but not so good for creative space!

In the meantime, here are a few quick drawings done on holiday in Spain.  They’re not supposed to be anything amazing – it’s just something I tend to do when we’re driving (in case you were worried, it’s my partner doing the driving, not me!) I have loads of these drawings, but I won’t bore everybody with too many! It’s mostly a bit of a visual diary & a good exercise in trying to capture the basics really rapidly.Travelling drawing 1Travelling drawing 2Travelling drawing 3

Below are a few drawings from when I went to England. They were done in the airport, from the plane  & from the train. I hadn’t been in England in the summer for years & it was quite strange to go from the intense light in Spain to the soft, gentle, English light & subdued colours. It all made me feel like I’d been catapaulted into the end of summer when in reality it was still peak summer!

Travelling drawing  11Travelling drawing 5Travelling drawing 6Travelling drawing 7Travelling drawing 8Travelling drawing 10

And finally a few quick watercolours from a bit closer to home.

2013 Watercolour 1

2013 Watercolour 2

2013 Aug Watercolour 3

In the green forest

2013 June -In the green forest

June 2013 Acrylic on canvas 50 x 70cm

The vibrancy of the greens in the Basque Country seems to be even stronger than usual this year. A visual & emotional counter balance to the grey skies & quite simply a result of the enormous quantity of rain that’s fallen!






Affiche Expo Mend Zolan 2013 image

Exhibition in Hendaye

Here’s the poster for my exhibition which opens on Tuesday 30th April. The exhibition space is excellent – over 200m²,  so I’d say it’s the largest exhibition I’ve had so far. I’ve been able to hang 52 paintings in total. On the other hand, it’s a place that is not at all visible to passers by, being on the third floor of a building whose entrance way is extremely hidden behind the arches! So I have to say I don’t have any great expectations as to there being many visitors!

Given that there has been so much investment in doing up the Boulevard de la Mer along the seafront it  really seems a pity & a waste of an excellent space, that there are not more large signs to advertise its being there. I’m sure it wouldn’t cost that much extra just to draw a bit more attention to it.  If you follow the little discrete  blue panels marked “Mendizolan” you can eventually find it, but you have to really know what you’re looking for!

Hope those that get there will think it was worth the effort!

Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday. From 10am till 1pm & 3pm till 7pm

Exposition à Hendaye

Voici l’affiche pour mon exposition qui commence mardi, 30 avril. L’espace est super – plus de 200m², alors je dirais qu’elle serait l’expo la plus grande que j’ai jamais monté. J’ai réussi a accrocher un totale de  52 tableaux. Par contre, la salle n’est pas du tout visible aux passantes, étant donné qu’elle se trouve au troisième étage d’un batiment dont l’entrée se cache derrière les façades des cafés etc (qui donnent sur la place).

Vu les investissements récents dans le Boulevard de la Mer, il me semble dommage qu’on n’a pas pensé à mieux signaler cet endroit, pourtant si excellent. Il ne serait pas trop difficile ni trop cher par exemple, de peintre un mural  qui soit visible de la place, ou de commissioner un sculptor pour créer un ouevre qui attire l’attention, plutôt que ces petits panneaux bleus (marqués “Mendizolan”) qui sont si discrèts.

Comment trouver la salle d’exposition Mendizolan?

En longeant Le Boulevard de la mer vers la digue (Sokoburu) prenez le passage piéton à gauche, juste à côté de la glacerie “Pink Banana”. Au fond, vous verez un panneau qui indique Mendizolan à droite. La salle se trouve au troisième étage.

Ouverture du mardi au samedi de 10h à 13h et de 15h à 19h

Exposición en Hendaia

Aquí esta mi póster para mi exposición que abre el día 30 de abril. El espacio es maravilloso – mas de 200m², entonces seria la exposición mas grande que nunca he tenido. Hay 52 cuadros en total. ! En cambio, no es el sitio mas fácil a encontrar! La sala se encuentra en el tercer piso de un edificio que se esconde detrás de los cafés que hay en la plaza de Sokoburu (Hendaye Plage/Playa).

Después de las inversiones en el  Bulevar del mar, me parece mucha pena que no se ha pensado en como mejor indicar como encontrar este espacio tan interesante. Hay que fijar en los pequeños paneles azules que indican “Mendizolan” – pero la verdad es que no son muy  evidentes – !Espero que los que lo logren pensaren que valía la pena!!

? Como encontrar la sala de exposicion Mendizolan?

Dirigiéndose en el Bulevar del mar en el sentido hasta Hondarribia encuentras las tiendas y los  cafés  de Sokoburu. Al lado de una heladería que se llama “Pink Banana” hay que tomar el pasillo peatonal. Andar hasta el l fondo, donde se encuentra un panel azul indicando Mendizolan a la derecha. La sala de exposición está en el tercer piso. (Hay ascensor).

Horario : Martes – Sabado  Desde las 10.00 hasta la 13.00 y desde las 15.00 hasta las 19.00

Haiako Harria/Peñas de Haya/Les Trois Couronnes in Spring

Haiako Haria  in the spring

April 2013 Acrylic on canvas 50 x 70cm

This painting is inspired  by a view not far inland from the coast & looking towards the mountains. At this time of the year the Asphodels are all flowering abundantly at lower altitudes, whereas it’ll probably still be a few weeks till they look their most spectacular at higher altitudes.

If you look  back far enough through this blog, you can see that I  made a painting from this same perspective in July of 2009!

Early Spring near Gorramakil

2013 April - Early Spring near Gorramakil

April 2013  Acrylic on canvas 50 x 70cm Not for Sale

After finishing the previous painting I’ve revisited the same place a couple of times when there’s been the  opportunity. Since then  I’ve been revisiting it more often in my imagination when I’ve been transported back via the proccess of my painting !

On a totally different subject – I managed to “like” my own painting the other day! I was simply trying to click on one of the “likes” as far as I remember, to see what they were. How embarressing! Has anyone else had this problem?  I think I then got rid of a load of other peoples’ “likes” along with mine when I tried to delete it!! Sorry if it was yours!

In the presence of trees

2013 March - In the presence of trees

March 2013 – Acrylic on canvas 80 x 60cm Not for Sale

Finally  I’ve been painting again & it feels a bit like emerging out of a long tunnel!

Over the last few years I’ve spent many hours painting  when I’m not teaching. I really needed to in order to get myself immersed in it again. Also I think it’s essential  for me as an emotional outlet, as well as for my thought processes & in fact to feed back into the teaching of art.

Creativity is something I believe needs to be encouraged more than ever. Art is an ideal medium through which to explore & develope one’s approach to life.   In a rapidly changing world, people need the skills to be able to come up with  solutions in order to adapt to new situations & solve problems & so on.  Every child finds their own solution within the boundaries of the framework the teacher sets.  Which is why each individual child demands  the teacher’s personal attention  because their work is different & therefore it  requires different advice. What they are trying to acheive is not the same as someone else, & this is the aim,  even though the initial guidelines were the same. When you are a teacher it can be frustrating trying to be in 28 places at the same time & when you’re only 10 years old you’re not always aware that you are not the only one.  Your problem needs dealing with and right now!

Recently I’ve been feeling  exhausted – as though my energy has been sapped by children (I teach around 220 of them every week!) & I’ve had little left over for my own work. I’m sure this must sound familiar to anyone that teaches.

Are you an artist (or a writer, musician …) & also a teacher ? What are your experiences in this regard?

I know that by painting it also gives me a certain energy that helps me deal with other areas in my life,  in the same way as when you take exercise it actually makes you feel more energetic eventually . But if you are so tired you can’t summon up the energy to start  then it becomes a negative spiral! Life is a constant juggling act to try to keep everything balanced & the scales are  forever moving. Which is another reason I suppose that I still haven’t got round to setting  up a proper website for example. I have decided that I have got enough commitments & I have to chose carefully how to spend my free time; That’s to say I have to put some things on hold for the sake of my sanity! It is still  a little bit frustrating though!

After the last collective exhibition I participated in I realised how most of the other artists were full time artists. In order to participate you had to be of professional status. (In France  everyone must have a “status”. So this means you have a number & your  social security payments are collected by specific organisations depending on your status or statuses in my case). On the one hand, if you are a full time artist, I suppose you have more time to dedicate to promotion & other  bureaucracy, but on the other hand you could end up creating for a market & being more limited. Because at the end of the day we all have to make a living. So at least I can paint what I want without feeling too much pressure from a commercial point of view (just  a sense of lack of time!)

If you are an artist/creator, full-time or part- time, what is your experience & how do you feel about this issue?

If you have to  produce results all the time then perhaps you feel  less able to experiment? One of my recent activities has involved cutting up one of my paintings in order to recreate it as a collage ! ( See below “Lines of life” which no longer exists in that form! )  Something fell into it, creating a big hole in the canvas, so  my idea was to try to make something positive come of it! At present though it is in a state of waiting, as I haven’t come up with a satisfactory recombination & maybe I won’t, I don’t mind too much really.

It’s important to engage fully in the process & that’s what I also really enjoyed with this painting – doing it gave me a feeling of liberty a bit similar to that which I felt from being in the place that inspired it in the first place. (Being on holiday helps too!)

Maybe some of you will be thinking I should cut this one up too 🙂 … but for me  the painting itself was the experiment !