#283 theoldmortuary ponders

© theoldmortuary

Another day stewarding at the Drawn to Print Exhibition. The two artists who were the primary curators and managers of this exhibition are not printers. I managed to dig out some old work from my long ago Fine Art Degree and,by complete luck, the act of applying typewritten text to watercolour pulls the work loosely into the Print family.


What a family we have joined! The Printers of Drawn to the Valley have been an amazing bunch of people to work with. Trusting us with their beautiful prints with our invented hanging system.

But they have also nurtured us. Debs my fellow non-prntmaking curator, managed this fabulous trio of prints. Her first in this medium. Printmakers talked her through the process on the phone.

©Debra Parkinson

Debs has been commissioned to create several runs of ‘ Smeatons Thief’

This morning I was excited to dive into the world of Tetrapak printing.

Not my finest artistic hour because I had more excitement than talent, but I did create a half decent Tetrapak image and while printing it effectively eluded me, another lovely printer shared her wisdom for future success.

For now I have just applied some digital magic to make me feel better.


The video below is the wall mounted Print hanging.

Drawn to Print at Ocean Studios, Royal William Yard, Plymouth

#281 theoldmortuary ponders

My almost daily commute for three weeks is a ten minute walk from home. It covers the same paths that my normal daily dog walks take. Without the dogs, who are disinterested, for the most part, in a print exhibition, the familiar walk can be enhanced by taking a slightly different route. These stairs are just off my normally beaten path, but of no interest to the noses of my dogs.

Today was bin day and the big communal bins live in an old military building that has not yet been ‘improved’. The dogs would have loved to be with me as refuse bins and a hot summer day is a heady mix of flavours but I just nipped in to take this lovely old window in a grubby and unbuffed state.

Another love of mine is to see scarring on paintwork from regular use. Although that regular use stopped nearly 30 years ago.

And then there is the redundant heavy duty equipment with warnings , of limitations to men of my grandfathers generation.

Men for whom these numbers on doors had some significance.

I just love them as reminders of slightly archaic fonts.

I will leave you with two of my favourite doors.

One is an old storeroom and the other leads to a suite of artists studios. They are both at the end of the, currently empty, gallery space.

#280 theoldmortuary ponders

The exhibition today is in safe paws. Ralph is Stewarding this morning. Flushed with my experimentation on Yupo paper yesterday I whipped off a quick play on words this morning before I did the morning dog walk.

The morning dog walk was quite the sartorial revelation this morning. How many people really dress in the morning to match their local pavements/sidewalks!

Further on we sniffed out a fairy tale moment. A swimming Cinderella had dropped her golden slipper.

Its a been a busy morning so far.

#279 theoldmortuary ponders

These are the feet of a woman stewarding in a Grade 1 listed building. The floors and the walls are spectacular.

Celia Over, and her amazing prints.

We are in the second week of our three week run at Ocean Studios and the public response is very positive. Holding an art exhibition in a Grade 1 listed building is not without its challenges. We have had to design a whole new style of hanging system. We also needed to persuade the artists to allow us to hang their work unframed, just simply mounted. So many artists trusted us to treat their work with care and respect.

The artists were also hugely supportive of our £10 ‘ Off the peg’ feature.

Stewarding at exhibitions like this is the perfect opportunity to really take the time to enjoy other artists work. Today I had the pleasure of stewarding with Gilly Spottiswood and Celia Over, we were able to have a good old natter and share hugely interesting and informative tips and tricks associated with printing.

I was trying a new style of plastic coated paper, called Yupo. I painted mussels from memory. A painting that surely has named itself, Mussel Memory.

Gilly was giving Drypoint a try for the first time.

#277 theoldmortuary ponders

©Fi Smart

Goodness me, spending time with art and artists is so rewarding. I have belonged to an art group for 4 years, most of that time I have been on the committee and most of that time has been in the time of Covid or post Covid restrictions. Zoom meetings, cancelled exhibitions and the over thinking of all things to comply with the latest restrictions and procedures has been the way all organisations have survived the last few years. For me this has given me a massive disconnect. Drawn to the Valley has roughly 160 members. For the most part their names are familiar to me, their faces and characters less so and often I am unfamiliar with their artwork too.

For the next couple of weeks I have the absolute pleasure of putting a name to a face and attatching a mental note of their style of artwork. I am overseeing the stewarding of Drawn to Print at Ocean Studios in the Royal William Yard, Plymouth.

COVID ruined my early involvement in setting up the exhibition but a deliciously negative test allowed me to attend the Private View on Thursday evening.

Two hours of mingling with artists and our guests on a beautiful summer evening with Champagne and the mellifluous sound of Seachanges. Two wonderfully talented musicians who came along to give the evening some glamour and sparkle.

At last an event like this is beginning to feel normal and comfortable again. People being comfortable in the company of one another. Which is why I chose the top image by Fi Smart, I know her name and we have exchanged emails, now I know some of her work and at some point in the next two weeks I am certain we will meet in person.

©Celia Over

I met Celia for the first time when she came to a Drawn to the Valley monthly meeting at Ocean Studios. Until this week I was completely unaware of her style of work. Her work is just a fantastic extension of her, she exuded calm and beauty when I met her and here that exact quality is, in a beautiful print.

Here is my last , for now, image with some mystery.

I met Charlotte Sainsbury for the first time whilst I was serving Champagne at the Private View. I have loved her work for ages but never would have known who she was. She introduced herself to me and my mouth immediately gushed ” Oh, I love your work”

Nothing cool or reserved about that comment but , in truth I always love whatever she exhibits.

© Charlotte Sainsbury.

More lovely prints to share on here over the next two weeks. You are all in for some lovely prints and stories from the exhibition.

#273 theoldmortuary ponders

So whilst I am languishing about like an overcooked parsnip, being Covid Positive, in a record heatwave. The print exhibition that I have been planning for months went and made a success of itself without me. An amazing curatorial and hanging team set it all up on Monday.

They worked incredibly hard, all day, in the blistering heat.

Today was the first day of being open fully to the public. Stewarded by volunteers, there will always be someone on hand to chatter about all things print related.

Thursday evening, this week, the 21st of July, between 6pm and 8pm we are holding our Private View. There will be fizz and singing. Everyone who is able to attend is welcome to the Private View, or of course, any other time over the next 3 weeks.