Kilve Beach prints

Kilve Beach is on the North Somerset Jurassic coast within the Quantock Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It’s a favourite spot for artists and geologists. The slanting strata exposed in the cliffs and on the foreshore are fascinating subjects. I was first introduced to Kilve Beach when my daughter returned from a school trip having found either a tiny crustacean or possibly part of a crinoid in a flake of weathered shale.

As a family we have visited many times and this has resulted in a series of prints, trying to do justice to the subject. The view out across the Bristol Channel, with South Wales in the distance was my first attempt to capture something of Kilve. The weathered and cracked stone pavement leading away to the sea, the rocks covered with seaweed and a headland visible in the mists across the channel.

Kilve Beach Linocut print
Kilve Beach (Limited edition, reduction linocut 30 x 40 cm)

For the “Paper Prospects” exhibition, I created a monochrome print of Kilve. The exhibition was a celebration of the uses of paper in printing and craft. It was the first print I’d done on St. Cuthbert’s locally made paper. It is fabulous paper to work with, it feels much more alive than other papers I’ve used. It is also nice to think that it is manufactured just down the road from where I live. I like to describe this print as a Somerset scene, by a Somerset artist on Somerset paper. I do generally prefer to make reduction prints, but monochrome prints are always an opportunity to use texture and pattern. They reduce everything down to ink or no ink and this tends to focus you on capturing the essence of things.

Kilve Prospects (Original linocut 40 x 16 cm)

The action of the tides coming and going rearranges the beach, so each time you visit there are new things to see. It is like a constantly changing kaleidoscope of perfection. For some reason nature’s compositions are always more profound than anything an artist can imagine. In the next print I wanted to take a closer view, excluding the sky and focussing just on the rocks and shale.

Kilve Beach, rocks and shale ( Limited edition, reduction linocut 20 x 30 cm)

Kilve is famous for its fossils and the most spectacular are the large ammonites, found on the shore at the western end of the beach. It’s important to remember that this is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and hammers are not allowed. This is a good thing, it means the fossils will remain there longer, for all to see, until nature slowly erases them. It also makes for a more peaceful, contemplative atmosphere, with none of the frantic hammering and clambering on battered cliffs that you see on the South coast. The ammonites are from the Jurassic, so they are over 145 million years old. This print is a combination of several fossils found at the beach. It’s a monoprint the different coloured inks are applied by hand to a single block.

Kilve Ammonites (Original linocut 30 x 20 cm)

Sometimes reduction prints don’t work out the way you hoped and this is an example. I had intended to create a print that focussed on the visible strata in the cliffs. Unfortunately, it just didn’t come out the way I wanted. When it was finished and I sat down to decide which prints could go into the edition, there wasn’t a single one that I was happy with. I think this is an experience every printmaker has, but mostly we don’t talk about it. Having invested several weeks into this one print I decided to make a collage. I cut the print into strips, arranged them in layers one on top of another and gave it the title of “Kilve Strata.” The moral of this story is, never give up, no matter what happens!

Kilve Strata (Original linocut. Not for sale)

This is my final print of Kilve, at least for a while, and it’s a view looking East along the beach, with the blue lias cliffs disappearing into the distance and the curving beds of limestone and shale in the foreground.

Kilve Beach at low tide (30 x 20 cm)

My prints can be seen on my website.

I don’t sell reproductions of my prints, but I have made several greetings cards available from Love From The Artist.

Somerset Open Studios 2018 and plans

Kilve Strata

A couple of people have asked, and the answer is, I am not taking part in Somerset Open Studios this year.


My own studio is much more mobile, so is not suited to be a venue. I’ve managed to reduce my equipment down to a few boxes and I am planning to move around in the next year, hoping to get out and about, around Somerset and the South West.

I may take part in a local Christmas Fayre, more about that when I have details.

I plan to do a workshop in Wells next year. Probably just one.

I may do an occasional art/craft fair.

I plan to focus on printmaking, mainly reduction linocut prints.

Introduction to Linocut Workshop 11th August 2018 Wells, Somerset

I’ll be running a one day “Introduction to Linocut” workshop, in Wells, on Saturday 11th August 2018 from 10am to 4pm.

It is the only workshop I will run this year and will be limited to a maximum of five participants.  As a beginner’s workshop the focus is on helping you to get started and giving you enough information and experience to carry on with linocut after the event. I’ll be showing you a method you can use at home, without the need for a press or too much expensive equipment.

The workshop will include demonstrations followed by practical hands-on experience and experimentation with tools and techniques to create your own unique linocut print. Mark-making is incredibly important in linocut, so there will be time to learn on a practice piece before moving onto working on your design. The tools are sharp, so I will teach you about safety too.

Prints from a workshop in Crewkerne

I always like it when people bring their own ideas/subjects to the workshop. It is amazing how diverse people’s interests are and it always makes for some lively conversations during the day.

If you have any questions about the workshop then please send a message via my contact form.

It is £55 per person.

The next workshop after this one will be in Spring 2019 and will run over a number of weeks. More information on this later.

Somerset Art Weeks 2017 review

Art Weeks 2017 Exhibition
Art Weeks 2017 Exhibition

Somerset Art Weeks 2017 festival has finished. It was the first time I’ve taken part and was an interesting experience. I’m afraid I didn’t get out to see any other venues.

Kilve Beach (Detail)
Kilve Beach (Detail)

I made some new work specially for the Prospect theme, joining the many artists who have created work inspired by the landscape at Kilve Beach. I’ve been intending to extend my choice of subjects for some time.

Chestnut tree, Nynehead

While I was at the gallery I was working on a linocut of an ancient sweet chestnut tree that I saw at Nynehead near Wellington. I didn’t manage to finish it during the two weeks. I’ll add it to the gallery on my website as soon as it’s done, so you can see the results.

Have A Go lino print
Have A Go

The Family friendly “Have a Go” event was lots of fun. I’m very grateful to St. Cuthbert’s Mill for the idea and for providing the paper too.
I created two ready cut lino blocks so that people could try printing on St Cuthbert’s lovely Somerset paper. It was a popular event with some very enthusiastic participants ranging from three years old to quite a bit older. I interpreted “family” very openly to mean “anyone at all.”  I will do a rerun of the “Have a go” event sometime, perhaps at half term.
Although the Paper Prospects exhibition is now finished, my work remains on display on my website.
I hope you enjoyed the Art Weeks.

New cards

I have a new selection of greetings cards available on the website.

The theme is Sea & Coast, and the images are based on my linocut prints of Kilve beach.

Kilve is part of the Jurassic coast. It’s a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is worth visiting for the views out over the Bristol Channel, the amazing ammonites, the geology and the rock pools.


Summer Art Car Boot Sale

Tomorrow, Sunday 16th July, I’ll be selling my linocut prints at the Frome Art Car Boot sale, in the Old Cattle Market car park in Frome, from 10am till 4pm. It’s an annual art sale organised by and raising funds for the Black Swan Gallery.

This is a fantastic opportunity to meet over 50 artists, and to buy art direct from the makers.

It is also one of the few occasions this year when you’ll be able to buy my prints without paying a gallery commission. That’s up to a 45% discount. If you are looking for “affordable art”, then this is the place to be.