Staying sharp in the studio.

Posted by Ivan Grieve on

The month of March has started with being quite a busy time for me, both in and out of the studio.

The magazine interview on maintaining creativity in the magazine Bold Journey went live and that was an interesting experience. I do find that having to write about oneself and ones artistic practice is very useful, in that allows time for some introspection. My late mother used say to me “Ivan, don’t dwell on you navel”  if I was being too introspective as a child and in fact later in life too!

…copy and paste this link to have a look.


( the image on the left is a procreate image I made the one on the right is a screen grab from the Emilio Mula interview).

Next up was the filmed interview for the Saltmarsh project. Some of you must know, I am working as a collaborative artist with the Bioregional learning centre. (Previous blog Unwrapping the New Year mentions the Saltmarsh project.) The very talented Emilio Mula a friend, and fellow collaborator, filmed me out by the Saltmarshes giving my take on the project.  The project has really given me a great deal to think about, learn from and observe… including the upcoming deadline of the 25th March.


Two submissions have gone in this month one for the massive and impossibly challenging  Jackson’s Art Prize…here is screen grab you may well recognise some of the esteemed panel of judges. 


Well I have it said before, it is good to have a go, it  forces me to rewrite all the necessary C.V’s Bio, and Artistic practice descriptions. The second submission was really putting forward my work on the saltmarsh project to a curator who had put an open call on the Curatorspace platform. The show is not until the very end of the year but it is nice to have some possibilities in the pipeline line. I will post about it if I get anywhere with it.

I use several platforms to spread the word on my work. It does absorb so much time though and time as we all know is a commodity in short supply . I am working with the charity Outside In as an ambassador and have a gallery presence on their website. I use Artrepreneur, an American website that has not really produced much in the way of work and sales. However like Saatchi’s ,I felt I should try and have some American/ global exposure, they all take time to maintain though. Saatchi do not charge a monthly fee like Artrepreneur but they do take a hefty wedge of sales as a commission.



(Top is the Saatchi site and below Artrepreneur )

Loading images,writing copy and calculating shipping prices etc does take away from the creativity and personally I find that hurts inside me. The writing about work is fine and enjoyable and images and posting on social media is also ok.

I have really enjoyed learning more about various apps for artwork, for example like ArtStage or Procreate. My ever helpful and talented 9 year old is always willing to point me in the right direction. ArtStage is fun to show or visualise a work on, to give the idea of scanned and printed much larger, for that  wow factor. Procreate has been good for all sorts of things, like profile images and testing colours for the Lino print planning.


 (The one of me on the left I have used procreate over a layer of the work on the right. The image on the right is using the ArtStage app and is of my print made enormous).


The best part of the month so far has most certainly been getting to grips with printing in the studio. That said, this was delayed by a couple of days as a sharp blade that I used to cut paper for printing slipped a bit. This meant a colourful trip to the local hospital. Once cleaned up and patched up I am pleased to say that I am on the mend.


The Saltmarsh project has really been divided by me, into the elements earth and mud of the saltmarsh with it natural detritus, the river bank (water) with the Napoleonic wall, the reeds that reach up the sky (air) and the drone footage of the river Dart marsh survey. I took each as a starting point and made some sketches and drawings to develop some images for linocut prints.(please see previous blog.)

 Having produced 8 images which I transferred on to linocut blocks and selected the colours from the images in the drone footage. I then make one colour up and use the press with Fabriano paper to start with, when the block is taking the ink well I select some Japanese papers. I bought several sample packs of Awagami papers to try out.


The water based inks are a pleasure to work with and are a good quality ink from Schmincke. I tend to print one new block with a new colour and then use up any remaining ink on blocks that I have already worked with.


I shall cut into some of the blocks a little more but at this stage I am not keen to print images with more than one colour. I feel the works on these beautiful papers will be a distracted from if there are multiple colours. I also will be looking at producing much larger images through high quality scans.


So thank you very much for reading this and do please feel free to contact me to ask any questions about my work or the processes involved.


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