When I was little the rule was that the Christmas tree went up on the evening of the 22nd December, once my birthday festivities had passed. In the last couple years I'd played around with some handmade Christmas card designs using my latest hobby - linocut - but despite good intentions I only really got cracking in December when it felt appropriate. This meant I'd missed the marketing window and had a small supply only for family and loyal friends.
It therefore felt mighty strange this year to be sketching out weary donkeys and brainstorming festive puns in September. But it was worth the unseasonal doodling to separate the wheat from the festive chaff and I'm now mid cutting and printing a couple of designs which I'm looking forward to putting my name to at 3 CHRISTMAS ART FAIRS:
Sat 16th NOV 11-4: De Grey Rooms, St Leonard's Place, YORK. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1358279184352101/?ti=as
Sun 1st DEC 11-4: Town Hall, HEBDEN BRIDGE. More info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/375344503144119/?event_time_id=375344513144118&ti=as
Sun 7th Dec 11-4: Tea-by-the-Lock Artisan Fair, NABURN (near York). More info to come.
I'm focusing solely on linocut this Christmas, with a theme of medieval beasts and geometry. Niche? Not if you're lucky enough to live in one of England's oldest cities and with an eye generally for architecture and oddities. I'm creating a line of individually handprinted cards showcasing some weird and wonderful animals spied in York's stained glass and a new print of the famous Rose Window which managed to survive the 2019 fire that ravished Paris' Notre Dame. These should sit nicely with my 2018 Heart of Yorkshire print of York Minster's most romantic window and my other architectural and semi-abstract prints.
I'm feeling excited and a little bit proud to add my work to the ranks of stalls by esteemed artists and colleagues, many of whom I've admired from a far as I've percolated the idea of creating art to sell. I'd particularly like to draw your attention to the many other members of YORK PRINTMAKERS who will be joining me at the De Grey Rooms along with Hare Living As A Tortoise - my partner in ArtHouseBound (a growing collective of housebound artists in North Yorkshire).
But for this weekend, at least, Christmas can get back in its box as I'm currently in Settle on an oil portrait painting with Sam Dalby. It's glorious. It's Autumnal. It's the subject of a future blogpost.