Tuesday, 29 November 2011

This year's Winter Open Studio, Sussex, near Rye

with Nicola Jackson and Susanna Moores

Sat 3 Dec, Sun 4 Dec, 11am – 4pm
See my website for instructions about how to find me. www.brendahartill.com

 New embossed watercolours, collagraphs, collages, etchings & hand-made cards, photographs
 Half-price sale of trial proofs & works returned from a Spanish gallery.  My daughter Susanna is joining me this year, showing some her delicate watercolours, and her etchings of Rye and Cambridge.  Nicola Jackson, my brilliant printer. will be showing collagraphs and collages.
See below for pictures of the exhibition, which opened last weekend.

The workshop - a selection of my more representational works

Brenda Hartill Golden Fall I unique mixed media painting framed 40x33cm £190

Nicola Jackson, collagraph 

Susanna Moores, Butterfly unique watercolour 

Oast House Gallery

Oast House Gallery, large paintings

Oast House Gallery

Oast House Gallery, hand-made cards

The workshop

Susanna Moores, watercolours

Susanna Moores, etchings

Sunday, 28 August 2011


I'll be showing my new embossed watercolours, where I use my printmaking skills to create an embossed surface for my richly coloured unique watercolours. A wide range of works will be available to view, including abstract collagraphs,  encaustic oil paintings, and my more representational etchings.  You are welcome to come to the private view in Cambridge next Friday from 6.30

Saturday, 20 August 2011


Summer has had it's distractions, but I have finally managed to upload another short video on to Youtube, so click the link below to view my next demonstration, with Nicola Jackson showing my method for inking a collagraph, to a group of students. http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=brendaprints#grid/uploads

This one shows how we ink up one of my collagraphs, in this case one containing plant material, as well as plaster, glues, carborundum, varnishes and high gloss metal paint.  In this we are showing how we ink up the plates, usually with very weak inks (containing a lot of extender), using stubby brushes, to get into the deep bits. When the plate is properly wiped, I add primary coloured rubs - "the rubs" to enhance the sculptural qualities of the plate, rather like lighting with colour, refracting the light. All my plates are quite three-dimensional, and they lend themselves to this rather different approach to colour.

I have also recorded the making of the plates for this Primeval Land series, which I will show on another short video soon here on the blog.  I also have nearly finished one showing the application of gold leaf.

I am compiling a DVD to make a comprehensive demonstration of my methods which will be available in 2012

I hope the latest demo is useful,


Sunday, 3 July 2011


I have held Open Studios for almost 30 years and have found it to be the most satisfying way to show my work, not only for the feedback one gets from meeting people who like the work, but also to be able to sell directly to customers (although in deference to the galleries we dont offer a massive discount...).
Open Studio, Southwark Bridge Road 2001
In London, at 36 Southwark Bridge Road, I had a great studio in an unimproved warehouse along with a dozen other artists, and we used to have a joint annual Open Studio in late November.  Times were good, with queues forming of people with bundles of prints in their hands. When rental prices became too high, (ironically around the time Tate Modern moved into the area) the artists left one by one, and finally I was the last one to move out in 2003 having found a fabulous studio in Kennington.
Studio in Bishop's Terrace, Kennington
I continued to have my annual open studio there relying then on my extensive mailing list, but in 2005 we moved to Udimore, near Rye in East Sussex, commuting each week and a couple of years later I finally gave up the Kennington studio, and moved lock stock and 10 plan chests to Udimore.

Open Studio in the Oast House Gallery 2006

I have just finished 2 weekends of Open Studios as part of the extensive network which is the South East Open Studios. While we all had somewhat reduced expectations this year, it was well worthwhile in the end! See this link for the series of photos taken at this June's offering:http://www.flickr.com/photos/seos_art/sets/72157626822205087/show/

Moving to Sussex was a hard decision, but Open Studios have helped me to settle in and they continue to be a worthwhile part of the artistic calender.  I have also built up a faithful following of local collectors, and have enjoyed meeting other artists (although the downside to becoming involved in group open studios, is that it's hard to visit other artists opening at the same time)  What's great is that people enjoy meeting the artist on their own territory, and I try to do a print demonstration on at least one day(this year my printer Nicola Jackson spent the day showing how we ink up a collagraph, with "the rubs" and application of silver leaf and this year I also gave  a talk.  On one day my artist friend Marina Kim helped me to man the studio, bringing her 2 children and the girls spent the afternoon making prints in the studio while I was available over in the Oast House Gallery to talk about the work. We like to have some printing plates available to explain techniques, and I always welcome questions, from print enthusiasts and penniless students alike.  Another day Lesley Samms (from the exciting new Pure Arts group) and her collector friend Eula gave me a hand, so it did feel like a community effort, and thanks to all, including my brother Geoff, visiting from New Zealand, and as always, my husband Harold Moores.
If you didnt make it to this Open Studio, I'll be having my next on the first weekend in December, 3rd and 4th December 11am - 4pm.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Collagraph and etching course run at Brenda's studio

A couple of years ago I ran a course at my house and studio in Sussex, and I thought it might be interesting to put this video in the blog.  It shows a week long intensive experimental course, covering etching and collagraph.  This is a snapshot of the studio, students experimenting, and final exhibition and critique.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Announcing my first youtube demo video

Well I finally got the video uploaded, thanks to help from my son Jim Moores, who is the fount of all knowlege when it comes to my endless queries about computer matters, and my daughter Susanna Moores, www.susannamoores.com who took time to come down to Sussex to explain the ins and outs of blogging& facebook.  She thought I should have my own name on my blog, so I might be changing that soon!!!

Steve Hopper, stevehopper@dvdpromotions.co.uk had been teaching me about film-making, and who's help has been invaluable in understanding the imovie editing process.

I'd also like to mention Lesley Samms, of Pure Arts Group,http://www.pureartsgroup.co.uk/ an exciting new arts promotional organisation who has given me the final push to actually get some short videos on-line... thanks Lesley!!
signed collagraphwoman

Carborundum with Brenda Hartill

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

working on demo video - carborundum

Here again. No time for the art this week. Finding it hard to get my video finished and uploaded - bothered by problems with music copyright etc, but hopefully I'll get it out soon.  This one is about applying carborundum, with a few examples of how I have used it myself, what to seal it with etc. Here are a couple of  images I have used to illustrate the film.
1. Blue Inferno I,
2. Cool Raining

This week I have also been deep into my own archive of early works, especially those done when I was a theatrical designer in the 70s - these are a few of images from those times!
1.Shadow of a gunman,Set, Young Vic 1972
2. Scotty, Birmingham Rep 1974
3.Sebastian, Twelth Night, Old Vic 1973
4. Brave, The Only Good Injun is a Dead Injun, Young Vic 1972

My book, Collagraphs and mixed-media Printmaking is now in print again (4th edition) for those of you who have been unable to find it.   I often get asked for advice on technical aspects of mixed media printmaking, so this book would help, but I'll be happy to answer technical questions, although nearly everything I have learnt myself is by trial and error... in fact I'd like to hear of any innovative techniques others of you may have discovered too!

Lastly sadly I said goodbye this week to two good artist friends who died with their paintbrush in their hand. Trevor Frankland who many of you will know for his superbly refined exquisite paintings and prints, and his distinguished tenure as the president of the Royal Watercolour Society. I well remember lively dinners in Dorothy and Trevor's  mirrored dining room in Battersea, admiring his beautiful Japanese garden.

Deborah Glass, was a friend from the days when my children were little, and I was a member of the Greenwich Printmakers.  I attended a memorial exhibition of Deborah's last Sunday, which was very moving, in that all the imagary was harking back to her own childhood, and history, in the deep South of the USA. Deborah's work had a wildness and vibrancy which we shall all miss.

signed Collagraph Woman

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Signing on as Collagraph Woman

My name is Brenda Hartill, I am an artist printmaker, using print as an element of my work 
since the mid 1970s. 

So I’m taking the leap into blogdom, mainly because I hope to be able to regularly post bits of information, tips and ideas, which might be helpful to printmakers who are interested in Collagraph, and hopefully get feed-back and a discussion going. I’m hoping to reach others experimenting in the field, as well as collectors interested in the creative process of print.

Primeval Land II, Collagraph

I occasionally give talks and demonstrations, and intend to make short videos of some of the techniques I use. I’m in the process of making a DVD, but until that is published I intend to show a series of how-to demos in my blog. I’ll also give information about my exhibitions and open studios coming up, with a few of the new images I am working on.

Spring Song I, embossed watercolour
At the moment I am producing a series of unique embossed watercolours and I am  straying a bit from creating strictly  limited edition works, so you can see my  approach is “anything goes”.  With these new watercolours, I am generally using a collagraph plate to produce the embossing (printed either as a blind emboss (no ink) or very extended inks, and then building up layers of vibrant watercolour to enhance the textures lying within the embossed paper. All these works are unique, and were well received at my recent shows at the Curwen and New Academy gallery, as well as the Spring 2011 Battersea Affordable Art Fair.

My next event is an exhibition and Open Studio, in the Oast House Gallery, Udimore, Rye, as part of the South East Open Studios on June11 & 12, and 18 & 19, 11am – 5pm see invite.  This is the best way to see the large variety of prints and paintings which I have produced over the years, from quite representational etchings to abstract etchings, collages etchings and collagraphs – and perhaps buy direct from the artist. 

On Sat 18 we’ll be demonstrating printing collagraphs, and I’ll be giving a talk at 2pm

Next week I hope to publish my first demo video... look out for it!!

Best wishes,
Collagraph Woman