Alexandra Buckle
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Studio Diary April 2018

30 April 2018

Wow, not sure where this year has gone so far, as I write this I am five days away from opening my studio for Oxfordshire Artweeks and I am not as prepared as I would like! I don't have as much new work as I would like.

I should probably forgive myself a little... I have been working very hard (just not doing much printing! How did I get fifty prints done last year...?)
In March I put on the biggest and most successful exhibition of my career so far, at Claydon Estate. It was wonderful to see so many of my past students and customers making the effort to visit and support me and it was lovely to meet some new enthusiasts. I showed my #50prints2017 alongside forty of my best ever pieces. Everyone keeps asking me what the dates are for next year's solo!... It might take me a few years to build up enough work to put on another exhibition of that scale. There was work form the past eight years at the last one. Here is a photo of me from the private view.
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So as mentioned, preparations for Artweeks did fall a little behind schedule, but so far, I have managed to give my room a lick of paint, I have also installed new art rails which should give me more flexibility when arranging my pictures.
This week I have lots of work to frame and a bit of tidying to do but all should be fine and dandy by Saturday 5th.
Here is the link to my Oxfordshire Artweeks entry and don't miss Bicester's Art Trail this year, you can pick one up from me when you come or download the digital version.
My studio will be open every day from the 5th until the 13th May. I then have four weeks until Bucks Art Weeks begins! I will be back at Claydon Estate, showing at Claydon Gallery.
Wish me a productive few weeks!

50 prints in 2017 part two

29 October 2017

Update. Still a little behind with the challenge and starting to wonder whether I will complete all 50 prints before the end of the year (ideally before Christmas). I have just completed print 38, which leaves me 12 prints to do in two months! Hmm, watch this space... 
Here are the prints from 18 - 29, completed 25th June up to 25th August, Actually, that is around 12 prints in two months so perhaps I can finish....! 

This is print number 29, Summer Woodland Puddles. I'm very pleased with the sparkling light in this piece.
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A mini print focusing on some clouds that I found interesting, this is Cloud Study, print number 28
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I printed these monoprints partly as it was our BAFA Printmakers 'homework' and partly because of the increased hype created around monoprints by the Bankside 'Masters' open exhibition. I did't submit them as at the time I didn't think they were good enough. Looking at them later, I actually like them more than I did when I was creating them. This is probably my most successful monoprinting session. I did enjoy doing them, perhaps I will attempt some more.
Final attempt at a bluebell wood monoprint, print 27
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Print 26 another attempt at bluebell wood monoprinting
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Print 25 a monoprint attempting to capture a bluebell wood
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Here are prints 22, 23 and 24. All printed at the same time with the same block, with varying skies to add different moods; Branscombe Boat, Overcast has a grey sky; Branscombe Boat, Fisherman's Delight has a hint of pink in the sky and Branscombe Boat, Sunny has a bright blue sky. I admit it is hard to see the difference on screen, it is easier to see in real life.I also have three other colour experiments that I did not make into editions.
/library/uploads/Images_S8/WEB2SCALE Branscombe Boat, Fishermans Delight.jpg/library/uploads/Images_S8/WEB2SCALE Branscombe Boat, Sunny.jpg
/library/uploads/Images_S8/WEB2SCALE Branscombe Boat, Overcast.jpg
Lake View with Swan is the first time I have printed an animal since I learned how to do reduction lino. Actually that's not 100% true, I've printed a few bees, but they were small...
Very pleased with the vibrancy of this piece. I made a big mistake early on which nearly ruined the whole edition but I managed to rescue it! Print 21.
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Print 20 is Lilies and Reflections, commissioned as a smaller version of last year's popular Lily Pond Reflections by an Oxfordshire Artweeks customer.
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Beer Boat Red and Beer Boat Blue are both printed from the same block but I experimented to see how the differing boat colours affect the other colours in the prints. These were my demo prints during Bucks Open Studios. Prints 18 and 19.
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50 prints in 2017 part one!

26 July 2017

Very briefly, to get me back on track with the blog post, here is Southbank Reflections, a larger version of Rainy Southbank from earlier in the year. Very pleased with how this came out! This puts me up to 17/50 prints for 2017.

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Another go at a scene tackled earlier in the year, which has nearly sold out! This is Setting Sun and Mist, Waddesdon, 16/50.

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This is Beer Coast, inspired by a recent trip to south Devon with family. 15/50.

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This large linocut was made just in time for my Artweeks exhibition. It is New Leaves and Bluebells. Print number 14/50 of my challenge.

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I created Summer Woodland to make a set of four seasons with three older prints. 13/50.

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12/50 is A Crush of Grape Hyacinths, my second print in my invented-collective-nouns-for-flowers range.

/library/uploads/Images_S8/WEB2SCALE A Crush of Grape Hyacinths.jpg

Silhouetted Clocks is print 11/50. a simple two layer mini print.

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24th July 2017

With Artweeks and Bucks Open Studios taking up so much of my time in May and June, I am really behind updating this post! The good news is that I am not actually too far behind with my 50 print challenge. I think one positive from doing this challenge is that I at times I have managed to work much faster without compromising on the quality. I have also found that I have tackled some different subjects.

Print 10/50 proved very popular on Artfinder and Facebook! This is Rainy Southbank. I only have two of these prints left.

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Print 9/50 is still a work-in-progress. The BAFA Printmaker's homework was to do a print that features an animal. A chance for me to go a print of Dora my dog! This is Selfie With Dog. I enjoyed a different style of cutting but I'm not that happy with the results so far.... I am pleased with how Dora looks but I feel like the style of cutting I used for myself doesn't match the style of cutting I used to describe Dora. maybe I'lll have another go at this at some point.

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This is 8/50 Turning to Autumn, another print I completed in time to Brill Art on the Hill.

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17th March 2017

So inevitably, I have run a little behind with my challenge and also haven't had time to update my blog post! What I didn't think to factor in to my plan was a little contingency for illness and for those unexpected opportunities that pop up and are too good to miss!

Last night I managed to complete print 8/50 which is now hanging up to dry, I will share this next time I write.

I realised while totting up the work I had to display at Brill that I didn't have many new small woodland pieces, so print 7/50 is a small woodland print set in the spring, just before the bluebells emerge, Bright New Beech Leaves.

And this time of year I always seem to produce new bluebell work, I think I get excited about them appearing soon and then start looking through last years bluebell photos! Here is print number 6/50, Bluebell Walk

As I was starting to run a little behind with my challenge, I chose a quick mini print as print 5/50. For a while I've been inventing collective names for flowers and I thought this would make a nice running theme across some mini prints this year. This print is called A Promise of Snowdrops; always the first flowers to emerge and a sign of warmer times to come!

My biggest project of the year so far was print number 4/50 of my challenge, Daisy Delights. For this print I was keen to try some video footage. I managed to film every stage of this 8 colour print.

Here is my video...

14th February 2017

I am really pleased with my progress so far, I am 3 prints already this year and I shall be starting the fourth print today. To help me keep on track with my challenge I thought it would be helpful to break it down into months, so I looked at the calendar and decided how many prints I had to complete that month to keep me on track. It averages about 4 a month. One interesting development so far is that I have found I am spending much less time deciding what to produce next.

Here is print 3/50 Bluebell Dream completed on the 19th January.

I created this mini print because a customer requested it. I love doing these little bluebell scenes. I've done a few now and I'm confident imagining them rather than following a photo.

Here is print 2/50 Last Light, Waddesdon completed on the 16th January.

If you look closely you will notice that the sky is not a flat colour, this is because I decided to get a bit creative with my inking. I'm very pleased with the effect.

14th January 2017

I have started using the hashtag #50prints2017 on Twitter and Instagram so you can easily find all 50 prints. If you are a printmaker and fancy having a go at my challenge too, you are welcome to join me and use my hashtag.

13th January 2017

I didn't get as many prints produced in 2016 as I would have liked. In 2017 things are going to be different! I am determined to spend less time on non-artwork producing tasks and have set myself the target of producing 50 prints this year. This will be an extremely tough challenge for me. It will require very strict management of my time. In addition to this work producing challenge, I have also promised myself a bit more me time, i.e less long working days, less work at weekends, more time for exercise classes etc.

This will be difficult, but I am determined to make it work. I will keep this blog post updated with my progress! I will also be posting every print on my facebook page, so if you don't currently follow me, now might be a good time to start :)

Here is print 1/50 Pylon at Dusk completed on the 9th January.

The straight and curved lines were a challenge! It was great to experiment with a different type of cutting.