Paul Ki-Kydd

Paul Ki-Kyddflyer

Talented Birmingham artist Paul Ki-Kydd has curated a show his drawings that have grown from bicycle rides around the outlying areas of the Birmingham conurbation.

On April 2nd, Paul will be at the venue ( RBSA’s Craft Gallery) from 11- 4.30 to talk about his work accompanied by drinks and bites.

Created in Birmingham shop

Created In Birmingham have recently opened a shop in The Bullring shopping centre, Birmingham selling a variety of work made by local artists.

Custard Factory 4 aquatint

Another in the Custard Factory (Birmingham) series of studies


Images of a recent completed aquatint (60x50cm) featuring the progressive programme of new building in the Snowhill area of Birmingham.
Best wishes for 2010.

Custard Factory 3 - The Print

Shown below are images of the completed print (60x50cm) and close up details

Custard Factory3

Working on another view of the Custard Factory, Birmingham. Shown below is the original drawing for the plate and an image of the plate in the process of creation

Custard Factory2

This is another etching and aquatint inspired by the nearby Custard Factory in Birmingham and the the plate size is 60x35cm
Shown below is the complete image and a close up detail

Custard Factory etching

Inspired by the extensive buildings of the Custard Factory which borders one side of the Birmingham Printmakers workshop, l had a go at a scene depicting the rennovation work on part of the site. This view is from the Floodgate Street side.
Along with a completed view of the print are a couple of close ups.

University of Birmingham print

In preparation for a show of work from Birmingham Printmakers being staged at Birmingham University’s Staff House (May 18 - July 3), l attempted an image taking in some of the eye catching roof line made of the Clock Tower, Great Hall and the complex that makes up the Chancellor’s Court

Below are images of the drawing, plate and final print that resulted

Changing Birmingham:Snowhill 2009/2

Further images generated from the building works in the Snowhill area of Birmingham. A preparatory drawing for the etching and a picture of the plate progressing through the etching process.

'Birmingham in Print:then & now'

Birmingham Printmakers have teamed up with John Howard to present an exhibition ‘Birmingham in Print:then & now’ which opens on March 20th at The Bond till April 24th. Private view on March 20th (please phone The Bond before setting out as the exhibition takes place in conference facilities which may be in use at anytime)

The Art of Birmingham 1940 - 2008

This image ‘White Chevy Red Trailer’ is the work of John Salt, a local born artist who is best known for his photo realist air brush paintings of American cars, often in a battered state. Some of his work is in the collection of the Birmingham Art Gallery and features in a current exhibition, The Art of Birmingham 1940 - 2008 which continues until Feb 1 2009. ( Paul Bartlett a member of Birmingham Printmakers also has work in this show)
Listening to John Salt talk about his work recently, l was struck by the incredible painstaking process he uses to create his work which involves breaking down the image into small sections and completing these rather than building it up incrementally by working over the whole canvas.

His airbrush technique is combined with cutting out very intricate stencils from paper through which he develops the layers of colours. He does not use the airbrush in a ‘freehand’ fashion but entirely with the use of stencils. An incredible artist!

Birmingham University Exhibition

Members of Birmingham Print Makers have put up an exhibition in Staff House at the University of Birmingham which runs until December 23rd


I would like to advertise these current and future shows in which l have submissions.

The biennial RBSA Print exhibition includes examples of work from most print techniques and offers a stunning visual feast for the eye

Repeat performance

Having attempted to re-etch part of the plate below to introduce darker tones below the bridge and ruined the plate in the process l was needing to repeat the image from scratch.

Unfortunately, the second attempt wasn’t sucessful

But after battling a third time an acceptable image was achieved!

Shown below are views of the plate towards the end of the etching process. Most of the plate is painted over with the oxide coloured Speedball screenfiller which is used to ‘stop out’ those areas of the plate which have been etched and need to be protected from further etching.

This is the section of the plate that required further etching as it wasn’t robust enough to survive more than a few ink ups before it softened and lost it’s tonal qualities

Circle In The Square Exhibition

As a member of Birmingham Art Circle a couple of pieces of my work are included in a stimulating show currently open at the RBSA until Saturday October 27th which is also the day l am scheduled to be demonstrating relief printmaking. All the demonstrations are listed under the ‘events’ section of the RBSA site.

Dean Melbourne

Dean's sent me a link to his site ' from perfume to birdsong' which is vibrant and varied. l particularly like his enamel on aluminium work - this medium has a quality which always draws my eye whenever l (too infrequently) see it in exhibitions. Louise Sanders is another exponent of this genre - sorry no known site to link to as yet.

Changing Birmingham - stripping

After judging that l'd etched the aluminium long enough the final stage was to remove the accumulated layers of stop out (Speedball screen filler). This necessitates the use of methylated spirit and then cellulose thinners to finish and remove the most persevering of stop out - this l undertake in the back garden as the this is an unpleasant and hazardous stage.

These two pics show the gradual emergence of the etched image and striking in their own sense

After much wiping and finishing off with detergent the plate comes up to a state ready for printing from

Fresh work

After experimenting with ferric chloride as an etching mordant on aluminium and not getting very good results, l returned to etching in a copper sulphate saline solution.
The resultant image is a viewpoint in the centre of Birmingham taking in modern apartment building along Charlotte St and the iconic BT Tower. The canal lock gate and the elegant parabola forms of the footbridge made this an attractive subject for me.

This image was successful in being accepted for inclusion in the RBSA Prize exhibition currently running.

First copper plate etching

l have recently been trying my hand at etching on copper plate, using ferric chloride to bite the metal.

The subject is a section of the viaduct in the Digbeth area of Birmingham (the background view of building is the Custard Factory) and just a few metres from Birmingham Print Makers.

The actual image size is 15 x 20 cm and the images below show an early stage with the line bite and the completed image after the application of aquatint and a build up of tones.

l will be producing more architectural pieces on aluminium in the coming weeks at a bigger scale.

Hiroshige at the Ikon Gallery

An exhibition of prints from the nineteenth century by Utagawa Hiroshige being shown at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham closes on January 20 and is well worth a visit. Curated by Julian Opie, the exhibition contains a sample from series such as 36 Views of Fuji and100 Famous Views of Edo.
This artist demonstrates a mastery for depicting water and land forms as well as mountain terrain (the Ikon programme reveals the reproduction of one such when unfolded) as well as quite intricate placement of human figures and fascinating depictions of Japanese street scenes.
The intricacy, detail and use of colour is staggering. The Ikon bookshop stocks a range of books to accompany this exhibition.
And admission is free.

First member working in Floodgate St!

Earlier this week, Edgar Neblett turned up to work on his screens and became the first of the BPM membership to use the new Floodgate premises. Here's a few pics of Edgar in action :

Moving to Floodgate St

Over the last month Birmingham Printmakers has been in the process of relocating to new premises in Floodgate St (see posting 5/12/07 for map). This has involved much work by members in packing and moving gear as well as redecorating the new place.
Special mention should be made of Freddie and his daughter Victoria who very patiently and skilfully brought over our presses and heavy equipment and to Dan who undertook the building and plumbing work.
The vintage Albion press took some doing to get into and out of buildings owing to it's height and weight but as Freddie told us, it was so engineered as to separate into pieces that could be carried up stairs and reassembled like a construction kit!
Here are a few pics to illustrate the above:

Open All Media exhibition

I went along, on a very wet night, to the opening of the RBSA's Open All Media exhibition which runs till December 24. The work displayed is rich and varied and includes screenprints by BPM members Cath Bowdler and Victoria Linehan. Well worth a visit and possibly picking up an affordable Christmas present if you're in the vicinity of St Paul's and the Jewellery Quarter.

BPM's on the move!

After a great deal of effort and searching for suitable rented spaces around Birmingham by Celia, Anne and Jackie (indebted to you) over the previous months, Birmingham Printmakers is on the move after losing our subsidised unit at Lee Bank.

So December will be upheaval with moving all our equipment and gear over but hopefully we should up and running again in January and looking forward to another chapter in the BPM's history!

New work

This is a recent etching of a view of the canal as it weaves it's way from Aston, through Snow Hill and onwards to the BT tower and the city centre.

They have been inked up in sanguine and warm sepia Charbonnel inks.

Meeting the Creator

l had the pleasure of meeting Pete Ashton, the man behind Created in Birmingham blog and a very amiable and knowledgeable chap he was to chat with as he talked to a group of creatives on the Makers and Shapers course run by Creative Alliance based in The Custard Factory. He performs the amazing feat of filtering the many and diverse blogs and websites in the locality and offering a sample of his trawl and encouraging and promoting online communities in the true tradition of the internet ethos.

He kindly agreed pose for a photo during the lunch break

Severn Street

These are some sketch studies of details of the British School and local skyline - Radisson Tower making a great contrast - which is situated on Severn Street on one side of The Mailbox. The materials uses are pencil and water soluble crayons in a Muji sketchbook.

Work in progress..and the resultant print

A few images of the drawing and early stage of the plate depicting a view of the roof line as seen from Chamberlain Square.

the whole image

some close ups

Chamberlain Square

These are a few sketch studies made over the last 3 weeks or so in the vicinity of Chamberlain Square/Paradise Forum which might form the basis for future print ventures.


l had my first attempt at waterless plate lithography last Sunday, tutored by Chris Doran another member of Birmingham Printmakers - he gives one day courses in this method.
This print form lends itself to a more drawn/sketch/painterly approach than others and l am looking forward to exploring further in the near future.

Work in progress

As well as recent work on woodcut designs inspired by old flying boats, l'm continuing to look at local buildings such as some along Bristol Street. Although they are looking timeworn the original details and features are evident and contrast with the rather plain, unadorned facades of more modern and 'cost efficient' buildings.
l have made sketch studies and taken photographs to provide me with the basis for etchings and woodcuts. l've already attempted one etching which wasn't successful but will retry.
These are sketches that l made:

Closure of Birmingham Printmakers

I'm afraid that there has been the threat of the closure of our workshop along with a host of other studios rented through Birmingham Artists for the last few weeks due to some inexplicable change in Birmingham City Council's attitude to supporting local art and artists.

If support for subsidised artists' spaces from B.C.C is withdrawn we will as a city and region be the poorer for it as the majority of artists aren't isolated types (like myself!) working away on unfeasible projects but are involved in many aspects of education, outreach and therapeutic applications of creativity. These practitioners contribute greatly to the lives of many individuals, young and old in ways that may not be accountable in purely monetary terms. As none of these individuals is 'in it for the money' they vitally need subsidised artist spaces out of which to work.

Please check out the Word documents below for more information:

Press Release BPM

FW_ press release birmingham artists

Getting Anne's Exhibition ready

Thought l'd post a few images from yesterday when a group of Birmingham Printmakers spent the day - including Anne Crews herself - hanging a range of Anne's work that represents her artistic output over the years. This will be the first time many people will have been able to view her work in this way - l'm thinking every artist warrants a retrospective at least once in their life - and it is a stunning statement of her talent.
We hope to have members present in the workshop during the duration of Anne's exhibition (June 23 to July 6) so that visitors can see printers working(!) as well as admiring work.

RBSA Prize Exhibition

Accepting prize from Chancellor

I had a print accepted for the RBSA Prize Exhibition recently, and was delighted to win the Leo Honigsberger Prize for the entry. The photo shows me accepting my prize at the Private View from the Chancellor of Aston University, Sir Michael Bett.

The image below is the one which won the prize - From The Air #7, an intaglio and aquatint print.

From The Air #7

'How Art is Made' printing demonstration

Today I took part in the 'How Art is Made' printing demonstration at the Birmingham Art Gallery. I was demonstrating how woodcuts are made, but I also took along an etching and etching plate so that visitors could see some of the other printing techniques. There was a good turn-out from local schools, and people seemed very interested in the work.