crow boy7-8_076The animation I was working on is finished! I put the sound track of carving wood onto the background. crow boy9-10_020

I changed the name of the animation to Shadow Boy as the work was started at Crow’s Shadow Press in eastern Oregon, and also because the boy is probably not native Crow.

crow boy10-11_002I learned a lot about how I work, as the animation involved hours of forensic reconstruction of my carving technique.

Here it is:


Shadow Boy animation will be shown in the brand new gallery space in the architectural-award winning Leicester Print workshop, alongside all the 10 linocut printed pages from the book, Swallow Span. The show is titled Light Line, and is a two person show with artist Angela Harding.

I chose the title Light Line as a description of what it is like to carve lino, as I was aware that Angela also works in this medium. Linocuts involve carving channels into lino to leave a light, or white line. We both work from dark to light, and use similar tools and materials. The phrase Light Line is a sort of pun on the phrase, Life Line, which for me is a comment on the act of creativity and expression, as well as in the more literal sense of the strong narrative elements of both of our work…


Brush drawing for the dog who speaks Crow

I will be in Leicester giving a talk on my work on Thursday 14 July at 6.30 pm (doors open at 6pm, entry £5). All welcome!

50 St. George Street, Leicester, LE1 1QG.

Light Line: Angela Harding and Wuon-Gean Ho

3 May – 31 July

(PS. Sometimes links don’t work, so here is the vimeo address on its own: )

crow boy _black to first frame038In Summer 2015 I went to Crows’ Shadow Press, eastern Oregon, and ended up making a series of 14 reduction prints of a fictional Native American boy and girl. crow boy1-2-017The reduction print process is one where you start off with a lino block which prints black because there are no holes in the surface. crow boy2to3_058As a mark is made with a gouge, that takes some of the block away, and the line which has been carved will print white, so the image becomes lighter and lighter until it disappears.crow boy3to4_110 The act of carving the face and body out of the darkness brought this boy to life but as I continued to carve I felt that I was destroying him with a literal and metaphorical whitening. crow boy3to4_010His face got sadder and sadder, and he looked older and more jaded until his eyes closed and he disappears.

crow boy4to5_102

He still looks youthful and happy so far. Here is a test animation of the first part, made up of a few hundred frames. There are still thousands more to go!

Click on the link here

crow boy4to5_019

It’s been interesting: reconstructing my carving technique in order to show how an image is pulled out of the darkness.


I’d quite like to make the girl version as well…

IMG_0797Print maven, Seattle-based Brian Lane, has organised a portfolio for the Southern Graphics Conference in my favourite city, Portland, Oregon, that runs from 30th March to 2 April 2016. IMG_0776Entitled Dreamscapes: The Ebb and Flow of Time and Possibility, this portfolio asked artists to address their subconscious, where past and future collide.IMG_0801My dreamscape print is a linocut which I made last year, showing a woman’s face partly hidden and transformed by the petals of a white chrysanthemum. The chrysanthemum flower is from Asia, and white ones signify grief and bereavement, traditionally placed on graves. IMG_0777Lined up, the women and the chrysanthemums appear like masked warriors, eyes shut contemplating the past and protected against the future. IMG_0802

Dreamscapes Portfolio statement reads

 ‘Our subconscious provides unfiltered access to the storage vault of memories, observations, feelings, and the day to day minutiae that we absorb without knowing.  This storage is virtually unlimited, yet in the waking state we have trouble accessing this surplus of info and rely on our known thoughts and experiences to guide us.  However, in the sleeping state our brain is trying to process everything, resulting in manifestations that bridge past, present, and future realities into a subconscious soup of abstracted yet cohesive possibilities. Often we can barely comprehend what these dreams mean or why certain people, places, or memories have surfaced after being suppressed for so long. Our dreams and nightmares become the vehicle that travels down the vast pathway of our imagination.’

Participants include


1. Brian Lane

2. Abraham Mong

3. Wuon Gean Ho

4. Kyle Huntress

5. Chris Dacre

6. Mare Blocker

7. Tyna Ontko

8. Chris Rollins

9. Travis Moorehead

10. Virginia Hungate Hawk

11. Amber Chiozza

12. Ashley Shumaker

13. Sean Smoot

14. Emma O’Leary

15. Nikki Barber

16. Ben Beres

17. Charlie Spitzack

18. Amy Oates

19. NateStottrupdd_09_pushing_print

Also at the SGCI conference, Marilyn Zornado and Barb Tetenbaum have coordinated a printmaking and animation showreel, which will be displayed on a video monitor in the atrium at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), and at the Univ. of Oregon’s Grey Box Gallery. 33 of 55 submitted films were selected, spanning the entire range of print techniques and created by artists from all over the world. My linocut animation, Shift, which shows a ghostly dancing dress, will be there.


Shift is on youtube:

Grey Box Gallery, 24 NW 1st Ave. Portland, OR

22 Mar – 8 Apr, private view on 31 Mar 5–7pm

I wish I could be hopping on a flight to lovely Portland tomorrow to join in the fun… If anyone goes, please take some pictures for me!

It’s hard to show the extent of a long thin print in digital format as it looks tiny on the screen. I was excited to learn about a video editing trick using keyframes which makes the camera move along the image and then zoom out. Here is test number one. The print was a linocut which I enlarged with a photocopier and printed in two sections on a huge roll of somerset paper as a screenprint. It measures 183 x 45 cm. Next, I’m planning on using this trick to make an animation of the pages of Swallow Span, which measure 8 metres in length…

One green scarf, one bouncy bed, one point and shoot camera on self timer, one tripod, one leaping person, twenty five times over. Well, actually I think I’ve taken a few hundred of these now, as the light and shade changes so quickly in my south facing room. I’ve been trying to make an animation of the sequence, though the still frames are possibly more potent than the moving image.

Link to a test piece below:

Anyhow, both make me laugh…which is why I make art, maybe?!?

Stop frame animation using a sequence of photos has been my recent obsession. Coming to the realisation that I’m getting a bit creaky to be the one trying to fly, I have enlisted the scarf which came with me to Venice, and attempted to create a fantasy of an otherworldly presence.


This is a link to a higher resolution video- but I think it looks grainy unless you play it small.

There are no tricks, it’s  just me with a scarf and a camera on a tripod in Battersea Park. While I was making the sequence I got some curious customers including a man who wanted his portrait taken and commentary off a guy on a bike with a mask on who cycled past me and rang the bell. Several people offered to help!


Despite my comments on creaky joints, I ended up working off the morning chill with a jumping sequence anyway. I couldn’t resist it!IMG_1515IMG_1584_ee


China Love 01

The show in the Portland Chinese garden is in collaboration with Ian Boyden, a fantastic artist who has lived in China but currently based in the enchanted forest on the Oregon Coast. We met all of three days before our show was due to be installed, and immediately started to bounce ideas off each other to see if we could make something coherent from the whole project. Luckily there were a few good ideas which seemed to mirror each other.


China Love 02

We’ve got two videos which coincidentally reflect each other. I have one of my spinning head, Lucid Mask, a self portrait which contains all the positive memories that I wanted to reinforce. In a dream-like way it rotates slowly at first, then gradually faster and faster.  Within the scenes there are a quite a few memories of my travels to China in 2009.


Lucid Gorge, video still from Lucid Mask animation

Ian Boyden’s video is called Fish Immortal, also a self portrait, but this time a solid concrete cast of his head. This he that he put in a carp pond in Suzhou and filled the open mouth with fish food daily. The video shows the fish greedily kissing him all over, tinged with the limpid green waters and surrounded by elegantly rustling fins.


Copyright Ian Boyden, Fish Immortal

So next to his video we thought it was apt to put all of my fishes, lined up as if freshly captured from the lake. My print, A Fishy Affair, makes a comical commentary on fish-human relationships. Well I guess we only need to think about mermaids to know that is has all been done before.


China Love 04

In the past I have made a fantasy narrative love story about a man and a non-human woman who inhabit a strange garden space. She sacrifices her non-human identity to explore a relationship with him, and then tragedy strikes. So this series, which includes the China Love prints and the Love Knot series have been included in the show.


China Love 03


Love Knot 01


Love Knot 03

Finally, I set myself a small challenge to carve in the garden once daily for eight days in July to see what would happen. The result was eight new prints (or four double spread prints), The Lansu Garden series which is a long narrative linocut about a garden space with little figures all leaping around, hidden in the bamboo shadows, playing in the lake, dangling off the pagodas, and trying to scale the walls. At the back door there are the north American maple trees to signify the transition between China and USA.





To see these for real, please come to our presentation on Sunday 11th August at 3pm at the Portland Chinese Garden, Oregon

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