Panel show at Sunnybank Mills in Leeds

Just a quick note to say that a page from my graphic memoir-in-progress, Satin and Tat, is on display in the Panel Show exhibition at Sunnybank Mills, Farsley, Leeds.

The show runs until November 10 and also includes work from Darryl Cunningham, Joe Decie, Kate Charlesworth, Katriona Chapman, Luke Pearson, Zara Slattery and many many others worth seeing.

There’s an emphasis on how comic art is created, so along with the other exhibitors, I’ve contributed both a finished page and the pencil drawing that was the first step in the process (click to see these at a larger size).

Page from Satin and Tat by Myfanwy Tristram, showing the audience at a gig
Line layout for a page of 'Satin and Tat' by Myfanwy Tristram

The gallery space looks wonderful, and there’s also a shop selling work from everyone. This includes several of my own comics, prints and cut-out dolls. If you’re at all local, Sunnybank Mills is probably the best place to get these at the moment, as I’ve sent them most of my stock.

If you’re the world’s biggest Myfanwy Tristram fan, you can even buy prints of the artwork. I am not sure this particular page is the most desirable thing to have on a wall though!

I’m planning to see the show myself soon, as I am traveling up that way, and I’ll be sure to take some photos and report back.

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Bid on some artwork, and contribute to something amazing

The short version

You can bid on a whole variety of artwork, including a couple of my prints, at http://www.bidforboat.com. Bids are open until Saturday 14th March, and there are a few ‘flash sales’ where certain pieces are offered for 24 hours only.

The proceeds from this online auction will go to fund an open air theatre here in Brighton, a project that’s very close to my heart.

Here are the prints I’ve donated:

Tins by Myfanwy TristramStamp forest by Myfanwy Tristram– and if you don’t like them, well, there are lots of pieces of work by other artists up for grabs, including original comic strip art, paintings, and even a couple of vases. Go and bid!

The longer version

Back in 1990, when I finished my BA, I moved to Brighton to share a house with my best friend, who was in the final year of her degree course. Everyone else in the house was in the same year of the same degree, so naturally, I made quite a few friends from that course.

As it was a fine art and performing arts course, as you’d expect, they were a pretty creative, outgoing, energetic bunch of people: putting on theatrical performances, club nights, stand up comedy, and exhibitions. There was never any shortage of entertainment.

Among the wider group of friends was a guy named Adrian, who was a fairly rare mix: a writer, a performer, and also a builder. This latter skill, as you might imagine, came in very useful when people needed a set building.

Fast forward twenty-something years, and… Adrian was the first of our peer group to pass away. Pancreatic cancer is, apparently, generally late to be diagnosed, and quick to progress, and there’s very little that can be done about it.

Now, I can’t pretend that Adrian was still a great friend of mine by this time, but he was certainly a very great friend of a lot of my great friends, if you see what I mean, and I’ve seen the ripples that his death has caused.

His death has caused great sadness. It’s also done something amazing, which is probably the best possible outcome for a death, and something we should all be so lucky to bring about.

Because apparently, Adrian was still as ambitious, and still thinking on a grand scale right up until the end. And he trusted his friends – one of whom is the husband of that friend I shared my first Brighton house with, if you follow me – with… well, what shall we call it? A legacy? A crazy plan? A millstone round their necks? I’ve heard it called all of these things at various times since.

He wanted them to build an open air theatre for Brighton.  He had the site pinpointed (a disused bowling green within one of the city’s parks) and he had used his building knowledge to draw up detailed plans for a grassy amphitheatre with special acoustics incorporated within it.

“Oh yeh, easy”, said his friends, of course. I mean, you’re not going to say no, are you?

And then of course, the reality turned out to be much harder than you’d have thought. In the last few months, that small group of friends has formed a legal charity, created a board of trustees (chosen, before his death, by Adrian), fought for – and won – planning permission, raised money with a variety of events, run a publicity campaign, and seen the construction work begin.

It’s not as if those friends lacked a purpose in their lives at all, but by gosh they’ve certainly got one now. In retrospect, as well as being obviously hard work (I say, as a bystander who has done little except attend those fund-raising events and offer the occasional retweet), it’s actually a brilliant legacy because not only does it give a new performing space to the city, but it allows all of the trustees to contribute to it in a meaningful way.

I think that’s about the best outcome you can hope for from an untimely death. And that is why I would encourage you to go and look at the artworks on offer and see if there’s one you fancy, and then bid for it.

What happens when your New Year’s resolution is “Draw More”?

Santiago sketch diary by Myfanwy Tristram

My new year’s resolution for 2014 was a fairly complex one, but in essence it boiled down to two words:

draw more.

…and it has felt like I’ve drawn a lot this year. Not as much as someone who doesn’t have a day-job and a child, of course, but a steady stream of stuff nonetheless.

Some of it I was pleased with. Some of it I was not – and I’ve learned to call that stuff part of the learning process, rather than a failure.

January

It was my husband’s birthday and I made him this card:

Dude birthday by Myfanwy Tristram

February

February first is Hourly Comics Day! I entered into the spirit of things, and tried not to care about putting out unpolished work – after all, that’s what it’s all about.

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I’m quite looking forward to the next one already – and let’s face it, February is not usually a month to look forward to.

March

I made another collage in my series of birds’ eye views, this time featuring lots of very small roofs made of stamps:

Birds island by Myfanwy Tristram

April

In April, I really enjoyed doing some life drawing.

Life drawing by Myfanwy TristramThis was also the month that we went to Bath for our family holiday, and I made a holiday sketch diary. Of course, sketch diaries are another form where, if you share them, you have to put out the pages you’re pleased with as well as the ones that didn’t work out quite so well.

Tree by Myfanwy Tristram

May

Straight after we got back from Bath, work sent me to Santiago in Chile! I was working, so keeping up a sketch diary was a bit more of a challenge, and I finished a good bit of it after I got home.

Myfanwy Tristram Santiago sketch diary

July

It looks like I had a month off from drawing in June! In fact, I was starting work on my 4-page graphic short story for the Cape/Comica/Observer competition: you have to start early if your time is limited.

In July, though, I started a series of pictures of the plants that grow alongside Brighton beach, where I go running and also spend a lot of time with my daughter:

Seaplants by Myfanwy Tristram

There are more plant drawings here and here.

August

Those sunny days seem far away now – hard to believe I was sitting drawing on the Level (our local playground) while my daughter mucked about in the fountains.

Sketches by Myfanwy Tristram

The weather turned, naturally, right before our week in Jersey – fortunately there was plenty to do there anyway. Not least,  drawing another sketch diary:

Toop and the telescope by Myfanwy Tristram

September

I shared my graphic short story competition entry:

Giddy_Heights by MyfanwyTristram_page3I’d entered it, all the while knowing it wasn’t quite the right thing to get placed – not polished enough (but I was very pleased, later on, to discover that my friend Beth had been awarded runner-up prize).

October

Never mind, I waded straight into another comic strip, this time based on recent experiences with a community archaeological dig:

GreenLadyHill_by Myfanwy Tristram – and, at very short notice indeed, I threw together a collage for the Association of Illustrators competition:

Fly Across London by Myfanwy TristramThat was also the month I created the Hashtag Underdog strip. October must have been the peak of my productivity! I should scrutinise what the prevailing conditions were, and try to bottle them.

Underdog by Myfanwy TristramNovember

I didn’t do Clovember but I did paint my daughter in her lovely bright clothes – right at the prescient moment, it turns out, as she’s recently announced a desire to wear only black:

Tabs watercolour by Myfanwy Tristram

I also made a short comic strip about working from home:

Working from Home by Myfanwy TristramDecember

Close friends and family had one of my linocuts bestowed upon them:

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– and I moaned a bit about how long they had taken to make. I must say though, that everyone has been very nice about them, which is what every homemade card creator really wants – so it was all worth it. :D

Clearly, the effort of all that lino-printing has taken it out of me because, other than a couple of sketches of my daughter and husband, I have not drawn since.

Next year

I’m hoping that a similar resolution for 2015 will result in just as much artwork – but I need to do some careful thinking as well, about just what I want out of all this endeavour.

This year brought a couple of commissions. I find these quite stressful, and it made me wonder whether to refuse all commissions from now on (on the other hand, that means relying only on my own inspirations to drive me forward, a situation which, of course, many artists would be envious of, but which may well narrow my horizons).

This was also the first year that I’ve sold my prints online, as well as in Brighton’s Open Houses. While this was not stressful, it did bring home to me how narrow the margins are – at the scale I was operating, and with the time I have to dedicate, you can’t earn much. It can only really be done as an exercise in spreading your name about a bit.

And as for that – spreading my name about – well, I haven’t done as much as I hoped. Reader numbers on this blog are pretty low (though boosted greatly every time someone tweets or shares the link on Pinterest or Facebook, so thank you very much to everyone who did that).

In 2015, I think I will have an additional resolution to get some strips published in existing comics: that means that someone else is doing the distribution and the marketing, and probably doing so far better than I would have time to do myself.

Sounds like a plan…

Winter animals linocut Christmas cards

Crow and hare linocut by Myfanwy Tristram

I haven’t sent Christmas cards for quite a few years.

I think many artists and makers feel like me: they don’t want to send cards unless they’ve been handmade, or can act as a showcase for their artwork.

But, if you think it’s hassle buying your cards, writing them out, and getting them to the pillar box before last posting day, well, imagine making the things from scratch as well.

I’ve just learned that lesson again, for, indeed, somehow, this year, I have made my own cards.

And, indeed, they did take absolutely ages.

Hare by Myfanwy Tristram

Which is partly my own fault, because I decided I wanted to do a linocut. The theme was originally inspired by one of the Christmas carols my daughter is learning at school: “The rising of the sun, and the running of the deer”.

I did cut a deer, but ironically, it was the design I was least pleased with, and I ended up not using it.

Crow linocut by Myfanwy Tristram

It’s ages since I’ve done a linocut, but fortunately it’s really simple. The only thing to remember is that the print will come out facing the opposite way to the design you create  – so in the final prints, this crow flies right to left.

Crow linocut by Myfanwy TristramI thought that some of the detail in the feathers might be too fine for the medium, but I switched to a craft knife instead of the linocutting tool, and it worked.

Crow and hare linocut by Myfanwy TristramAt this point, I remembered that a friend of mine has a fondness for both hares and crows, so I thought that if I made him a print, I could try the lino-cuts out, and create him a Xmas gift, all in one fell swoop.

I made a foliage linocut as well, so the hare had something to be leaping above.

I did several copies across a roll of brown paper, so that I could pick the one where all three elements printed out cleanly. That turned out to be a good strategy, because there were very few where that was the case. It’s not exactly hard to make the prints, but you do have to be paying attention to ensure that every part is inked, and that you’ve applied the right amount of pressure across the whole print, otherwise you get missing limbs and blobby bits.

It would also have been a nice way of making wrapping paper, though, wouldn’t it? And the imperfections wouldn’t matter so much.

Crow and hare linocut by Myfanwy TristramHere is the card production line. I was originally going to do each card featuring a hare OR a crow, but when I fiddled about a bit, I decided I liked it better when a) each animal was spread across the fold, and b) the crow appeared as a surprise when you open the card.

I made a few variants – some have foliage on too, and some don’t have the crow element at all, and some are *just* the crow element.

And there are some in the bin – deer, mostly.

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Now, you can’t go about an art activity in this house without a certain nine-year-old wanting to get in on the act – and as it turned out, that was great. Once we had all the equipment set up, it was an efficient way to make the 40 or so cards she wanted to send to her classmates, teachers and friends.

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IMG_0680We added some red glitter to the kitten’s Santa hat at the end, but I didn’t get a photo of that before we packed them all into envelopes…

So, now. Did it take a long time? Yes it did. Maybe a week’s worth of evenings to cut the linos, and a couple of weekend days to print everything out. Plus the trips to the art shop, of course, to buy materials.

And THEN the faff that everyone experiences, whether they buy their cards or make them, of chasing up addresses, writing a note inside each card, buying stamps and envelopes, etc.

For once, I’d planned well enough ahead to actually get it all done ahead of Christmas, so, yay me.

If you’re feeling jealous about that, don’t forget I posted some cards that you can print out for yourself, as well – you’ll find them here.

Special Open House offer when you buy two Myfanwy Tristram prints

prints by Myf

The last weekend of the Open House is nigh.. and I’m offering a special price for people who buy two prints, in person or here online.

Buy two large Myfanwy Tristram prints and get £5 off unframed (£45 for two) and £10 off framed (£80 for two).

Prints on offer are:


This offer is valid for online buyers, but with the following conditions:
– Prints will not be posted out until Tuesday 27th;
– This price is only applicable until midnight UK time on Sunday 25th May;
– In the event of one particular image running out, purchasers at the Open House will have preference. This is *just in case* an order comes in online while I’m away from my computer, and the print gets sold at the Open House, although to be honest I think clashes are reasonably unlikely. :)

Contact Myf on mockduck [at] gmail [dot] com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MyfanwyTristram, if you would like to reserve a particular pair of prints.

A few bits and bobs

Frame from Overstock by Myfanwy Tristram

I am back from Chile

Myfanwy Tristram Santiago sketch diary

It was wonderful.

I did expect to have a sketch diary to share with you by now, but work trips are very different from family holidays.

For starters, you’re working rather than drawing – although, I was very pleased when work asked me to draw the conference that I went out for. The trouble was that I also had many other things to do, so while I drew for about half an hour, it didn’t really constitute having a Conference Artist on hand.

And then, with family holidays, you have long evenings where you’re stuck indoors. That wasn’t the case in Chile, so I was either out at night, or trying desperately to catch up on some sleep.

However, I am determined not to let the sketch diary slip away. I will keep working on it, and most likely post it in installments as I finish a batch of pages.

The Open House has started

prints by Myf

The Open House began its run last Saturday. If you haven’t been yet, don’t worry; there are still three more weekends. I haven’t been myself yet! I was travelling home when it opened up.

I have put together a Facebook page for it though, and now you can browse through a gallery showing everyone’s work. Such nice stuff! If you don’t come for the artwork, come for those scrumptious cakes, surely.

Full details are here.

The Cape/Observer/Comica graphic short story competition is open

Frame from Overstock by Myfanwy Tristram

Yes, the contest with the most unwieldy name in comics has rolled round again – I can’t believe it’s been a year.

I do always like to put an entry in, because it is a great opportunity to sit down and create a longer strip that’s as good as I can make it.

If you’re short of inspiration, you might like to look at the round-up of entries I made from last year.

My shop has reopened

Use the link at the top of the page to get to my shop. At the moment you can only buy cards, but once the Open House is over, I’ll be adding any remaining prints.

Or let me know if there is a particular print you would like to buy, and I’ll be in touch to arrange postage.

That’s it for news, I think!

Don’t forget the Brighton Open Houses

prints by Myf

Brighton Open House flyer 2014

 

I’m off to Chile tomorrow, but before I go, here’s a reminder about the Open House, which begins its run before I return.

The prints are all ready, and they have come out very nicely. I’ve had far too much fun painting signs, making price labels, and finding random things in charity shops to paint up and use as display units for my cards.

What you can buy

The prints I’ll have on sale (framed or unframed) will be:

I’ll only have a couple of each though, so come early if you want something specific. I’m also selling postcards and greetings cards.

There are also ten other artists displaying (see, for example, Jack Stew’s fish in the image above) – there will be wonderful bags, jewellery and clothes too. So bring your pennies (on that note – cheques and cards are not accepted, so it’s best to bring a wodge of cash if you think you’ll be buying).

Dates

The house will be open on every Saturday and Sunday from the 3rd of May to the 25th of May, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

I will be around on the 11th May (11am – 2pm), 18th May (11am – 2pm) and 24th May (2pm to 5pm), so do please come and say hello if you’re passing.

Getting there

Here are details of the house I’ll be exhibiting in: 116 Balfour Road. It’s part of the Independent trail – see the whole trail here.

Here’s a map of the whole city, which features every trail. We’re Open House number 22 on that map.

The 5B bus will get you there from the city centre – here’s the bus route. You get off at the stop called Beaconsfield Villas top, where Beaconsfield Villas meets Preston Drove.

Or take the train to Preston Park station, and it’s about a 15-minute walk

 

Brighton Open House information is up

Brighton open houses1

Yay! The Brighton Open House website has put all their listings live today. Above is what you should be looking out for if you want to pick up a paper brochure. I like doing that, because then I can leave all kinds of biro comments, and mark out my route around the houses, and I end up with a dog-eared, post-it-note-filled souvenir of the festival.

And yep, my name’s in print. Here are details of the house I’ll be exhibiting in: 116 Balfour Road. It’s part of the Independent trail – see the whole trail here.

They even provide a map of the whole city, which features every trail. I told you they were organised. We’re Open House number 22 on that map.

The 5B bus will get you there from the city centre – here’s the bus route. You get off at the stop called Beaconsfield Villas top, where Beaconsfield Villas meets Preston Drove.

Or take the train to Preston Park station, and it’s about a 15-minute walk.

More details about what I’ll be selling here. I hope to see you there!

I’ll be selling prints at the Brighton Open Houses

Muesli Mountain, large size, by Myfanwy Tristram

I have lived in Brighton for more than two decades, but 2014 marks the very first year that I will be participating in the Artists Open House Festival.

What are Open Houses?

Brighton’s Open Houses are a real institution, dating back to the early eighties.

It began with a few artists who lived in and around the Fiveways area of Brighton. They opened up their homes, treating them as a kind of open gallery space where anyone was free to enter, browse, and perhaps buy.

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The idea took off – bigtime – and now, every year, hundreds of houses and studios open up each weekend during May.

It coincides with the main Brighton Festival and the Fringe Festival, so for any culture-loving Brightonians, and visitors to the city, it is a very busy month… in the nicest possible way.

Jay Collins' studio

I have always loved walking round Open House trails, looking at the massive diversity of artwork, and – let’s be honest – enjoying a shufty around other people’s abodes.

It’s a well-known fact that half the visitors come to gawk at the interiors, especially in Brighton’s grander pieces of architecture. Sometimes you can sit in the garden and eat cake, too.

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I think I’ve passed the habit on to my daughter. But that’s ok. Open Houses tend to be child-friendly. Remember the bit about cake? Sometimes there are pet cats as well (and once, a tortoise).

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If this all sounds good, you can find all the details online from 11th April – or, if local to Brighton, start looking out for the catalogues around town on that date. They’re superbly put together!

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Where to find my prints

Yay! This year, I will be a part of it all myself. I’m sharing wall space in an Open House at 116 Balfour Road, not far from the Fiveways area where the whole thing began.

I’ll have prints, cards and postcards for sale, and there will be several other artists’ work to peruse as well. The owner of the house is also behind the Real Patisserie, the Brighton cake shop/institution, so expect a superior range of refreshments to be on offer.

What you can buy!

The prints I’ll have on sale will be:

I’ll only have a couple of each though, so come early if you want something specific.

Dates

The house will be open on every Saturday and Sunday from the 3rd of May to the 25th of May, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

I will be around on the 11th May (11am – 2pm), 18th May (11am – 2pm) and 24th May (2pm to 5pm), so do please come and say hello if you’re passing.

More information nearer the date.

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Buy a Myfanwy Tristram print

As you’ll remember, I had a few giclee prints made up for Spitalfields Market. I now have a few extras for sale – very few, so please act fast if you’d like to buy one.

Here’s what I have available (if you’d like a close-up look at the images, click on each picture below – or see the original artwork here.):

Meusli Mountain, small size, by Myfanwy Tristram

Meusli Mountain, large size, by Myfanwy TristramMuesli Mountain, large size only (small is sold out) (above). This drawing is based on the Hanover area of Brighton, featuring its trademark grid of terraced houses and the Pepperpot at the top. Now sold out

Skittle Cat small size, by Myfanwy Tristram

Skittle cat (above) – small size only (large is sold out). Here you can see the cat that the sketch was originally based on :). Note, the cellophane wrapping is still on the prints in these pictures, but once it’s off, your print will not feature those pesky diagonal wrinkles, promise! Now sold out

Animal Tea small size, by Myfanwy Tristram

tea-large

Animal Tea, small size only – large now sold out (above). In this image, a variety of animals take their tea in suitable ways – the penguin likes his iced, while the camel, of course, likes his with two lumps. Mr Beaver, meanwhile, likes a cup of builder’s… you get the idea.

framed-tins

Tins (above) – small size only (large is sold out). This one looks lovely in the kitchen. Now sold out.

Sizes, etc

The prints come in two sizes:

SMALL: 21cm by 30cm, (A4)

LARGE: 30cm by 40cm (the same width as, but just a bit shorter than A3)

These are both standard sizes which will fit into the sort of frames you can find anywhere – for example, Ikea’s RIBBA frame (£6) would fit the smaller or the larger size, with or without the mount*.

All prints come unmounted/unframed, wrapped in clear cellophane. They are giclee prints, and archival quality which means they will last for many years without fading or discolouration. I have to say that they actually exceeded my expectations when I first unwrapped one and took a look at the depth of colour and print quality.

Prices

Small prints are £15.00

Large prints are £25.00

Postage and packing is £3.50 in the UK, for one or more prints. International shipping? Please mail me for a quote.

Every pound I make from this sale will go into funding the next batch.

How to buy

I accept payment by PayPal. Drop me an email and I’ll be back in touch to confirm your print is still available, and to give you my payment details. As soon as your payment has cleared, your print will be on its way to you, safely backed by cardboard and in a padded envelope.

As there are only a couple of each design, I’ll be operating strictly first come, first serve.

But don’t worry if you miss out, because…

What would you like to buy next?

As I say, this sale will be funding the next print run.

I’d like to get some other images printed up, and I would love to hear if there are any images you particularly like. Consider it market research, on a shoestring.

One of these, perhaps?

Stamps landscape by Myfanwy TristramStamp forest by Myfanwy Tristramred-roaster-in-shade

* Disclosure: I have’t actually tried it! I’m going by Ikea’s measurements. But what I’m saying is, you won’t have trouble fitting them to a frame, ok? Ok. :)

My prints at Spitalfields Market

I went to Spitalfields Market yesterday and saw my artwork in situ.

The printing looks really good, and the colours have come out just as vibrant as I was hoping.

spitalfields2

That’s mine, top left – the tins watercolour. If you want to buy a print, the stall will be there all weekend – it is in a dedicated part of the market that is all art, on the west side nearest to Bishopsgate.

There’s loads of other great stuff, too. I was really interested to see a Christmas card made from collaging maps (bottom row, extreme right in the image above): the same idea as my recent illustrations, but executed so differently. It’s beautiful – and if I find out the artist’s name, I’ll link to him or her.

spitalfields

My prints are available in two sizes, with the smaller one costing a very reasonable £10 (larger ones £25; you can see both sizes in the picture above).