Mary and a little bit of Nature


At the Independent Art School we have run a successful print program over the last few years and within that we have worked with a broad group of artists employing a huge range of traditional and experimental print processes. We hope to further expand that over the following academic year and have though that a way to explain this may be to showcase the work of individual printmakers from time to time.
Recently a conversation arose about the good qualities of a recent print by Mary – who often attends our Sunday Print Club. It seemed useful then to show some of her range of images and draw some common threads together. Mary’s work is often informed by natural shapes like trees, foliage and birds. It also includes broader landscape themes using both relied and intaglio processes, which she uses fluently. She also uses some subtle chine colle- (that is laying in a coloured section of tissue paper into the press which binds to the main paper and forms layers of colour in pint) Her images combine subtlety with strength and graphic immediacy. Her clarity of thinking, decision making and documenting allow her to really come prepared to sessions and take full advantage of her making time.
Here included are her intaglio dry point images of landscape and collagraph gondolas at Venice with chine colle and her Heron with bamboo grass and recent winter tree with sheep using high quality lino.

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Heat drenched Hilbre


The annual castaway trip out to Hilbre Island took place last week, here’s what LIAS tutor Toc had to say at the end o the day:

Am beyond knackered but Siobhan and Mike were brilliant today and catered up a storm as usual (but this time actually got to join in!) – I’m feeling a bit like I’ve got a touch of sun stroke, the crew of lovely artists were chuffed with LIAS (even though we faced organisational problems that were so prohibitive that they would have been hilarious if I wasn’t so fraught). Already got a thank you email off one of them from today.

A fantastic day of drawing.


Much Venom!

light birds

Last weeks mythical animal class saw an onslaught of venom.

The session started with fast-paced idea generation from fictional writings.

One-eyed queen’ were depicted in full glory. Amphishdend dragons showed us two heads. Roi birds marveled pages in magnitudes as elephants were lifted over the horizon. Jean Turnball’ portrayal of Cucuio birds being marched by soldiers paid homage to the fiftieth anniversary of the famed Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ album release. In this, she subconsciously presented the fab 4 using the zebra crossing while holding the illuminating birds of the West Indies.

The second part of the session developed the earlier works with the use of brush markers. We worked as illustrators and moved away from the limitations of photo-realism for the session.

Birds will be the subject of the next class, the pages to be adorned with the markings of soft pastel.

A fantastic session!

Next Class:
Birds in Soft Pastel
Rose Lane Studio’s, 1 Rose Lane, Mossley Hill
07891 545144

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Contemporary Bloomsbury Set


LIAS Tutor Toc talks about his recent exhibition in the Capital.

Recently I had the chance to exhibit in London as part of an exhibition at the Horse Hospital on Russell Square. (The option of being part of some contemporary Bloomsbury set was too much to resist so I decided to combine my teaching at LIAS of intaglio print in with the sculpture and film making they had originally invited me in for). I was struck by how different the experience of making work within our Print Club and making work for an exhibition was. The show was in the subject of the martyred Saint Sebastian – a much loved figure in western art since at least the Renaissance and was this called Arrows of Desire. The challenge was to combine the traditional with the modern and I relished it. At LIAS we run various classes including two levels of printmaking. (On Fridays and Sundays) I contacted four different models to pose for me and began with digital collage which I then translated into large dry-point etchings of the figure with as much texture and contrast as intaglio can offer. I worked on these for many weeks, often staying behind after class to work until the last bus and also was given much help by my fellow LIAS tutor Paul in terms of the essential technical support in actually printing the plates I was producing . Eventually I was happy with the results of 4 symbolic reliquaries and 4 standing saints. The opening night was meltingly hot but very well attended and filmed by the BBC. Luminaries like Ian McKellen attended and various artists who I had taught students about for years were my fellow contributors such as Andrew Logan and Ron Athey. It was a huge honour to have been asked to contribute and a week later I was back in London for the showing of my film and a short interview – it all felt very exciting. I think with the intensity of the month before the show I learned much more about various issues in print, professional technique and clarity than I had previously known, so it was very beneficial for my delivery at LIAS as well as for my profile as an artist. I’m now both glad and sorry that it is done and dusted because I can catch my breath a little but am missing the excitement and energy- until the next time …


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More about Saint Sebastian

Cast Away Day: Hilbre Island


Hello artists – it is this time of year that Liverpool Independent Art School take a day away from the comfort of our studio on Rose Lane and go a little wild. We have run a “cast away day” on the beautiful Hilbre Island for the last 4 years and this year will be no exception. If you have never been to this hidden gem you will be fascinated and if you have you will understand why we visit it and stay until the tide goes out. The walk out is about an hour and the same back and the drawing sessions are before lunch and after lunch with about an hour to relax and eat your sandwiches and just look at the beautiful space. In case of prohibitive weather we even book the classroom space on the main island for cups of tea and a review of the art before we head back. We tend to offer lots of input on drawing or painting from the landscape and even on the one year we did have bad weather it was still a most successful day. We will be taking a maximum of ten artists this year so early booking is essential. The cost of the castaway day is £30 and some materials are also included.

24th August, exact times to be confirmed

You can find out more or book by contacting Toc on or text 07851154968.


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Mythical and Marvellous!

August’ animal art class is set to be a sensation.

Mythical animal is to be the theme for the session. Using a selection of pens we will explore illustration techniques to depict the ideas we will generate over the session.

The first concept to be generated from:

She was the one eyed Queen who fought the Romans out of Egypt. In conquest so took the head of Meroe, on what animal did she ride?

A fast, fun and informative session, not to be missed.

Friday 9th August

10-12 noon

1 Rose Lane

Materials provided


Contact to book:

07891 545144

Safari to the Session


Last Friday saw a safari of African animals take to the drawing boards for the monthly animal art class.

Leopards showed their spots, giraffes raised there heads and elephants reminded us that they still knew how to stomp. Water colour painting process’ was explored in full: the use of washes, dry and wet brushwork, combined with the fun of flicking techniques.

Next class to focus on observational drawing of aquamarine life forms. The use of coloured pencil, water-soluble in particular and mixed media. Techniques to enhance mark making skills and the use of layering to produce greater ranges of colour.

A wet and wonderful session, set once again in leafy Rose Lane Studio’s.

Friday 12/07/19
10-12 noon
Materials supplied

To Book, contact

07891 545144

or follow the link:

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