New page, new moonkwayk studio book, 22 04 2015 at Northern Print

Back at Northern Print again working with type – 12pt Baskerville Italic – it takes some time to get used to setting a smaller typeface  – I really like the size of type relative to the page size. Also using the Albion Press again – an essential part of the process.

The first page of the next moonkwayk studio book – a pamphlet entitled;

‘Haiku one ~ heron’

First in a series of haiku pamphlets written by Elaine Cusack and illustrated and designed by myself Anne Proctor. They will be available for sale at some point in the future.



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A day to remember 20 04 2015 – ideas, art and bicycle rides

A  day that began early – 7am bike ride into Newcastle from Chester le Street. Love the Tyne Bridge – and my freedom to choose my route – dodging around – choosing my options. Jesmond dentist visited then free to read, visit galleries and realise the value of libraries and galleries, with an excellent gallery guide and mentor.

I don’t know much about Patti Smith – don’t know her music but every time I’ve brushed against something about her – an article in a magazine or hear her music I feel empowered and have a compulsion to be real and uncomfortable to get to a truth. There was a book on a trolley as you walk into Newcastle Central Library and it took me back to the 1960’s immediately, not surprising because it was a photograph from 1965 of the author, Albertine Sarrazin her book entitled ‘Astragal’. Patti Smith ( click to read and ‘hear’ the voice ) had written the preface I could hear her voice. I have to read everything that Albertine Sarrazin wrote – she died in 1967. It happened – again – empowerment, ideas, truth, being real.

Then enlightenment and some puzzlement – Louise Bourgeois, etchings, Peter Yates,  Victor Pasmore, Kurt Schwitters, Albert Irvin, Leon Morrocco, all thanks to my gallery mentor today in Newcastle upon Tyne. Ideas and inspiration, uncomfortable compulsions to get to a truth.

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Recently I’ve witnessed a phenomenon – right on the doorstep of the Lambton Worm – Andy Goldsworthy sculpture earthwork on the Sustrans cycleway. I think it’s actually meant to be a plume of smoke that connects with the next earthwork that is a train but everyone has named it the worm – so it’s stuck and it’s become an amazing strip of land. During the warmth of 8th, 9th and 10th April – many, many chirruping, jumping, striding, oozing, writhing, amazing frogs and toads came looking for the water that’s collected in the ‘worm’s’ curves to reproduce in spectacular fashion. It has to be said the toads are slightly more genteel – carefully striding towards each other rather than the show off crowd surfing frogs. I’ve got so much inspiration now for the next moonkwayk studio book featuring hey guess what frogs but not as they are normally portrayed ??? I took loads of pics – they are the easiest wildlife models – but only when they respond to the compulsion to suddenly all appear en masse and spawn. They have all gone again back into the earthwork bank ? who knows maybe some are adventurous and travel, some have provided food for a brood and some sadly will have succumbed to the most dangerous predator – humans not for anything other than callous, casual amusement, BUT their progeny are in the water now.

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Souvenir of a wander to the viaduct.


I am continuing my fascination with Chester le Street Railway viaduct and Lhasa de Sela’s challenging and healing music………in unison. The illustration above is from the album notes for ‘ The Living Road’ for the song, La Frontera ( The Border). She made the illustration, which is a collage, with the viaduct, aquaduct ? in the background. It brings me to and reminds me of the Railway viaduct spanning the River Cong. ‘Jungle Madness’ was there in the Cong valley recently bringing the bright lights and giddiness of  21st century entertainment. The contrast of the fun fair and the astounding, gigantic monument to the industrial revolution that savagely shaped County Durham was bizarre.  The bright green lights of ‘ Jungle Madness’ and Kong looking down on his river whilst trapped in 2 dimensions and dwarfed by the brick monument still elegantly serving its purpose. There’s a curtain of scaffold and tarpaulin around the structure and a large ‘cherry picker’ – the viaduct is having an intensive check up and repair. Makes me wonder how many more centuries ? It’s already approaching the end of its second.

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Back to Lhasa’s music and going back to The Border – time and again – trying to overcome a fear ? get the scary ‘life’ thing right ? carrying on even if luck is out of the picture ?

So ideas……..hard, savage, (beautiful), industrial development from the forging nineteenth century and Lhasa – her subtle, gentle, clever, endlessly healing, passionate, dogged cling onto life – trying to fathom it all out AND succeeding sublimely, can’t have one without the other if sanity is sought after !

On Friday the 13th March, proved to be very lucky for me, I rang an ancient bell in Gatehouse of Fleet. I can still feel the reverb in my skull – it felt fabulous to actually make that note happen and feel the effect. Also aware that to repeat the process too often would lead to deafness and possibly madness ! It summed up for me keeping it real in our computer age sitting at our screens ( as I am now) not really seeing it or hearing it. Also witnessed the wondrous night sky, without light pollution, outside Challoch Manse. I realised how much of a veil of murk is cast over my night sky at home – some would say so what ? Get real man !

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As one possible emerging set of viaduct / border ideas begins to ferment – maybe – who knows ? The ideas could go in a completely  different direction – that’s what is so amazing about collaboration. Another one is fully formed with the real handmade inky print aroma infused throughout its pages. ‘Souvenir of Tynemouth’ the latest Moonkwayk Studio handmade artists’ book will be for sale from my Tynemouth Market stall – price £15 from sunday 22nd March 2015. It is a collaboration between myself, hand printed lino blocks and digital images and Elaine Cusack, a poet who has written a poem about Tynemouth Railway Station. Why not make your own mind up about how brilliant the poem and the book are and hear and see Elaine perform the poem live at Free as a Bard in the Jam Jar Cinema, Whitley Bay on the evening of sunday 22nd March. If you go to the reading and want to buy or order a copy of ‘Souvenir of Tynemouth’ there is a ‘one night only offer’ price of £12.00, for full details of the evening and other venues in the North East – go to Elaine’s website

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There’s a poem, to be heard and read, shadowy and lit about Tynemouth Railway Station, coming soon in 2015

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Go to Dipdoomagazoo to find out how, where, when……….. ( 15/1/2015) …..( Heaton )………. the colours turn into spoken words in the air …………..and check here for words on pages……………inside books………………………………………….coming soon.

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Tynemouth Railway Station new handmade prints for sale on Sunday 4th January 2015

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I will have new prints of Tynemouth Railway Station for sale on Sunday, 4th January 2015 at Tynemouth Market – vibrant colours – I’m hankering after the heat of summer, I think, as we work our way through the season that is often blues, greys and whites. Although we’ve had some crisp brightly sunny days and I’ve had 2 robins showing each other who’s boss – one with vibrant red breast all spruced the other shedding it’s feathers and looking all scruffy, a large group of very vibrant gold finches all eating the bird food in my garden, along with nuthatches that make their way crazily head down along the branches with the black stripe vivid against the blue and tan plumage. So after the inspiration and privilege of being able to witness the beauty and resilience of what arrives in my garden every day I’m going to make more prints. Also going to take a ride out on the new bike acquired yesterday – I rode it back from the Arnison Centre in Durham along frosty paths – all down hill – tres pleasant! On the bus journey to collect the bike I also acquired vivid glimpses of Finchale, Birtley and Chester le Street during the war years from Elsie aged 90 who in the space of 10 minutes filled my head with so many vital and thought provoking pieces of her life. I’d forgotten how amazing bus journeys can be for talking and real exchange – I know sometimes it can be of the unpleasant variety, but then a piece of magic and a wave through a bus window.

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3 new Tynemouth Railway Station prints made last night, friday 19/12/14.

I made 3 new prints yesterday bright reds and blues of Tynemouth Station – very different to the more subdued prints from the same plates I have on the stall already. They need time to dry thoroughly – so they will be on the stall at £48 each on Sunday 4th January 2015. They are 3 plate prints of the wall with streaming sunshine and shadows – so a lot going on in the image. I’ll post an image at some point before the 4th.

My last stall of 2014 is tomorrow 21/12/14 – the shortest day of the year. I’ve got new cards with holly that celebrate the station visitor who prowls around when all the humans have gone and images from the heat of the summer in Spain if you’ve already had enough festive imagery. As well as ALL the usual prints and some new ephemera. Merry Christmas.

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Disassembled and back together again.

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I always have a slump before the Christmas festival, during long dark nights and short dull days. It coincided this year with a 24 hour flu ‘thing’. It disintegrates and I move through the negativity and move on, realising the value of this disassembly for my work. There’s a skill in taking disassembly or failure or negativity in whatever form it takes and putting everything back together again.  I now look forward to the challenges – however petty because I know it’ll spark a reaction in me that will lead me to precious creativity. The reaction skill takes a lot of training to acquire – or maybe not, maybe it’s like hearing a piece of music for the first time that you know will accompany you on the rest of your journey through – it kicks out an inactive, passive response and overrides the causes reducing them to zero, nil, ineffectual. It’s a bit like hill climbing on a bike –  work in mind and muscle, through pain, that brings huge rewards. I think that’s the amazing value of creativity to heal and empower.

So reassembled and full of new ideas, I’ll be at my stall in Tynemouth Market on Sunday 21st December 2014. Happy Christmas.

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Moonkwayk Studio – Art Fairs this weekend 13th & 14th December 2014


Saturday 13th Dec at Time Travelling Christmas Art Fair in Chester le Street


Sunday 14th Dec at Tynemouth Station Market

with Prints, Books, Christmas Cards and Artistic Ephemera

Tomorrow Saturday 13th December I’ll be taking all my prints, Artists’ Books, cards ( & Christmas Cards inspired  by a secretive nocturnal visitor to Tynemouth Railway Station) and Artistic Ephemera – (a number of very interesting and unique items) to the Time Travelling Art Fair in Chester le Street – it will be in what was Holme Stores on the Front Street. Then on Sunday 14th December I’ll be at Tynemouth Market in my new usual spot with Moonkwayk Studio’s Artistic wares.

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Where’s the heart and soul ? In the next and last page of ‘ Souvenir’ letterpress.

I’ve decided that I only want to do the work that has heart and soul – I’ll be singularly poor in this mission – it doesn’t get done easily or quickly – it requires focus and hard cash – just like setting letterpress to print text, not like using Word with it’s easy selection of faces. However…… brings rich rewards of a non financial type. Many times it goes unnoticed but then that one time – that person who really gets it who might be around the next corner. I have ideas about hope and corners – turning a corner, reaching a bend and finding that maybe my work has ideas that someone else can enjoy, maybe find ideas for their own creativity – whatever. If you read the post Passieg de Gracia , knights and dragons, you will know about the little fella looking around the corner at the knight slaying the dragon – well I’m rewriting the story – my version the bear escapes and frees the dragon and they end up chasing a steam locomotive along Chester le Street railway viaduct. I’m definitely inspired by corners and hope. From now on it’s heart and soul for me and every day I have left. We all have such a short time to be productive – it gets overlooked, I’m leaving petty annoyance and boredom behind and going for heart and soul in letterpress, etching, collagraph and ink. Not forgetting digital ???? and the Van Dyke emulsion technique on Fabriano Rosapina paper – something new for the future.

Moonkwayk Studio’s latest book is entitled ‘Souvenir of Tynemouth’ a poem written by Elaine Cusack images and design by Anne Proctor – it will be available for sale soon.

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