Colin Bailey is a UK artist and printmaker living and working in Hastings, East Sussex, after living previously in Rye for ten years and before that in Kings Cross, London for fifteen years. Colin is a fine art oil painter and master etcher producing intricately worked limited edition prints with a love of traditional printmaking methods, techniques and skills. With a printmaker’s instinct for multiple images, Colin also utilises modern fine art technology and uses digital photography and archival quality giclée printing to reproduce his paintings as limited edition prints.
Traditional etching and Limited edition prints
Colin is first and foremost a printmaker specialising in etchings on copper plate using traditional methods and materials, he still uses etching plates bitten with Dutch Mordant (acid) and hand prints his etchings using a heavy manual etching press. For a detailed explanation of the etching process please see What is etching?
More recently he also now scans his original paintings in high resolution on an A3 flatbed scanner and prints them as fine art giclée limited edition prints. Please see What is giclée?
Kings Cross to Rye and Hastings
Whilst living in London Colin, was known mainly for his series of Kings Cross etchings These were first printed whilst an etching tutor at Working Men’s College and then on various rented presses around etching studios in London. Colin moved to Rye in 1994 and was at last able to purchase and house his own etching Press. With the advent of the internet and the addition of a PC and small scanner, Colin realised the potential for reaching a wider audience .
Creation of Ryepress
The move to Rye and the purchase of the etching Press were events that a little later were linked together and the Ryepress website was established in 2000 as an online portfolio to exhibit the St Pancras station limited edition etchings and later, the limited edition prints of Rye and its coast. With the subsequent addition of Paypal the site was able to utilise the wider appeal of this small picturesque area of the UK’s south east coast and offer limited edition prints for sale to a world wide audience
Move to Hastings and giclée limited edition prints
In 2005 Colin moved to Hastings, acquired a giclée printer and A3 scanner and began producing limited edition prints of his paintings.
Probably the best known images produced were the series of Hastings Roofs, the first (Old Town Summer Roofs) was completed shortly after moving to Hastings.
Between 2008 and 2013 Ryepress opened as a small gallery in Hastings. Unfortunately this had to close and the large etching press was swapped for a more “portable” Polymetaal press
Although, less traditional in appearance than the Larger etching presses these smaller table top presses are a triumph of modern design and can exert a hefty pressure! They have no difficulty in printing all sizes of plates except the very largest.
The Present … And Colin no longer refers to himself in Third person!
Ryepress has experienced some drastic changes recently and the website is undergoing a well needed overhaul starting with a migration to WordPress. Technology has moved on and the Times, they have indeed changed. The old website had become an out of date, sprawling monster, a horrible experience on tablet or smart phone and almost impossible to maintain. I apologise for the tardiness in addressing this and hope that returning visitors and customers will bear with me while I climb the new learning curve!
I have taken the opportunity of this redesign to introduce a less formal approach and have included (at some risk!) a blog page. In this I hope to inform, amuse and possibly offend.
I am currently without a Giclée printer and am researching a possible replacement. Existing Giclée prints are running short of stock and I have reduced their price considerably.
In light of this I have decided to concentrate a larger proportion of the website to printmaking (original prints), and in particular etching. Their is now a submenu of more informative pages answering some of the FAQs regarding printmaking. They are by no means comprehensive and I have mainly kept to processes and media I have personal experience of (or at least tried).
Where are the the prints?
I have also grouped the work differently, with all the Etchings on one page and the giclée reproduction prints grouped separately by subject; Rye, Hastings and Coastal Textures. In the case of my Abstract paintings, very few are available as reproduction prints, but in many cases the original paintings are available for purchase.
Limited edition prints for sale
The new Gallery/shop, is a catalogue of thumbnails with a minimum of verbiage. Clicking on any image will link to a much larger image and buying options. The etchings on these detail pages are rendered at high resolution and quality to display the subtlety of detail. Whilst I am aware this may leave them open to abuse any resulting copies or prints will not be etchings!
I am planning to introduce a private view feature whereby regular visitors and followers can enjoy a discount for a short period.
Keyworks – Paintings and prints from the past
Here I will rummage in my dusty portfolios, dig about under the bed and dredge my drawers and cupboards. I will shuffle through my memory and attempt to reconstruct my own history through some of pictures I have produced: the artistic starting points, stopping points, turning points, cul-de-sacs and laybys; I will showcase pictures that have had exhibitions built around them, led to a series or were a technical breakthrough. Some of the ones that I love, even if no-one does!. Some have made money and some have lost money. This is their story. I also hope to tell a little of mine.
It has taken took me a while to appreciate the way in which the internet was changing how people digest media. While checking to see how Google has reacted to my recent changes I came across my images scattered far and wide. I was at first aghast that people had copied many of my images and saved them to the new “social media” I thought I had taken great pains to compress the quality, and limit the size of the pictures. This was more to make my site load quicker. I assumed pictures would be shared but also assumed I would be credited!
Broadband speeds are so much higher these days and I am now embarrassed by the fuzzy, pixelated, low resolution pictures that were released to the world, (or escaped!). This time round I have decided to upload much better quality files to better represent the detail in my pictures – still not good enough to print off at any re-sellable size (I hope!).
So please feel free to share , re-blog, post, tweetagram, whatever – accreditation would be appreciated, though!