Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Mid week

There's hardly a leaf to be seen, and we're forecast another windy day, with frost on Friday.
This was drawn on prepared paper with a flat-nibbed dip pen (sort of medium calligraphy width). In fact I'm loving the effect dip pens have on simple lines. They're not as random to use a a stick dipped in ink, or as uniform as fine-liners. Brush pens create a sweeping line with smooth edges. Whereas dip pens require respect whilst using them, as they seem all easy-going one moment, then BAM, you get a funky squiggle, and they can lay down a lot of ink in one go so that, when you draw over a line, you get some pooling where they cross. I've been using the nibs from cartridge pens as dip pens so, as the drawing session progresses, the reservoir fills up so you don't have to 'dip' so often. Magical.

Lino prints

As I mentioned, I'd dampened some paper to make lino prints of a block I'd cut back in June of Penshaw Monument. I'd read repeatedly that dampened paper enables the ink/paint to transfer and adhere better to the paper than using dry paper. They were right. Previously I had to make sure that my lino block was well covered in acrylic paint, as it dries fast on the block if applied thinly and leaves bare patches on the print. Then, when I lay the dry paper onto the block and applied pressure, the paint would squash between the block and the paper, moving into and obliterating any fine lines I'd cut, and gooing out over carefully cut edges, so the image wasn't hard-edged any more. In addition, as I removed the paper from the block the paint would stretch between the two like melted cheese and form feathered areas on the print.
BUT....... with dampened paper I can use less paint, as the paper now absorbs the paint on contact with the block, leaving a much sharper image, and I can use my fingers to press the paper into the recessed areas giving a lovely relief effect. This has re-enamoured me to lino prints, so watch this space.
Oh, the image at the top was done on scrap paper I'd dampened, which already had scruffy black marks. They're not a result of bad printing. But you can see the accuracy of line I've reproduced here, which would never have been possible on dry paper.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Preparation, and then something odd

Do you ever have days when you want to spend the day making art, but just can't nail anything concrete down? This was that kind of day. So I dampened some paper in readiness for lino printing and, in the mean time, made some rubbings in oil pastel of the lino block I'd cut of Penshaw Monument. I messed around with different coloured pastels, and then tried rubbing the sky block, and then the monument block over that. With questionable success. Never mind; they'll make useful starting points for the collages I want to do.

Then, I started scribbling a skyscape on cartridge paper, which then took off and became this mad view of Penshaw Monument. There's not enough contrast for me to be totally happy with it, but I like the layering and inter-mingling of colours and lines. Again, maybe I'll rip it up and turn it into something else.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

No colour here

Only the lines of the bare branches across the road from my house. I spent an hour crouched on a folding chair in the cold drawing these with a dip pen in b;ack Quink ink on watercolour paper. Here's a tip; if you turn your drawing pad round so that the spiral-bound side is windward then you don't keep getting your pages blown open. I just wish someone had told me that sooner.

These are the kind of drawings I'll never be able to look at without being there again in the cold wind wearing an itchy scarf, with traffic rushing past behind me and the sun going down on my right.

Friday, 14 November 2008

It was raining..

... all day yesterday, so I didn't dare take the camera up Penshaw Hill. But, I did do some work in the Moleskine Exchange I'm involved in. I'd been sitting on Brian McGurgan's book, the theme of which is STRETCH, and I'd been stuck for two months lacking both inspiration and drive. Anyway, the exchange has had a bit of a surge of energy this last week or so, so I took a look at it yesterday, opening the concertina pages which people had drawn and painted in before me, and I was immediately struck by the strong colour themes of purple and blue, orange and yellow which were running through it. There was also a great linear continuity which I wanted to add to. I won't publish the final piece just yet, because I'm posting it onto Lindsay of Non Linear Arts now, and we agreed not to spoil the surprise so that the recipient will get to look at it. But we are allowed to show 'teasers', so here's mine.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Penshaw in the Moleskine

Penshaw Monument, June 08, acrylic lino print Back in June 2008 I made this piece for the Moleskine Exchange I'm involved in. The subject of this book is Freedom, and I loved the sense of scale I was able to achieve. As I've explained before, Penshaw Monument is huge and I'm only quite small, and have been visiting it since I was even smaller. So when I'm drawing it, I want to get across the sense of scale, that it's too big for me to take in, that it's too big to fit on the page, or in a camera's viewfinder.
This image was made by lino-print on paper I'd pre-painted with acrylic paints. I made three prints of the monument, and I printed the sky directly into the Moleskine book. The printed images were then cut up and re-assembled, making the monument quite textural on the page.
Now I intend to make more of these images, using similar construction techniques, exploring different backgrounds and colour-ways, as this was done in summer, and we are now well into autumn here. So much so that the constant drizzle we're getting has prevented me photographing Penshaw. Digital camera + driving rain = insurance claim.

Monday, 3 November 2008


I came across this painting about a year ago, though I have no remembrance of how I found it on the Internet. I'll have been doing a Google image search of something. Anyway, I just love it. It's Everett Shinn's 'Tightrope Walker', painted in 1924, currently at the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio. I know nothing about the painter, but this painting grabs me. Why? Because of the great composition, the white figure top-centre and the chandelier top-left, and the lit archway mid-right. I love the rough rendering of the audience and architecture of the theatre, and the strong verticals of the stage, the acrobats limbs and gaze, and the sense of space he's created. This figure really is teetering on a wire, high in the gallery of the theatre, with a great void below and around him. It's dramatic, an I'm spellbound.
So I thought I'd share it with you because I haven't any of my own works to post about at the moment.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Happy Halloween

I hope you can all recognise who I'm dressed as here!!!
Related Posts with Thumbnails