Saturday, 26 February 2011

Drawings which informed the etchings

Having launched the blog with the finished etchings I thought it would be good to show where they came from. At the heart of my practice is drawing; all my work starts with drawing, I have to draw the image so that I can understand it before I make a print.

As you can see the drawings are very similar to the prints. I don't use any tracing paper but I do photocopy the drawings as a reverse image before I start to draw out the plates, it makes my head spin to try to work out a reverse image otherwise.

The drawings are made in the studio at home with the aid of many photographs, walking the route regularly so that a strong memory is formed, and by taking visual notes in sketchbooks.

It has been important with these drawings and prints that the scene presented is a true representation of place. When people local to the place see the work I would like there to be a feeling of familiarity.

The drawings are made with Derwent sketching water soluble pencils 2B - 8B, and water brushes on Fabriano paper. the paper is really strong and can take a good soaking without buckling. Using these materials helped to free up my drawing, and I was very pleased with some of the less controlled shapes which form the hedges, or the marks on the surface of the lane.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Roundabout Lane Series

'rain washed sediment'
etching 70 x 25cm

This is the first etching in my new series of work
inspired by a footpath which we walk with our Border Collie.
The path is an interesting walk which takes us up out of the village of Avening
and onto a higher Costwold landscape. The land is farmed and the
lane is used by farmers who raise their cattle in some of the lower fields
and grow crops on the higher flatter land. Sharing these less well known
walks is a strong motivating factor for me in making this work.

This plate was a turning point for me, allowing
me to play with a whole new set of techniques.
I was really pleased with the result and went on
to create two more plates that complete a triptych.

'ground softens beneath my boot'
etching 25 x 70cm

The first image was close to the beginning of the walk,
in a steep uphill section.This is a central stage.
There is a stone stile to the left of the image
which gives the walker a choice at this point.
I followed the lane onwards to the final section below.

 'tyre chewed puddles'
etching 70 x 25cm

The landscape opens up and changes all along this
walk which provided an interesting set of challenges,
both in drawing these images and in translating
those images into etching.

Having made this dramatic turn in my work I decided
to make a completely new start with this blog and
some exhibiting events which I will let you know
about in the near future. I hope you will also enjoy my work.