Thursday, 26 March 2015

Etching process - Weathered effects

Here we go... my biggest plate yet! From sketches made on the spot to the final print..

Some of the sketches used as reference -
sketches provide the feel and the memory as well as a record of details such as the pitch and tilt of this lane.
Photographic reference shows the location but was not very helpful in seeing the undulations of the weathered, worn away surface. My amateur photography can flatten a view and disguise the original interest in a place.
Proof stage 4
Successive layers of open bite sugar lift and stop out resist provide structure and shape.

Its good to see I could go bigger than this plate!

The following close-ups show details - the plate has had a few more dips in the ferric. Further stop out washes and some combination aquatint and spit bite aquatint dips. All in the name of definition. Aquatints have been kept to a minimum to maintain a crispness in the final image.

Layers of open bite textures give the ground its worn, trampled and rain channeled surface. The multiple layers aim to hint at years of exposure and time worn impact on the lane.

Proof stage 6 - the plate looks much richer
Weathered and worn etching 66 x 44 cm
The final print achieves much of what I was hoping for, I'm really pleased that the layers of sugar lift allow each mark to survive each bite, and build up a sense of time having passed on this lane's surface. The print is now on show at 'Alchemy', Museum in The Park, Stroud.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Printmaking magic - Alchemy opens

The Gloucestershire Printmaking Co-operative proudly presents 'Alchemy'! Museum in the Park, Stroud, 10th March-26th April.

All members of the Co-operative were asked to present work for the exhibition; the Museum had the final say over whose work was hung. I'm very pleased that the lovely people there liked my offering - you'll find my latest print 'Weathered and worn' on display, below at the nearest end of the wall.

The work on show is a really great mix of diverse approaches and creativity. Hope you can visit.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Last days of the exhibition

Its been a very good couple of weeks at Wotton Gallery, I'm very appreciative of all those who have taken the time to visit. There has been lots of positive feedback which has been very encouraging.

 The exhibition enjoys its last full days on Saturday and Tuesday.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Notes for an exhibition

Recently I've been spending quite a lot of time on my biggest print to date, getting it ready for the Wotton Gallery show.
The print I was about to make was to be 66cm x 44cm - the preparation needed to be thorough to make sure I wasn't going to spoil the wonderful expanse of copper and it all started with drawing.
I find it useful to make notes when I am out and about making preparation drawings. I've turned my most recent jottings into a bit of creative writing (I call them word walks) that will be shown beside the big print. Here are my notes shown with the sketch created at the time. It helped me remember what I saw and felt when I was in the place that inspired me and I hope it gives an insight into the creative process for the viewer.

top of the lane, clear blue skies
   hard ground; quite a frost
     ice on the puddles
      dog claws scratching on the surface of the earth
          what am I going to be looking for today?
             process - surface rather than the view
           the way place is made / making the surface of the plate
                                  surface more worn as winter moves on
                              rain washed gravel - channel of gravel
                      I’ve decided to stop and draw here  
                          hands are starting to get cold, nose is freezing
        hat and glove day
                               surface damage - ankles twisting against the lane
                                                         surface shapes stretch across
                                                        a drawn swoosh where water drains
                                                           drawing following tyre tracks
                                            descriptive marks - quicker, and looser
                                           slope up or down or across, tilts, falls away
                                             dark across the middle, working the graphite
                                               sharp little points - precise detail and distance
                                                       pencil is quicker than my brain
                                        dog reminds me of the time - give him a biscuit
               dark - with the direction of winter sun, making a deep mark
                                                         snakes down
                                        line drawing now – mostly tonal before
                                   contouring the channels that the water has cut
   gouge into the paper - stone and harder edges, frozen frosted earth
                                                    water damage, weather and wear
                                                  - ends of fingers starting to ache
                                                                        time to go home
                                    let’s call this sketch ‘water damage/frosted’

The final print and words are shown together at Wotton Gallery, exhibition open for one more week.