Today was the first time all the artists met at Chelmsford college and what a great experience that was! We each gave a short presentation to students and why is it I always manage to forget half what I planned to say? Apart from that, it went really well and I got a real buzz from seeing the other work, such diversity but connections too. I strongly feel the possibility of discussion, crits and collaboration. This is getting better and better!
To try and encourage current students to look into exploring AA2A artists network have actively been asking students to leave their e-mail contacts then forwarding these on to this networking site so far managed to get 6 students to sign up, although only e-mailed 4 of these so far the other 2 only signed up to day and am hoping that a few more may feel encouraged to sign up seeing how I leave a little star against those who have signed up, almost a reward point. When I was at school if you did well you got a coloured star against your work. I regularly got most of the coloured stars but failed to obtain that gold star and always seem to be constanltly chasing it hoping to be slightly nearer that dream. This site is an amazing opportunity to showcase your art work and am hoping to demonstrate this to current students.
My second Blog!! Have been working on Silk Screen printing with four colour separation portrait images on glass and mirror glass so that when you look at the image you also see yourself. For some reason, people much prefer to see images in this way as 'good' people rather than 'evil'. The work has been a slow process of getting to grips with the Technology and so far the only satisfactory combination of images has been Mother Theresa, but more to come.
I have also some visual biographic references, objects and images, 'embalmed' in resin upon found glass sheets used in prior exhibitions. These are intensely personal and disturbing to myself and am not sure whether to continue on this vein. As with the silk screen work, the manner of display and encounter with the viewer is paramount.
Shortly, I hope to be experimenting with sublimation printing on various materials with a view to producing a lot of quickly made images that offer more than a 2D encounter.
real anticipation...can't wait to get back to my white paper...it is stretched to perfection...beautiful.
Dilemma ..can't wait to plunge in...can't bear to make the first mark.
There are possibilities...do I pre -ordain or see what comes?
Porcrastinate with the taking of useful photographs. (See new photo album)
OK there is a bit of a plan emerging... how about taking the monoprints I made before and cutting them onto metal sheet, glass or even slate with the laser... a reversal of the traditional printing method. From the print to the plate..I like that idea.
Also on the go... the field drawings...a drawerful.
And at home the slow methodical oil paintings.It is good to have all these posssibilities and varieties bouncing off each other.
Mo suggests I borrow a tripod for my cameraand introduces me to Abi the 3-D technician.
He talks me through the possibilities of laser cutting - Glass, metal, slate! Yes!!!
Need to work out the proceedure from drawing, to Illustrator, to cut plate... this feels exciting.
Great to spend time with Abi at her studio space...chat about life and art...
She looks through my drawings with me. It helps me decide what to do with my white field...but I've left it too late in the day to begin...it remains immaculate...
...and I have a good reason to rush back to Luton asap.
After spending an afternoon playing with the sample of Akua water-based ink for monoprinting, I am really excited about the results. Unliked the acrylic paints, which dry far too quickly before you even finish 'inking up', the Akua ink just stays wet so you can slow down and take much more care.
I carefully painted directly onto the collagraph plates I had made previously, knowing that I would be able to simply wash off the ink with warm soapy water afterwards, unlike the aycrylics which dry and harden and get stuck in the recesses.
When it came to tranferring to paper, I tried using both wet and dry papers of various thicknesses just to see the effects. I am using scraps and oddments of paper for these experiments so I don't create unnecessary waste. The best results were on Hahnemuhle etching paper which seems to accept the inks beautifully, the amount of detail that transferred quite extraordinary but the Khadi papers did not work as well.
After my successful attempts at monoprinting, I wanted to explore this option further not only so I had a viable alternative for printing without a press but also as I had found it to be a much more immediate process. The task though was to find an alternative to acrylic paints which just dried too quickly leaving little working time.
I read about Golden's Open Acrylics and about various extenders and modifiers which would help keep the paints open for longer to increase the working time. I also started reading about Akua water-based inks which sounded quite interesting. I particularly liked the idea of working with non-toxic substances, especially as I'd be using these primarily at home or in my studio, neither of which has the best ventilation.
I spoke to Tracy, our senior print technician about them and she kindly gave me a sample to try out. I shall report back when I've given it a try.
During the winter holidays, whilst UCLan was closed, I continued with the monoprinting experiments I had started before Christmas which I started these as I wanted to be able to do some printmaking at home or in my own studio when access to the print room was not available.
Initially I used some acrylic paints and just brushed the paints onto the collagraph plates I had made previously by using natural objects and encaustics. I then simply transferred onto paper using a rolling pin to see what would happen.
I was delighted with the results and played around with using different colours and brushes to see the various effects I could get. I particularly enjoyed the minimalist style I was able to get and managed to produce a number of prints I was very pleased with. I found that just using my hands gave a softer, more organice look than the rolling pin.
Curious, I included some prints along with some Christmas cards I made using the same process, in a local exhibition and sold several prints and quite a few cards on the opening night. This was all the encouragement I needed - I just needed to refine this a bit more.
The biggest downside is the speed at which the acrylics dried so it was time to do some research and find a solution or alternative media.
What is it with printmaking? It seems as fast as you solve one problem, another appears that needs solving but then, that is part of the appeal.
Gosh! Its a race against time at the moment, editing dissertation and knitting a tv cover whenever I have a break! If anyone is interested I have found a very interesting artwork by Annette Messager called ‘Mes pensionnaires’ (My Borders) 1972, which is quite literally stuffed birds with knitted jumpers and cosys on! Being vegetarian myself I was slightly concerned by the whole thing, but have got to admire the powerful work she has created!
The weather has played havoc with plans to go anywhere recently but I managed to get into Chelmsford today and had a thoroughly good time. Russell the fab technician has fired some of my work hurrah! I took in another pile of tiny small and extremely delicate pieces for firing and made holes in some crumpled pieces that I was working on last time. I shall now start the process of painting all the fired bits which will be a very slow business and then sewing it all together. I have made different holes in each set of clay pieces so that I will connect and construct each sculpture differently. I am also looking forward to working with Jody to do a session with her group using natural materials next week, we made a few plans and it should be a good session. A good day in a lovely warm studio !