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Adobe Illustrator withdrawal

December 14, 2009 by Andi Chapple   Comments (0)

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Today I went further into overprinting thin layers of the same bright colour, using a circles-on-circles idea that was one of those I brought to the project at the start. I was tempted to go on with the straight-edged stuff from last time but I have a really strong desire to get some finished stuff out of AA2A and think I'll be more likely to do that if I discipline myself rather than going off on one. I can hear the clock ticking!

I went back to working out compositions before I printed this time. I made myself a sort of mocker-upper out of paper and paint (probably influenced by the collage mock-ups in the Bridget Riley exhibition I went to see in Liverpool the other day):

Paper and paint mocker-upper

I could move things around quickly and make notes about arrangements that seemed to work. This is the way I am used to working on the computer - although this way I was committed to the sizes of circles! That wasn't a problem, though, as I had wanted to have a bit more of a think about the relationship of sizes of things.

I am interested in simple whole-number ratios between things - this is how you get consonant chords in music. For example, in a major third the frequency of the upper note is 5/4 that of the lower note. With the previous work, the diameter of the smaller circle was pretty much the same as the long edge of the paper, and the diameter of the larger circle was 4/3 that of the smaller one, but I'd not thought explicitly about it. In today's prints, I used a circle whose diameter was equal to the width of the paper and one whose diameter was 4/5 of that width.

Overprinted yellow circles on the rack

I think I got some nice results, but they are getting close to the limit of my photographic ability ...

Here Goes !!!

December 10, 2009 by Mike Townesend   Comments (1)


Now in my fourth week at Bedfordshire University Art Dept and at last am beginning to find out how it ticks. There is more to it than first meets the eye. I have discovered the new dark room well kitted out for some serious ' traditional ' experimenting, like photograms and dodging and solarisation. All things which cannot be done with digital as far as I know. So enlargers and trays of chemicals wait to be exploited. Also a good print studio which looks inviting. Screen printing and a huge etching press.

My work displayed on this site reflects the eclectic nature of my work, probably the result of a career of teaching Art and Design but now I am 'free' to play and experiment. I feel a bit out of my comfort zone. I am about 40 years older than most of my fellow students and probably my AA2A companions too. But what an opportunity. I feel like a student again having been at Art College in the late 60s early 70s ! So here goes and I will just see what happens.


December 9, 2009 by Lynsey Harrison   Comments (0)

Since starting on the AA2A I have found a new obsession with maquettes. I used to just sketch a little, make a load of notes and then go for it. Now I am wanting to make maquettes before I go into the bigger thing, I presume it's due to my "slow start", but whatever the reason I'm thankful.

Week ending 6 December 09

December 5, 2009 by Martin Pick   Comments (0)

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Monday was a great day; the day we started our residencies at Doncaster College and met up with Head of Art: Debbie Pulleybank members of her team and the other Doncaster based artists: Davie Moakes, Anna-Mercedes Wear and John Cuttriss.  To my surprise, John, Davie and I are all members of the same local art group www.artsfringe.org.uk     The college print room with Graham Firth presiding is a real temptation and worthy of documentation in its own right.  The darkroom is full of potential and there is a real buzz of creativity round the place.  A bit daunting but looks like good fun..uk.uk

My self imposed project is to document three markets: Doncaster, Newcastle and Cambridge.  So I’m trying to get permissions cleared at each to start the work.  Newcastle and Doncaster have agreed and I’ve yet to approach Cambridge. 

One area of conflict, internal, is resolved.  I’m going to use the techniques I like the best – simple black and white documentary.  Well it was resolved till I took a shot of a stall holder with reindeer antlers today and have to admit that it might look better in colour.  I used to be indecisive but now ..

The Newcastle market team were very helpful and allowed me to get started straight away.  So I’ve taken some shots.  But felt ill at ease, I hope because I was under time pressure or perhaps now I’m an Artist in Residence I’m going to have to get used to suffering ‘blocks’!  I have posted some of the the pictures, they are a start but are just a shot at the surface.


Moving on

December 4, 2009 by Andi Chapple   Comments (2)

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I got the third of the three two-circle compositions printed up this morning:

Distant, 2009 (screenprint, 29.7 x42 cm)

I recut the stencils because I didn't think last week's were quite even enough. I still haven't suficiently recovered from using a computer to enjoy the unevenness of hand-made things ...

Overprinting a colour on itself

It's always nice to change direction, and I enjoyed the afternoon, which I spent exploring very thin colours. I took a small amount of the morning's green paint and mixed it with a lot of the transparent acrylic medium to give a lovely thin and luminous print which gradually took on intensity as you overprinted it. I was just using a straight-edged piece of cellophane as a stencil, moving it about all the time, and everything was still coming out as landscapes ...

I tried grouping the prints to see if something a little larger-scale and ambitious suggested itself. Not yet, but I will keep trying. Next time I want to develop this with (what a surprise) compositions using circles ...

Second-pass overpints lined up

Slow start!

December 4, 2009 by Lynsey Harrison   Comments (2)

I was so excited to have been accepted onto the AA2A scheme at the UCA Canterbury, but unfortunately found out the metalwork room at the Canterbury Campus had been shut down, and that I would need to travel to Maidstone to use the rather small room there. This room however is full of exciting equipment that I have no access to outside of this environment, but strangely enough no metal bandsaw on site? Materials are non-existant as they don't cater for sculptors, but I've now found B&Q and Wickes just down the road. I have however decided to take a new direction with my work due to the change in facilities, making the best out of the situation. So it has taken me quite a while to find my feet, working out what Maidstone has available to me, etc etc... I have however created a new piece of work, and have started making a maquette for a second. The technician at the campus has proved very flexible with my access to the workshop, as it hardly ever has more than two students in, we've come to the decision I can use it as and when I need it rather than being restricted to Wednesdays, which is brilliant! So after a very slow and frustrating start, I am finding my feet and loving the opportunity of this scheme.

Slipping By

November 30, 2009 by Aidan Moesby   Comments (1)

At the same time as getting the AA2A i took a studio in Newcastle which means I am split between the two sides of the country. Had I known I may have held off the studio and concentrated on AA2A - yet my home studio is not suitable for winter printing - what with it being open to some elements and half the mice population in Northumberland. So having started in the print room at Carlisle I then have a short amount of work, a little illness, a weeks residential at Arvon - Lumb Bank - lovely place - floods (today it's actually snowing) and then before you know it 3 weeks have passed and so with it the opportunity. So new resolve is required. Focus - always has been a struggle on my own practice. The thing with print is everything always takes longer than you think. However I thought I'd go in and start gently - ease myself back into it with a bit of letter pressing and a screen print. I'm having trouble with the images.

Sets of prints printed

November 29, 2009 by Andi Chapple   Comments (0)

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At the end of the last session I got one print (in blue) of the full-size 'closer' composition. First thing this time was to print a set in the sludgy dark colour I couldn't talk myself out of continuing to use for it ...

Rack of closers

For the top shape, which I printed second, I split the paint and printed half with it slightly darkened and half with it thinned a bit with acrylic medium. Could I tell you which set a print belonged to? Maybe ... Did it help? Maybe ...

Next job was to decide which variant to go with for the 'flipped' composition. After a lot of staring, and collaging together bits from different prints, I made my final decision ... only to find it was basically the same as the one I had started out from.

First thought, best thought?

After much more staring to decide whether to change the formula of the blue paint I measured the chosen variant and scaled it up to A3 and spent the afternoon printing lots of copies of Flipped. Here it is:

Flipped, 2009 (screenprint, 29.7 x 42 cm)

In both of these prints I am a little disturbed by the slightly off-circular edge of the smaller-radius stencil (the upper shape for Flipped, the lower for Closer) but it was hand cut so what can you do ... Maybe I will learn to love it, like the wobbly edge and not-perfectly-even ink coverage.

A side trip and the first proper print

November 29, 2009 by Andi Chapple   Comments (0)

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Walls 2 - first two colours

The first task of this session was to do the first two colours of a print in a different series from the one I'd been working on so far. The main thing is a calligraphic kind of image abstracted from a photo of dry-stone walls where I live, this is the background for it. There's a light yellow-green layer behind the stripy mid green. The first layer was a bit patchy - I was printing at A3 rather than A4, which all the previous stuff has been - and Natalie Shaw, the print technician here, thought to ask me if I was flooding the screen with paint before printing, and of course I wasn't. The image quality improved after that, thanks Natalie. The stripes on the second colour are done with wax resist on the screen, taking a rubbing from a load of string I had glued to a board.

Scrappy sketches for the 'flipped' composition

Next thing was to put the second colour on the sketch prints for the 'flipped' composition; the paint, which I had mixed the time before, was a bit manky and I was doing everything in a hurry so paint was bleeding under the edge of the stencil, but they are only sketches after all.

To finish the session, I chose the final arrangement of shapes for the 'closer' composition, measured it up and scaled it up to A3 ...

Working methods

Then very very quickly, with the blue paint since it was lying about and I didn't want to keep it, I did a test print. More on this next time with the proper colour.

Developing the second and third compositions

November 29, 2009 by Andi Chapple   Comments (0)

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I was still thinking about the colours for the 'distant' composition that I was working on last time, so I moved on to develop the second and third compositions I derived from the first experimental session.

first colour applied to 'flipped' variants

This is the 'flipped' one - it has the larger shape at the top rather than the bottom. I tried both diameters of circle in each place. The colours will stay with the naive landscape theme that's creeping in - the upper shape will be sky blue! I got the paint mixed this session but ran out of time to print it.

Variants on the 'closer' composition

I did get both colours printed on a set of variants of the 'closer' composition. The plan was to do both shapes in the same colour to see what difference it made to the way things were working, following the example of the Bridget Riley painting in the previous blog post. I thought it would save time too, but in the end I had to wash the screen because I forgot to put in any acrylic medium in when I mixed the paint so it started to dry in the screen - you can see some patchy printing on the bottom shape. Fantastic intense colour though ...