For this exercise I have taken the 5 prints I was most happy with from exercise 1 (see below) and worked from those and from the photograph.

What I am aiming for is the abstraction of form and the use of loose colour to create texture and movement. I am thinking Alli Sharma, Cathy Lomax, Eleanor Moreton, Luc Tuymans for their methods in paint application. I want to keep a translucency, for the brush marks to be part of the movement of the piece. So I need to use zest-it to thin the ink and give me more fluidity with my mark making.  I need to think about how I am using the brush strokes – eg. do they need to vary, what sort of brush to use for a particular mark, what areas will have a translucence, what areas need to be flatter.

I am also experimenting with colour in this exercise – what colours bring an invitation of hope rather than despair?  I don’t know what the answer is for me yet – but during this work I was conscious of that part of my exploration as well as how to continue abstraction of form.

I am also not sure where my tipping point will be with regards to abstracting the figure – I am contemplating whether I need any relationship between my work and the physical form.  I am thinking of Howard Hodgkin’s work, his use of gesture and colour – do I want to go that far with my interpretation of the form?

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These were my first four mono prints.  The first was too detailed, the second too abstract.  The next two were more successful. I feel I was successful with my varied use of paint application and also with my use of negative space.

The next three prints I was again trying out different ideas – the first print is thinned too much but I particularly liked the third for the movement and light in the piece.

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I then decided to attempt to create 3 more pieces based on the turquoise/grey combination to make my set of 5 to complete this exercise.  I like the colour combination, there it doesn’t feel to energetically ‘heavy’ and the colours hold well even when really thinned.

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By the end of the exercise I concluded that the turquoise blue colour, grey and orange are colours that I consider connected to the feeling I want to express in my work.  I also found myself wanting to work more heavily with the inks and completed the last two as my final attempt to consolidate what I had learnt from this exercise.

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It is the final print that I am really pleased with.  The colour palette works well, the marks are gestural and varied.  There is also a sense of light within the image despite the face looking unhappy.  I am intending to work further with this image in the next exercise when I make use of cotton buds/rags etc to remove ink and see where it takes me.