I spent a lot of time looking at the exercises I had done in part 3 before beginning these final assignment pieces. I have been advised to slow down and to produce less volume of work, to make the work I do more potent, to make each piece count – so for this exercise I really focussed my attention on what I want wanted to achieve, took time in creating each piece and also engaged fully with a self-reflective process, analysing each print once it had been done, making decisions about my further work based on this process.
Knowledge-wise, what was I bringing to the assignment?
- the colour combination of orange, turquoise and purple – an important breakthrough for me – to start working with confidence using the same colour combination for a series of work.
- I wanted to focus on creating an uplifting energy, or at least leaving a space for hope within my work
- the abstraction of the figure is something to take further
- leaving lots of negative space, the iridescence of the paper adding to the positive energy
- the thinned painterly brushstrokes juxtaposed with flatter, denser areas of colour
- using the textures that can be created with wiping away using a variety of techniques
I took my time, no rushing, and I really thought about what space to leave in the work. I used the methods that had proved successful – wiping away to create movement in the ink, use of zest-it to add texture to the inks when applied,
I continued to experiment using different types of brushes, whether the width or the effect that it created when using ink (e.g.. hog hair brushes left lots of streaks in the thinned ink but the sable-type brush produced much flatter, more even results)
I also tried to create images with layers, rubbing away and adding on top before putting through the press so there is depth in the pieces.
I also tried to integrate my drawing processes into the images – to incorporate the use of line as well as blocks of colour. To think about using line to indicate form but then leaving that line in negative space.
Sarah Dwyer and Karl Bielik – for their use of drawing practices in their painting practice
Roxy Walsh, Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still – vibrant colours
Jerwood Drawing Prize 2016 – a reminder of the nature of line and drawing that I could incorporate into the work
Cathy Lomax, Eleanor Moreton, Annabel Dover – Thinned paint, methods of application
All the work is 35 x 35cm, printed on Somerset 300gsm paper through a press.
I was really disappointed with my first two prints. I had run out of zest-it and the alternative thinner I used made the printing inks bubbly and watery and the quality of the marks I was producing was really unsatisfactory. (I will, therefore, use these to paint over).
I then managed to get hold of some zest-it and the difference was remarkable – a powerful lesson in finding the right materials/tools for the work.
I could see in this second print that I could tighten up certain areas and change other parts of the print. This was a way of working that I had not tried before – to contemplate what I saw as areas that needed improvement and then to attempt a second print using the ghost of the ink left on the plate as a guide of where to reapply the next layer.
I haven’t left enough white showing on the top of the woman and there are other areas that I would choose to improve if I were to continue trying to print the same image – which is another project for me outside of the coursework – to take an image and to experiment with refining it, taking my time to think through how I want to achieve specific things within the work, but without losing the spontaneity.
This third image captured movement and joy well, it has a more drawing quality to the hand and face – but perhaps is too detailed in the face for a set of work intending to abstract the image.
At this point I imagined I might finish with the selection of three below, however, there still seemed to be more that I could do to refine this process and consolidate what I had been learning during the module.
Ideas for these following prints:-
Vary the texture of my mark making more
Use wiping away methods more
Integrate layers of ink more, rubbing away, using rags, thinking about the negative space even further
The first three prints were an attempt to try and refine my process further. The first image was an experiment with more zest-it to produce texture in the face but it has ended up a bit too ‘fashion’ and the purple/orange are too dense. The second incorporates both a painterly slight abstraction to the face juxtaposed with using drawing methods to describe the body. The third image is an attempt to re-describe how the hair looks, to move it away from being a flatter block of colour. I have again utilized drawing methods for the body, however, I can see that the arm in the distance doesn’t work – probably because I have treated it with the same density of colour as the foreground – it therefore needs to be knocked back and made more subtle.
I was pleased with the way the hair had worked in the third image so I again experimented with creating movement and using different colours for the next piece. The first of the pair was too messy around the hands so I produced the second version using the same methods but trying to tighten up my mark making.
This is the final image, which is probably my weakest. The ink ended up too thin and this is probably an image I would choose to work on with paint once it has dried.
Having completed the additional prints I would pick the following 3 images for my final presentation:-
I have chosen these because they best capture movement and light – and there is also room for a sense of uplift/hope to be experienced which had been my aim.
In terms of my method – I have incorporated a variety of marks/techniques to create textural difference and interest. I haven’t managed to create enough layers/depth in the work and this is something I would like to develop.
Having produced 4 or 5 pieces of work during a day’s printing, (which has enabled me to develop my methods of working), I would now consider spending a whole day on one image – creating layers, wiping away, and gradually building up some depth in the work.
The varieties of layout were as follows:-
My choice of final layouts would be because the two external images are facing into/away from the central figure which, therefore, gives the collection balance.
Here are the six combinations together.