Sunday, 31 August 2014

Ali Yanya's drypoint masterclass

Drypoint print























What a great weekend we had last week. It started on the Friday evening with a talk by Ali Yanya who showed us some of his work and talked about his techniques and processes. He also gave us some background; he studied in Istanbul and at the Royal College of Art where Tracy Emin and the Chapman Brothers were his contemporaries. He talked also about the themes in his work and about how he draws every day to keep his hand in. This is something I really need to get into the habit of. It was a fascinating talk and a perfect start to the masterclass.


Monoprint

The course itself ran through Saturday and Sunday; Ali began by having us make a monoprint of the image we were going make a drypoint from. The monoprint was to enable us to get to know our image - the form, tone, light and dark - before we started on the drypoint itself. I've dabbled with monoprinting before but never been able to get it to work properly; last weekend, I discovered why - too much ink. With just a thin layer on the plate, I was able to make the above monoprint. I could get addicted.


Then on to the drypoint itself (see the finished print above). I thought I knew how to make drypoints but last weekend was a revelation; I felt like I knew nothing. Having only ever made them on perspex and renalon, working on aluminium with roulette wheels, needles and mezzotint rockers was a whole new experience. I was able to get a really expressive, 'drawing-like' effect, similar to my own rather loose style of drawing. It's great! Again, I may well be addicted. I struggled with wiping the plate though, consistently over-wiping. Etchers have to put aside the usual practise of taking off as much ink as possible; to get the richest, velvety colours, a lot of ink is left on a drypoint plate which is wiped selectively to bring out contrast. Ali Yanya almost draws or paints with the scrim when wiping. This particular aspect of drypoint printing is going to take me a while to master I think.

All in all, an intense, rewarding weekend that really stretched me as a printmaker. This is a good thing as it's so easy to get complacent about ones work and skills. Ali is an excellent tutor, patient, encouraging and very generous with his knowledge. If you ever get a chance to go on one of his courses, GO. You won't regret it.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Influences 6 - Ali Yanya

Ali Yanya ~ Conversation, Drypoint, 2014





















  

At Red Hot Press, we've just have the privilege of being taught for two days by Ali Yanya, master of drypoint, mezzotint and etching. His drypoint is so rich and tonal which he creates not only with a whole range of marks on the plate, but also with very delicate wiping, almost like painting on the plate with the scrim.

Ali Yanya ~ Portrait of my father, drypoint, 2013






















Ali Yanya focuses mainly on figures in his work (right up my street!). There's a mystery to these figures, things left unexplained. What are the two men talking about in Conversation? Why is the newspaper blank in Man reading a newspaper and what are the two shadowy figures behind him? His composition is amazing too; in Portrait of my father, all but the head and a band is left white, and the diagonal band of black which locates the head and gives it weight. Fabulous.

More to follow on the workshop itself.

Ali Yanya ~ Man reading a newspaper, drypoint monotype, 2014

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Portrait






















The Aged P's portrait is nearly finished I think... I'm in 'Tinker Time' now which is always a difficult stage. It's still not quite there but there's also the danger of overworking the plate so one has to tread carefully. Mostly I'm burnishing now and trying out colour combinations. THere may still be some etching needed however. Difficult to know when to stop.


Sunday, 17 August 2014

More on Fiona Rae and Dan Perfect




Came across this video whilst researching Fiona Rae. This was commissioned by Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery thhis year to accompany the exhibition now at Southampton City Art Gallery. Slowly I creep towards an understanding of the work...



Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Painter, Painter: Dan Perfect, Fiona Rae


Fiona Rae ~ Memory, origin, space




















Southampton city Art Gallery has a whole heap of exhibitions going on at the moment. As well as the London Group, there is an exhibition of paintings by Dan Perfect and Fiona Rae. Both these painters (who are married incidentally) make large, colourful abstracts. The line, colour, shape and texture of Perfect's remind me of street art. Perfect says that his paintings are an 'imagined interior of psychological landscapes' and 're-imagined experiences', and that 'they seem quite urban and technological, and there's a strong sense of science fiction in them'. 

Dan Perfect ~ Deerdog
Rae's paintings also have a popular culture feel about them... they remind me of album covers and the sort of stuff you see in Hi-Fructose Magazine. I quite like the way the paint is applied in places but the weird teddy bears all over the place - what's that about?

I can't say I like the paintings of these two artists; I just don't get them at all. I probably need to read up on their work and try and understand it a bit better. Fiona Rae is an RA and Professor of painting at the Royal Academy Schools after all.