I made a start on my next Pirate Baby print the other weekend at the Red Hot Press Open Studios where I was demonstrating etching all day. This one is titled 'Requires Improvement (or petty bureaucracy and the things that stop us doing what we should be doing)'.
Looking back at the images I've made over the last few years, it struck me that most of the time, they contain solitary figures. That's fine - there's plenty of scope for narrative there - but I think I want to start introducing more characters into my images to explore the dymanics between them and how they interact with each other. There doesn't seem to be much interaction between the figures in 'Requires Improvement' but that is how it's meant to be. Lack of communication, lack of interest in what one is trying to say, futile hoop-jumping... That's what Pirate Baby is trying to convey here.
I seem to do at the moment is sit in doctor's surgery and hospital
waiting areas with the Aged P. These don't make for the best figure
drawing sessions; the poses are limited, the models won't keep still and
have an annoying habit of disappearing just when you're making some
progress with the drawing. It's a good exercide in character studies and
getting things down quickly. And it passes the time.
I wanted to make sure that I'd got what we learned on Ali's course firmly fixed in my mind so I hooked out a drawing from a sketch book and went through the whole process again; first a monoprint to get to know the image again, then the drypoint.
I used zinc this time. It was hard work to get the roulette wheel to make decent marks - I had to rely much more on cross hatching so this print isn't as successful as my last which was much looser and more sketchy. Back to aluminium for drypoint I think. Wiping was better this time - think I've got the hang of it although more practice needed of course. This print only took just over a week to complete and pull three good prints so am hoping this technique will help me increase my output too. It's all good.