Friday, 27 November 2009

Card cuts at Red Hot Press

I spent a very pleasant day last Friday teaching a card cut workshop at Red Hot Press. My three students, all of whom are practising artists and printmakers, were delightful company and created some interesting images.

We spent the morning looking at the different effects that can be produced with card cuts; line, tone and texture, and the variables such as types of card and varnish. My students then made some plates and varnished them. We had a relaxing lunch whilst waiting for the varnish to dry, then spent the afternoon printing and experimenting with intaglio and relief techniques.

Something that struck me was how difficult it can be for experienced artists to learn new techniques sometimes. I think to avoid discouragement, it’s important to stop oneself from becoming too bound up in the image. One should try to concentrate on the technique itself; mark-making and experimenting with all the variables a particular medium offers. Maybe look at the final image in detail, picking out what works and what doesn’t, rather than viewing the image a whole.

Image by Ruth Barrett-Danes

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Back in the studio

It’s been some time since my last blog entry – too long. That’s a clear indication that I’ve not been doing an awful lot creatively recently. Sometimes life just gets in the way.

Having said that, I had a good day at Red Hot Press yesterday, printing for an open studio event and preparing for a workshop I’m teaching in a couple of weeks.

I also started on a new plate; always an exciting thing. I want to concentrate on improving my aquatinting skills with a series of portraits (self and of those near to me) so the narrative skein of my work is on hold at the moment. I felt really inspired by the quality of the paintings selected for the BP Portrait Awards this year; wonderful technically, compositionally and atmospherically too – almost makes me want to paint! Human faces are an endless source of interest and inspiration so hopefully that will keep me busy for a while.