Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Don't forget one thing, forget another one

I had been eyeing up my post counter for some time. 2007 had 99 posts, so 2008 would need 100 and the next post would be number 200. I was very good at that, I really was!

But then, some lapse in attention, and here we go. This is post #202. That's a good number also, seeing that I ignore anniversaries etc. That's quite a bit of writing in 15 months. Often I'm not quite sure where this is going, or I for that matter, but the dynamic the whole thing gets from that is rather good for it, I think.

Should I look back and summarise 202 posts? Nay... have a look at the posts on the right-hand side for that matter, and make up your own mind, should you care.

Bedrock and Clouds #7
Bedrock and Clouds #7
Woodcut print on Bockingford

But, here's something I kept quiet about for almost a year: It's a woodprint I did last autumn at a course at the Glasgow Print Studio. Over eight weeks, the Japanese plywood acquired plenty of carving (much in wrong places) and plenty of oily ink. The tactile stuff of carving, inking, and actual printing was just fabulous. I really enjoyed that.


I initially had thought of printmaking merely as an underpainting kind of stage for the mixed media or pastels paintings: get some planes, shapes and colours done to continue working with them. More than 3 colours seemed an excessive amount of detail and forward planning. But it was really enjoyable.

So, in Spring I signed up for a course on Printmaking - to be done in my kitchen. It's a course with the Open College of the Arts. In addition to a messy kitchen I have also acquired an art school student status. Hurray! Mind you: distance and part-time, but nonetheless.

It was a bit slow to get going (or was I?). However, since I've been back home, I've been inking up my kitchen counter to do some monotypes. Well, they are experiments, and to date pretty much all failed experiments: no, that wasn't enough ink; oops, what does that colour do there?; argh, no: that's the ink dried now; oh dear, not enough pressure; hm, too much water, etc, etc. That makes them perfect for using them as base for other things; yet, I'm sure it's not really something my tutor is looking for. So, nothing to show for those just yet.

That much for the now and next, and I'm sure at post #404 there'll be a big tag on PRINTMAKING. And some other things, too?

Oh, and of course: Thank you for reading, commenting and showing me a world of fascinating art along the way. Cheers!


harry bell said...

It was the OCA got me going with painting again after some 17 years layoff, and that led on to a BA (Hons) at uni. Good luck with your printmaking. It was one aspect of the degree course that I wished I had more time to devote to.

Kari Gibson said...

Oooh, looking forward to seeing what you do, especially with a kitchen as your workshop!

(hmm, thinking gelatine prints, using a wooden spoon as a baren, a rolling pin to apply even pressure, pulling up your flooring to use the lino...)

Sounds like great fun.

Gesa said...

thanks, harry. that's interesting about oca - as a part-time degree it's a really intriguing option for me at the moment; or rather: the possibility to do that;

but above all it's the printmaking without press that caught me: i like the way a lot of the german expressionists used woodcuts to interact with some of their painting, the ways in which medium influences painting/art, and the tension between limitations/ possibilities because of that.

Hach... my kitchen, Kari: I wish there would be another space for those experiments: it all requires a bit too much organisation; the inks I finally decided on are oil-based but water-soluble (in theory): the oil base for intensity/thickness; water-soluble for less mess in the kitchen; but of course it's not that straightforward. The naphtol red is DEFINITELY not water-soluble; it needs turps to clean properly.

But: a good friend of mine had 15 years ago a set of stickers in her flat's kitchen: her flatmate's sticker was asking for no experiments in the kitchen, to which she responded no risk no fun... well, easy choice on that one, really...