Gearing up

Working towards various exhibition opportunities this Autumn.  Here is a sneak preview of some of the work I’m doing.  This is a monoprint, and is based on an image of myself layered together with a childhood image of Diana (yes, that Diana).

Conjoined 2

'Conjoined 2', Monoprint, 11.8cm x 13.8cm

Mandy and Tiger – Etching and Aquatint

Mandy and Tiger etching

I’ve been longing to have a go with etching and aquatint for some time now, despite all the scary chemicals involved.  Last weekend, I attended a one day workshop with Alan Birch , who took us through the process of creating an etching with aquatint (you can find details of these processes here).  Whilst there are things I would change if I did it again, I am delighted with this print.  It looks like something out of a book, as if someone else actually made it.  I just love aquatint.

‘Only One’ – Artists Book of Unique Monoprints

As requested by Mithi, here is the full monoprint book.  The page spreads appear differently in the book, as I have scanned the A4 sheets which I then folded back on themselves (to A5 size) to make the book pages.  I bound the book using a Japanese stab-binding, which holds all the paper edges together.  The centre folds then form the right-hand page edges.

The multi-coloured images use oil pastel to create an ‘ink pad’ which I then monoprinted from.  The other images use oil paint rolled out thinly onto a perspex plate using a brayer.  Each page in the book is protected with a sheet of tracing paper.

 All the images were drawn using my non-dominant hand, and using an empty pen so that I couldn’t see the image properly until I finished it and turned the paper over to see the inked print. 

Front cover

‘Only One’ page 1

‘Only One’ Page 2

‘Only One’ Page 3

‘Only One’ Page 4

‘Only One’ Page 5

‘Only One’ Page 6

‘Only One’ Page 7

Girl holding flowers

Girl holding flowers

Monoprint on tracing paper.  I applied oil paint to a pallet, speading it out into a very thin layer with a glue spatula (this has left fine lines down the print, creating a distortion which I like).  I then laid the tracing paper gently on top of the layer of ink and used a photo to trace the outline of the image onto the back of the tracing paper, using a pencil with the lead retracted.  Where I pressed with the pencil, the ink transferred onto the paper.  I didn’t know what the resulting image would look like until I lifted the tissue paper off the ink.

I think that this does have visual characteristics that suggest memory – the fuzziness, transparency and lack of clarity.  I plan to do more, using different types of paper, and perhaps layering some of these images.

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Drypoint etching.  This plate was produced by scratching into a thin sheet of aluminium, applying ink and then wiping it off again, leaving ink in the scratches.  I’ve tried to get areas of tone by using steel wool, sandpaper and a roulette tool, but I feel I need to find more varied ways of applying tone – particularly to small areas.  My options are to use fine lines (cross hatching etc.); or to try adding texture such as fine sand.  Any ideas from anyone who knows anything about drypoint would be very welcome!  I’d love to find something that resembles aquatint, but that doesn’t require the use of acid.

A couple of monoprints

I’ve tried some monoprinting at home, simply using oil paints.  I really love the quality of monoprint, and I think it fits very well with the theme of memory because of that ‘foggy’ lack of clarity that they suggest.

Father and Child monoprintMonoprint on postcard


Mother and Child monoprintMonoprint on hand-made paper