Wax crayon in sketchbook.  I was concentrating on negative spaces and forms, and drew in blocks of colour rather than doing an outline drawing of the whole thing first.  Now that I’ve scanned it in, there are bits that look distinctly odd, but overall I quite like it.  I’m playing with children’s media – crayons, felt tips etc. to see what effects I can get (and to start playing again, as I’m still feeling a bit stuck.)

On Show

At college, we have a wall in the entrance corridor which is used to hang students’ artwork.  I was rather chuffed when my tutors asked me if I would like to put my paintings up there.  I’ve never put any of my paintings up before, so it was a steep learning curve working out how to hang a set of paintings of disparate sizes.  But with rather a lot of help, I got there in the end.  Here they are in situ:-
paintings on college wall
It’s really useful being able to see them hung on a wall (rather than propped on a desk or easel), and also to see them all hung together in one place.  It’s also interesting to hear other people’s comments about them, which I guess is what happens if you actually show your work.

‘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

Hidden depths

hidden depths

Charcoal on paper.

I drew this with no initial intention, and no visual reference.  With a blank sheet of paper in front of me, I started to scribble at random.  This baby image kind of appeared, so I worked to enhance it.  The basic pose I think was in my memory from one of my childhood photographs, but I didn’t refer back to that photo.  I like the effect of the build up of scribble marks and eraser marks.  It was also a good way to free me up to start drawing again, as I’ve been a bit ‘stuck’ lately.

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.

‘Red Slipper’ Painting

‘Red Slipper’ painting

Oil on canvas 2 x 2.5 ft

It’s funny how working with the same image again and again makes you really look at it.  The drawing on brown paper that I did yesterday suddenly looks hilarious – but yesterday I couldn’t see what was wrong with it.  I guess this shows the importance of time in the creative process – leave something alone for a while, and it will eventually tell you what needs doing next.  So that’s what I’ll do with this painting – leave it alone for a few days and it will either say ‘It’s OK, I’m finished!’ or ‘Get back to the drawing board’.  I wonder which it will be?