Monday, 19 September 2011

Overview of Year One CLFA: Print Making

If sculpture and multi media were not doing it for me, then print making was a much more positive experience. By the end of these sessions I was feeling that I would certainly like to engage with printmaking as part of my ongoing practice.
It did not start well as I was going to miss two sessions of printmaking with Brian so I was always going to be behind the curve. To compensate I booked in an extra two day course with Sharon Finmark.
Brian introduced me to monotype printing in a slightly haphazard fashion. I got the idea but had very little idea of how to control anything much. I found the random nature of the result pleasing but was wrestling with the materials and the process. It was not an auspicious start not least because it quickly became clear that you needed to be careful and orderly : neither qualities that I have in abundance especially around art. I started with some sketches I had done in Istanbul and ended up with a passably interesting print:

The main effect was created by drawing onto the back of the paper when on the ink. Adding the colour was messy but not altogether a mess.
Then, the crash course continued (all in one session) and I went onto lino prints. Decided to return to my skull theme and cut out a reasonable replica of one of my skull sketches. Learn quickly to start with small marks and then move to larger marks. Again the results were more encouraging than I first expected and I regretted not having the time to develop them further.

Then I went to Sharon Finmark where I continued work on monotype printing, but with the added ingredient of a proper press. Again early work was random and only partially satisfying.


Starting to see ways to use textures and layers. But the sessions only really took off for me when I decided to focus on my skull: i.e. started to realize something specific using all the fluidity and surprise of the medium.

I was pleased with the first efforts on the skull theme, but got even more interested when I framed in on small sections of the print.

 Suddenly it felt like an expressive piece drawn from the source and enriched by the medium. I don’t want to lose sight of that aspect of my print making: making big prints and then identify fragments and limited frames. (NOTE: in fact this quality only really emerged when I started to photograph what I was doing and I realized that this interplay between photographic reproduction and the actual art work could be a very interesting way to push my work away from the first endeavors). 

The second big skull print was also more successful than I had expected: making good use of the press.

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