Sunday, 28 September 2014

On going artwork: paper cuts

Over the next year I'm doing teacher training at the Institute of Education, so of course my studies are my main priority. Mostly. I've decided this year artistically i've got the opportunity to concentrate on research and sketchbook work as I begin to build up a new body of images. I'm in the early stages of an exciting collaboration with a composer, Alexander Thacker, where we're looking at some writing by T.S Eliot, and for me it flows thematically very nicely from my previous series on the Fischer King. 

After the Bear Mountain Picnic, papercut
My layered woodcuts are very time consuming, so I'm experimenting with layered papercuts for the next few months. Naturally there's a bit of Matisse going on there, but i'm trying to transfer the drawn nature of my mono papercuts into more complex structures. Combining the line with the colours. And of course, I'm not working in bed with a nice assistant to help. The composition below is one I've used before. The bear Mountain picnic in the title refers to a Bob Dylan song. I enjoy the contrast between the apparent serenity of the image and the chaos of the subject matter. 

National Original Print Exhibition, Bankside Gallery 16th- 28th Sept

Loved the Print exhibition at Bankside Gallery next to Tate Modern. There was a great variety of prints in the show, both in terms of technique and subject matter. Particularly I liked this woodcut by Tom Hammick. It's especially evocative when you see the real thing because it's scale allows you to explore the detail in the woodgrain. I'm enjoying the balance between stillness and energy.

Tom Hammick. Past the Narrows, woodcut

Summer Sketchbook work

I've finally got around to putting some new bits and pieces from the summer on here. I wanted to share a couple of pages from my watercolour sketchbook.

My personal rule with my sketchbooks is that I don't take pages out, and so glancing through a book some of the images are terrible and some are alright. And I think thats important because for me my notebooks are working documents. I don't want to start feeling precious about the content. I'd rather be precious about the object itself. 

I don't paint watercolours to sell, or even to frame and put on the wall. My enjoyment in making them is being able to flick through my sketchbook looking at them as a collection of working drawings. For me they're a little exercise where I can mess about with mark making, with colour and as observation practice. 

These drawings are from a trip to Cork during the summer. The thing that struck me the most was the colour in the hedge rows (expertly un-illustrated here) with the range of vegetation and wild flowers. They were literally buzzing with insects. You compare that to the carefully manicured hedgerows in England, which are square with the occasional tree and beer can.