Following a different strand of ideas lately, although in my own mind they are all connected and will eventually cohere visually. Tempted to continue with 3D work, which is very time consuming, and at the same time feeling the need to work with paint and collage, which are my familiar territory. I am also still working quite small, whatever the medium, and now able to envisage scaling up on both the 2D and 3D strands.
The first of these images is one of the postcard paintings, in watercolour and drawing inks, the second and third are gouache and paper collage on A4 size, one squared off and the other using the full dimensions of the paper.
Some people like to use sketchbooks, I tend to do my visual thinking on random pieces of paper. There are always a few versions of things I’m working on that take them through the development of the image. Often the final outcome is a large piece of work. My current ideas are not coming from specific or individual sources, I’m taking all sorts of visual and verbal references and allowing them to collide. All the pieces shown here are on watercolour postcards and combine ink drawing and writing, painting and collage, and printing off card. As they are visual thoughts, I’m not editing much at the moment, just seeing how they turn out. There are eight so far, these are in order of making, numbers 1, 2, 4 and 7.
Spent an enjoyable day at the print studio on Friday. I’m still scratching around a bit to find a new direction for my work, but I turned up an old sketch and a monoprint, and reworked them as solar plate etchings. I was asked where my imagery comes from. Often it’s a found photo, as in the case of the ‘leopard man’, which was a newspaper photo illustrating an opera review. I clip this stuff without archiving properly, so can no longer remember what the opera was, I know I’ve had the photo for some years.
This next image originated in a random monoprint, possibly meant to be a cat. It was one of those things that you think hasn’t worked, but I kept it and gradually started to appreciate it for what it was, rather than whatever it was meant to be.
The drawings applied to the plates were in india ink and watercolour crayon. The etching process reproduces the textures quite accurately, but adds the richness of etching blacks and some tonal qualities of its own when printed. Coincidentally, the ‘cat’ acquired a more leopardy look in the translation from one medium to the other.
Looking back on the sketches I made in Catacombe dei Capuccini, they seem to contain a lot of character and detail. It’s a different thing when you start to use the sketches as a basis for further work. Then it becomes apparent how relatively little information they contain. I’ve been making ink line and watercolour wash drawings, as a way of getting to know the shapes and forms. These naturally create variations on the form, which sometimes disappointed me at first, but then I realised it’s a way of claiming the images for myself, so I eventually get free of the actuality and take off in another direction. Another possibility will be to make 3D figures and use them as models for drawing. A couple of examples here can be compared with the previous post of the original sketches. I used a twig to draw the ink line, which produces some clumsiness in places, but has a different vitality from a pen line. So far, I am going with subdued colour that echoes the aged appearance of the mummies’ clothing.