Category Archives: Project 15

Political Art: Max Beckman

 

Max Beckman

Background

As part of my investigation for the Mask series, I looked at the work of the Expressionist artist, Max Beckman, with a particular focus on the painting “Carnival”.The painting is a triptych (one of nine painted by the artist).

It has been suggested that the artist uses the motif of carnival to explore deeper themes related to the human condition.(Anderson, 1965:218-225). I was interested in how I might use such an approach to take the mask theme further in future work.

Composition

The paintings are at first glance a simple portrayal of three couples in carnival costumes participating in the celebrations of the festival. The paintings are displayed together, with the six large figures filling much of the picture plane, creating strong vertical elements across the three canvases.The artist has introduced diagonal elements to the paintings through the bent arms of the figures and in daggers placed each of the side panels and a musical instrument in the centre panel.

It is only on seeing these daggers that the viewer might sense that all may not be as it seems and that there may be sinister undertones to the scene. The bent arms form a jagged line across the picture plane, adding to the uneasy atmosphere.

In the left panel, the couples are facing each other, an intimate posture. However, the dagger raises questions about their relationship to each other, suggesting a threat, with the possibility that a violent act may follow imminently.

In the centre panel, both figures look straight ahead towards the viewer and the male figure has his arm placed over the female. Again, there is ambiguity about the pose which could be viewed as affectionate but perhaps not?
A small arm clasps her from behind. This appears to come from a separate figure. These gestures seem to suggest control.

In the right hand panel, the female figure sits astride the male, clinging closely with her arms wrapped around him. The couple do not look happy. My first thought would be they are tired after a long evening of celebration and the male is carrying the female home.  However, a sinister figure lurks behind them wielding a large dagger. There is a definite threat looming. The figure is wearing a bird-like carnival mask and appears to be female, wearing a dress and displaying breasts through a slash in the dress.

Colour

The artist makes use of strong contrasts of complementary colours, with the strongest colour statement in the centre panel, where the female figure wears a bright green tunic which contrasts vividly with the flashes of bright red on the floor and the panel on the wall in the background. The red of her tunic also contrasts with the harlequin costume of the male figure on the right hand panel. The bird mask on the right hand panel wears a green cloak, contrasting with the red patches on the print of the dress worn by the female figure.

The red splashed throughout the panel suggests blood, and the possible violent intent of the figures holding the daggers.

Context

The painting “ Carnival” was painted in 1920 just after the end of the First World War and may have been a statement on the horrors of the war. Elements such as control, deception and violent intent are suggested by the red splashes in the colour scheme, the daggers, masks worn by the figures. The clinging posture of the figure on the right hand panel suggests fear, and the weighing down of the spirit.

Beckman’s work continued to be a vehicle for political comment throughout his working life.
Max Beckman was one of the German Expressionist artists reviled by the Nazi regime and his works were included in the infamous Degenerate Art Exhibition in Munich in 1937 held to display examples of art deplored by the regime as unsuitable.

Later Work

One subsequent work, also a triptych “ the Departure” makes a clear political statement. It was painted in 1932 after the Artist lost his job at the hands of the Nazis. https://www.moma.org/collection/works/78367

The left hand panel of the painting shows a scene of persecution and torture, representing the growing deprivations and suffering endured by many groups under the rise of the Nazis.

The main central panel, showing the departure of migrants by boat, represents the leaving of native shores for a new life. It has been suggested ( MOMA Highlights:p162) that the presence of the child in the female figure’s arms represents the hope for a new generation and the crowned figure the triumph of the spirit over adversary. Beckman has suggested himself that the right hand panel represents trying to navigate a way in the darkness. This is a painting which could provide inspiration for a potential statement on modern war and migration and to the future development of my own work on migrants.

References

Anderson, E. (1965). Max Beckmann’s Carnival Triptych. Art Journal,24(3), 218-225. doi:10.2307/774695

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 162

 

 

 

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Inspiration from Joan Eardley

Research Project 15

Strange New Land

For Project 15, I wanted to develop a collagraph which would depict the grey coastline of the UK as a migrant might experience it on first arriving in the UK. I am interested to explore how other artists had interpreted the coastal theme in their work and was drawn to the paintings of the artist Joan Eardley and in particular to the painting “The Wave”, painted in 1961.
https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/485/wave 

The painting is a mixed media landscape of Catterline on the East coast of Scotland, painted in the winter months when the skies would often have been dark and overcast. It measures 121.90 x180 cms, is in landscape format and depicts a large wave approaching the rugged cliffs on the East coast shoreline.

Composition

The picture plane of the painting is divided roughly into three equal sections: the sky with the land above receding to the background at the top third, the cliffs and shoreline with the wave breaking across it in the middle of the picture plane, and the Sean the lower third. The use of dark grey in the foreground of the work and strong horizontal lines across the painting contrasts strongly with the delicate vertical lines repeated in the centre third, across the breadth of the cliffs. The artist has placed another strong dark horizontal across the upper third of the painting, representing the land beyond the cliffs.

Colour

The colour palette of the painting includes neutral dark grey, grey blue and yellow ochre with touches of orange and warm white. The overall effect is muted, and perfectly reflects the type of natural contrasts seen with an approaching storm on the Scottish coastline. The use of muted blues and yellows, colours which sit on the opposite side of the colour wheel, creates colour contrast and interest within the painting. The artist has used a warm white to depict the wave ( the subject of the painting), in strong contrast to the dark grey foreground, effectively highlighting the main subject of interest.

Brushwork

The roughest brushwork is found across the centre of the picture plane, with grit incorporated into the paint for the rendering of the cliffs. This contrasts with the much smoother strokes used for the sky ( the smoothest part of the painting) and foreground. In the foreground, the brushwork follows the horizontal lines which divide the picture plane, separating the cliffs from the shore. This this adds contrast and interest to the painting and keeps the eye of the viewer moving across the picture plan.

Relevance to my own practice

Joan Eardley’s painting very effectively evokes the coastal landscape seen in many parts of the UK. I particularly love the muted complementary colours ( blue grey and yellow grey) the artist has selected. I feel that these would work well in a collagraph of the UK coastline. The composition lends itself well to use in collagraph techniques, where the visual message needs to be delivered using cut or torn materials applied to a surface. The vertical mark making used by Eardley to depict the cliffs could also be represented in collagraph, using corrugated card and I felt that this was something I could used in my own work.

Eardley was known for her expressive style and the incorporation of materials such as sand and grasses into the paint used for her work. This is something which I could consider using within the series of prints for “different” and “Out of the Shadows” to develop the theme further. Another potential route for exploring the theme further could include the incorporation of text as in “Two Children” another work by Eardley.

Experimentation for Project 15

Following my research, I devloped two small acrylic paintings based on the coastline at Beachy Head and using the blue greys and muted cadmium yellows and whites observed in the work of Joan Eardley.

IMG_1266.JPG

Figure 1: Clifftops after Joan Eardley

Texture was achieved using dripped wax in the lower third of the picture plane. This was then gouged to add a vertical component to the cliffs and texture medium added to acrylic paint on top to build further texture. Colour was added to suggest rocks and sand at the lowest point in the picture plane. One of the most difficult aspects of the painting was achieving the correct balance between abstraction and a more representational approach.

IMG_1267

Figure 2: Clifftops after Joan Eardley

Figure 2 tackles the same subject using wax and texture medium as before with the addition of scrim in the foreground to achieve the texture of waves.

 

References

National Galleries of Scotland. https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/485/wave

Joan Eardley, Two Children, 1963 Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow © Estate of Joan Eardley. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2016

National Galleries of Scotland
https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/features/joan-eardley

 

 

 

PM1: Project 15:Exploring printmaking and combination printmaking

Introduction

For Project 15, I want to further develop the theme of migration, dividing the project into different stages:

the circumstances leading to the decision to leave: war, racial or religious differences, intolerance of sexuality, gender discrimination.
-The journey itself
-Arriving in a new land
-The impact of release from oppression

Aims
I want to consider how I can expand my knowledge and technical skills in collagraphy when taking forward this project. As previous OCA studies have included painting and I am interested in how my future practice might integrate printmaking and painting processes.

I hope to show the impact of colour on the mood of the work and to use both abstract and figurative approaches within the project.
I will investigate the work of other artists whose practice might help my own process and consider their work in the context of my own project.
Theme
Part 1: “Different”
My starting point was to review my research into faith and ethnic differences. This was carried out at the start of the project.
From this review, a theme was emerging, suggesting that “different” could be either physical and visible to others, relating to characteristics such as race, or be related to issues such as political or religious beliefs or to sexuality.
Being different from the prevailing ethnic majority or holding views different from those in political or religious power was a common reason for persecution and for deciding to leave a country of origin. I wanted to try to represent this difference from a visual perspective , while avoiding direct depiction of the human form in this project, keeping to an abstract approach.
Developing the Composition
I was interested in the abstraction of the form seen in the work of the artist Henry Moore, and was drawn to the print/collagraph “Standing Figures”.

I was particularly interested in the horizontal format and subdivision of the picture plane horizontally in this work, in which the artist places 2 rows of figures across the page. The repetition of the figures allows any differences to be quickly apparent to the viewer.
In my sketchbook I explored how this composition might work in my own design, using cut paper and coloured tissue. My “ figures” were created from cut card, elongated in form and placed horizontally across the picture plane. I placed one small “figure” at the centre of the row. In such a horizontal format this allowed the shape to stand out from the rest. The design was further developed by using a small punch to create markings on the “bodies”. Spare clippings from the punch were used elsewhere to add variety and to help to unite the design by using both the positive and negative shapes. The first print would be black and white to reflect the negative aspects of difference in a constricted and difficult environment.

Colour inspiration for “Different” and “Stepping out of the Shadows”

For this part of the project I wanted to use colour as an important part of my message.
I hope to be able to represent symbolically the freedoms enjoyed by those who have been persecuted in some way as they successfully escape to another life through migration.

The Rainbow Flag, designed by Gilbert Baker in 1976 seemed a very appropriate starting point.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/how-the-rainbow-became-the-symbol-of-gay-pride-10356350.html
It was adopted by the gay community as a symbol of gay pride, and offers a symbolism which appealed to me for this project. Sexuality is a common reason for persecution and the colour symbolism within it offers potential which I could use in my own project. The symbolism within the Rainbow flag is set out below:

Hot pink- sex
Red- life
Orange- healing
Yellow-sunshine
Green- nature
Turquoise- art
Indigo-harmony
Violet -spirit

I thought that the two colours which would best represent the spirit of what I wanted to say in “Stepping out of the Shadows”, and which would also create strong visual impact, were the colours orange (healing) and violet (spirit).
The first print is based on this combination.

Further options for the series using the same plate using colour variation:

Red(life) /black (death) – background black
Turquoise (art)/ yellow ( sunshine)- background yellow
Green(nature)hot pink (sex) – background green

 

 
Printing the Design
A plate was prepared using mountboard as a base. This card was cut into the desired shapes and punched according to my planned design and in scale with the picture plane. These were stuck down using PVA glue and varnished front and back using yacht varnish and left to dry overnight. The plate was inked up using black oil-based ink and rubbed using scrim, tissue and rags to help define tone. It was then printed using a Rochat etching press.

IMG_1087
Reflections
I felt the design was working well and the monochrome colour scheme enabled me to create the impression of “Difference” that I was looking to achieve. The print borders were clean and there was good contrast.
Compared to my previous efforts at collagraphy in Part 4, I felt that the prints were an improvement on past efforts. I think this was due to selection of more appropriate material for the plate (card) and access to a good printing press.
I would have liked to take many more impressions but was limited in time available as the press was available only though a booking system.
Part 2 Theme: “Over the Sea and far Away”
Composition
The design for part 2 was developed using the drawings of fish and birds prepared from project 13. I wanted to create a seascape featuring migrating fish at sea swimming towards new horizons. I used landscape format to emphasise the horizon and to help create the sense of the fish travelling forward. The fish shapes were kept quite simple, with the central fish having more detail than the rest. Card and sandpaper were used to create the plate. Star and sun shapes were added to link to previous designs. The plate was then prepared as above and printing was carried it using the Xcut Xpress and the Rochat press.
Colour choices

IMG_1089.JPG
Initially the print was proofed using black oil-based ink. Good results were achieved using this method. However, the first print was too dark and had been inadequately rubbed before printing. Further print runs resulted in better distribution of tone across the print and I was pleased with the final prints taken.

I initially experimented with sepia for the sea and red tones for sky. This was intended to reflect war and bloodshed. However, it was not working well. My inexperience at colour rubbing meant that I left too much ink on the plate, leaving it very dense and lacking in tonal variation.

The colour choices might have been more successful had my design been abstract rather than representational.

I then experimented with Prussian blue and mixed green for the sea and fish. The sky colour was created using mixed orange. These were applied using brushes and rubbed with scrim, rag and tissue to remove ink to add further colour variation to the print. The print was printed on Bread and Butter paper and Somerset. Unfortunately the paper kept tearing on removal from the plate. I kept one of the prints for experimentation in my sketchbook.

IMG_1080.JPG

Experimentation over torn paper

I experimented with varying conditions at home on the X press and achieved some reasonable prints with no tearing of paper on removal from the press. The most successful print required the addition of extender to the printing inks at mixing.
The desired colours were applied again, this time with the addition of extender and rubbed as before and printed on the Rochat press. The addition of extender allowed the paper to be cleanly removed from the plate, resulting in a successful print. However, the extender diluted the colour on the paper.
I found that the most subtle results were obtained by adding white as a base colour and delicately rubbing colour into this.
The Rochat press enabled me to achieve greater embossing on the paper which added to the interest of the print.


Reflections
Valuable lessons were learned in carrying out this part of the project, particularly in relation to the way in which ink could be affected by factors such as temperature.
The addition of extender created ink texture which seemed to work better when trying to remove the paper from the collagraph plate after printing
Paper had to be soaked for the optimal conditions for the studio. Left in too long and the risk of tearing increased considerably
It was essential to ensure the paper was blotted adequately but not too dry.
Ink rubs were best applied dark over light areas with very thin ink diluted with extender. Undiluted ink tended to reduce the detail on the plate.
I thought the final prints would work well as an illustration for a story.
Detailed planning ahead was needed to carry out the work in a busy print studio where presses have to be booked and other artists need access to the press. – Easier to experiment at home but limitations from the press

Part 3: Theme “Strange new Land”

My aims in developing the design for this print was to create a print which reflected the first impressions of the landscape from the sea as seen for the first time through the eyes of a migrant.
I imagined characteristics which might strike someone seeing the UK coastline. Words which came to mind were: Grey, cold, industrial, cliffs, factories, gulls, misty, rain. I wanted a semi-abstract, freer approach to this project, where the materials would to some degree dictate the final image.

Research

I was interested in how other artists had interpreted the coastal theme, and was drawn to the work of the artist Joan Eardley and in particular to the painting “The Wave”, painted in 1961.
https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/485/wave

The painting is a mixed media landscape of Catterline on the East coast of Scotland, painted in the winter months when the skies would often have been dark and overcast. The painting measures 121.90 x180 cms, is in landscape format and depicts a large wave approaching the rugged cliffs on the East coast shoreline.

Composition

The picture plane is divided roughly into three equal sections: the sky with the land above receding to the background at the top third, the cliffs and shoreline with the wave breaking across it in the middle of the picture plane, and the Sean the lower third. The use of dark grey in the foreground of the work and strong horizontal lines across the painting contrasts with the delicate vertical lines repeated in the centre third, across the breadth of the cliffs. The artist has placed another strong dark horizontal across the upper third of the painting, representing the land beyond the cliffs.

Colour

The colour palette includes neutral dark grey, grey blue and yellow ochre with touches of orange and warm white. The overall effect is muted and perfectly reflects the type of natural contrasts seen with an approaching storm on the Scottish coastline. The use of muted blues and yellows, colours which sit on the opposite side of the colour wheel, creates colour contrast and interest within the painting. The artist has used a warm white to depict the wave ( the subject of the painting), in strong contrast to the dark grey foreground, effectively highlighting the main subject of interest.

Brushwork

The roughest brushwork is found across the centre of the picture plane, with grit incorporated into the paint for the rendering of the cliffs. This contrasts with the much smoother strokes used for the sky ( the smoothest part of the painting) and foreground. In the foreground, the brushwork follows the horizontal lines which divide the picture plane, separating the cliffs from the shore. This this adds contrast and interest to the painting and keeps the eye of the viewer moving across the picture plan.

Relevance to my own practise

The painting very effectively evokes the coastal landscape seen in many parts of the UK. I particularly love the muted complementary colours ( blue grey and yellow grey) the artist has selected. The composition lends itself well to use in collagraph techniques, where the visual message needs to be delivered using cut or torn materials applied to a surface. The vertical mark making used by Eardley to depict the cliffs could also be represented in collagraph, using corrugated card and I felt that this was something I could used in my own work.

Eardley was known for her expressive style and the incorporation of materials such as sand and grasses into the paint used for her work. This is something which I could consider using within the series of prints for “different” and “Out of the Shadows” to develop the theme further. Another potential route for exploring the theme further could include the incorporation of text as in “Two Children” another work by Eardley

References

National Galleries of Scotland. https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/485/wave

Joan Eardley, Two Children, 1963 Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow © Estate of Joan Eardley. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2016

National Galleries of Scotland
https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/features/joan-eardley

 

Taking forward my project

I used a variety of card and corrugated cardboard applied to the printing plate to create a semi-abstract landscape. The plate was prepared as before and inked up initially using black oil-based inks. Printing was carried out using the Rochat Press.
Colour Choices
A monochrome proof was used to hand-colour the print using watercolour. This created a delicate effect. However, I had problems with the paper tearing at the edges of the print after soaking for stretching and had nor created enough prints to repeat the process.

IMG_1075

I then inked up the plate again using Caligo safewash inks applying a thin layer of white ink to which colour was then added. Colours were rubbed onto the plate to create muted grey tones, extender having been added to the printing inks. The image was printed onto Bread and Butter paper using the Rochat Press.
Reflections
Overall, I was pleased with the quality of monochrome print obtained with this plate. My first print was too dark but later ones improved as I was able to gauge the correct most of rubbing to create the desirable tone.
I enjoyed experimenting with the application of watercolour. Taping down my damp print to stretch it properly to avoid tearing and cocking later would have improved the end result. Colour trials ahead of printing would have improved the final outcome of hand-colouring.

IMG_1053

Handcolouring of print

IMG_1074.JPG

Final print using colour rubbing printed on Rochat Press

Small accidental features emerged after printing which I liked. The form of a small sailing boat can be seen in the foreground of the print. This fits well with the theme and adds abstract elements to the print.

Part 4 “Stepping out of the Shadows”

The plate from Part 1 was re-inked in colour for Part 4 of the series, using a mix of red and yellow to create the desired shade of orange. I wanted to create a print in colour which would visually represent happiness and freedom. The initial print created an image where the small character printed a deeper shade than the others. I then created a template to cut a replica of the shape in purple tissue. This colour was selected to create strong contrast with the orange. The purple tissue was stuck directly to the print to enable the colour of the tissue to retained in full.


Reflections
I like the colour choices selected for the print
I feel that these are working well to create an optimistic mood within the print
I would like to experiment further using bonding of the tissue within the print. Overall I like the final result and would like to experiment further.

Project 15 : Supporting Statement

Introduction
For Project 15, I wanted to develop the theme of migration, dividing the project into different stages:
• Differences: The circumstances leading to the decision to leave: war, racial or religious differences, intolerance of sexuality, gender discrimination.
• The journey itself
• Arriving
• The impact of escape from oppression and intolerance
I wanted also to expand my own knowledge and technical skills in collagraphy when taking forward this project. My previous OCA studies have included painting and I am interested in how this could bring something new to my future practice.

Print 1: “Different”

My starting point was to review research into faith and ethnic differences. This was carried out at the start of the project. From this review, a theme was emerging, suggesting that “different” could be either physical and visible to others, relating to characteristics such as race, or be related to issues such as political or religious beliefs or to sexuality. Being different from the prevailing ethnic majority or holding views different from those in political or religious power was a common reason for persecution and for deciding to leave a country of origin. I wanted to try to represent this difference from a visual perspective , while avoiding direct depiction of the human form in this project, keeping to an abstract approach.
I was interested in the abstraction of the form seen in the work of the artist Henry Moore, and was drawn to the print/collagraph “Standing Figures”. I was particularly interested in the horizontal format and subdivision of the picture plane horizontally in this work, in which the artist places 2 rows of figures across the page. The repetition of the figures allows any differences to be quickly apparent to the viewer.
In my sketchbook I explored how this composition might work in my own design, using cut paper and coloured tissue. My “ figures” were created from cut card, elongated in form and placed horizontally across the picture plane. I placed one small “figure” at the centre of the row. In such a horizontal format this allowed the shape to stand out from the rest. The design was further developed by using a small punch to create markings on the “bodies”. Spare clippings from the punch were used elsewhere to add variety and to help to unite the design by using both the positive and negative shapes. The first print would be black and white to reflect the negative aspects of difference in a constricted and difficult environment.
A plate was prepared using mountboard as a base. This card was cut into the desired shapes and punched according to my planned design and in scale with the picture plane. These were stuck down using PVA glue and varnished front and back using yacht varnish and left to dry overnight. The plate was inked up using black oil-based ink and rubbed using scrim, tissue and rags to help define tone. It was then printed using a Rochat etching press.
Reflections
I felt the design was working well and the monochrome colour scheme enabled me to create the impression of “Difference” that I was looking to achieve. The print borders were clean and there was good contrast. Compared to my previous efforts at collagraphy in Part 4, I felt that the prints were an improvement on past efforts. I think this was due to selection of more appropriate material for the plate (card) and access to a good printing press.

Print 2: “Over the Sea and far Away”
The design for part 2 was developed using the drawings of fish and birds prepared from project 13. I wanted to create a seascape featuring migrating fish at sea swimming towards new horizons. I used landscape format to emphasise the horizon and to help create the sense of the fish travelling forward. The fish shapes were kept quite simple, with the central fish having more detail than the rest. Card and sandpaper were used to create the plate. Star and sun shapes were added to link to previous designs. The plate was then prepared as above and printing was carried it using the Xcut Xpress and the Rochat press.
Colour choices
Initially the print was proofed using black oil-based ink. Good results were achieved using this method. However, the first print was too dark and had been inadequately rubbed before printing. Further print runs resulted in better distribution of tone across the print and I was pleased with the final prints taken. I initially experimented with sepia for the sea and red tones for sky. This was intended to reflect war and bloodshed. However, it was not working well. My inexperience at colour rubbing meant that I left too much ink on the plate, leaving it very dense and lacking in tonal variation. The colour choices might have been more successful had my design been abstract rather than representational.
I then experimented with Prussian blue and mixed green for the sea and fish. The sky colour was created using mixed orange. These were applied using brushes and rubbed with scrim, rag and tissue to remove ink to add further colour variation to the print. The print was printed on Bread and Butter paper and Somerset. Unfortunately the paper kept tearing on removal from the plate. I kept one of the prints for experimentation in my sketchbook.
I experimented with varying conditions at home on the X press and achieved some reasonable prints with no tearing of paper on removal from the press. The most successful print required the addition of extender to the printing inks at mixing.
The desired colours were applied again, this time with the addition of extender and rubbed as before and printed on the Rochat press. The addition of extender allowed the paper to be cleanly removed from the plate, resulting in a successful print. However, the extender diluted the colour on the paper.I found that the most subtle results were obtained by adding white as a base colour and delicately rubbing colour into this. The Rochat press enabled me to achieve greater embossing on the paper which added to the interest of the print.

Reflections

Valuable lessons were learned in carrying out this part of the project, particularly in relation to the way in which ink could be affected by factors such as temperature.
The addition of extender created ink texture which seemed to work better when trying to remove the paper from the collagraph plate after printing. Paper had to be soaked for the optimal conditions for the studio. Left in too long and the risk of tearing increased considerably. It was essential to ensure the paper was blotted adequately but not too dry.
Ink rubs were best applied dark over light areas with very thin ink diluted with extender. Undiluted ink tended to reduce the detail on the plate. I thought the final prints would work well as an illustration for a story.
Detailed planning ahead was needed to carry out the work in a busy print studio where presses have to be booked and other artists need access to the press. – Easier to experiment at home but limitations from the press
Print 3: Theme “Strange new Land”

My aims in developing the design for this print was to create a print which reflected the first impressions of the landscape from the sea as seen for the first time through the eyes of a migrant.
I imagined characteristics which might strike someone seeing the UK coastline. Words which came to mind were: Grey, cold, industrial, cliffs, factories, gulls, misty, rain. I wanted a semi-abstract, freer approach to this project, where the materials would to some degree dictate the final image. I used a variety of card and corrugated cardboard applied to the printing plate to create a semi-abstract landscape. The plate was prepared as before and inked up initially using black oil-based inks. Printing was carried out using the Rochat Press.
Colour choices
A monochrome proof was used to hand-colour the print using watercolour. This created a delicate effect. However, I had problems with the paper tearing at the edges of the print after soaking for stretching and had nor created enough prints to repeat the process. I then inked up the plate again using Caligo safewash inks applying a thin layer of white ink to which colour was then added. Colours were rubbed onto the plate to create muted grey tones, extender having been added to the printing inks. The image was printed onto Bread and Butter paper using the Rochat Press.
Reflections
Overall, I was pleased with the quality of monochrome print obtained with this plate. My first print was too dark but later ones improved as I was able to gauge the correct most of rubbing to create the desirable tone.
I enjoyed experimenting with the application of watercolour. Taping down my damp print to stretch it properly to avoid tearing and cocking later would have improved the end result. Colour trials ahead of printing would have improved the final outcome of hand-colouring.
Small accidental features emerged after printing which I liked. The form of a small sailing boat can be seen in the foreground of the print. This fits well with the theme and adds abstract elements to the print.
Print 4 “Stepping out of the Shadows”
The plate from Part 1 was re-inked in colour for Part 4 of the series, using a mix of red and yellow to create the desired shade of orange. I wanted to create a print in colour which would visually represent happiness and freedom. The initial print created an image where the small character printed a deeper shade than the others. I then created a template to cut a replica of the shape in purple tissue. This colour was selected to create strong contrast with the orange. The purple tissue was stuck directly to the print to enable the colour of the tissue to retained in full.
Reflections
I like the colour choices selected for the print and I feel that these are working well to create an optimistic mood within the print. I would like to experiment further using bonding of the tissue within the print. Overall I like the final result and would like to experiment further.

Research: Chine colle printing

Introduction

For Project 14, I was inspired by the work of printmaker Katie Jones. A link to the artist’s website is provided below.

Project 13: Combination Mono and linoprints: Linocut Design 2

I selected a small collagraph titled “Separation Lines V” by Katy Jones for my research.

IMG_1072

Separation Lines V” 10×10 cms . Collagraph with chine colle: Artist, Katherine Jones

Process
The artist has used a number of different approaches in making the plate for Separation V, using a cardboard baseplate with a range of materials such as masking and parcel tape to develop the surface of her printing plate. She has also cut into the surface of the plate and to create further tonal variation and added texture through the addition of glue to the surface of the work.
The plate was coloured by hand and tissue layered across the piece, extending beyond the main picture plane, creating a rich sense of layering , with both colour and texture variation.
Composition
For Separation Lines V, a square format has been used which works well with the small scale and abstract nature of the work.
Colour
The artist has made use of a palette of primary colours which creates a striking image, with the placement of the yellow segment just off centre to the right adding a central point of focus to the work. Layering has muted the initial colours, introducing a range of rich greys and browns across the picture plane, adding depth and interest to the work. I found this a particularly interesting aspect of her work. In looking at the work I have a sense of looking through the darker layers into the light beyond. The variation in colour and texture helps keep the eye of the viewer moving across the picture plane, creating a really interesting piece.
Relevance to my own work
In projects 13 and 14 part 1 I tried to achieve a sense of looking up at the light from below the surface of water. I tried to retain the effect of light in the centre of the prints and to add depth and texture to the perimeter of the work, keeping the central focus around the light zones.
In project 14 part 3 I felt that this method of working would allow freedom to experiment in my own practice. In my own work for project 14, I used linoprinting layered with tissue and additional collaged elements made from cut coloured paper.

References
1. Hartill, B. and Clarke, R. (2005) p. 70. Collagraphs and mixed media printmaking (printmaking handbook). London: A & C Black Publishers.

2.

http://www.katherine-jones.co.uk/pages/printmaking.php

Glasgow Coat of Arms: do we need an update to represent our increasingly multi faith culture ?

Looking for potential symbols with “Faith” as a starting point

As a starting point for Part 5 of PM1, I visited the St Mungo Museum of Religious Art and Life and Glasgow Cathedral, both located at the heart of the historical Christian diocese of Glasgow. The museum seeks to help understanding of all faith groups and to act as a focus promote dialogue and engagement across religious divides.

Both places display works of art related to both Christian and other faith groups. The images below show Glasgow Cathedral in the background with a “Clooty Tree” installed in the Japanese Zen Garden in the gardens of the museum. The Clooty tree is usually found at places of spiritual significance and reflects the tradition ( found in many faiths) of tying cloth to trees to signify hopes and prayers. This motif has potential within a multi-faith context as it is used by several faith groups

The picture to the right includes the specially made lamp standards using the story of the Bird the Bell the Fish and the Tree from the legend of St Mungo.

Glasgow Cathedral seen from the Japanese Zen Garden with “Clooty Tree” in the foreground ( right ).

I was looking for imagery from amongst the various exhibits which might form the basis for an alternative crest. Below are some of the religious images of significance to the various faith groups featured.

From the left:

Hindu God Shiva as Nataraja ( Lord of the Dance): 

Hanukka  Lamp: From the Jewish religious tradition

Sikh Emblem

All of these emblems have strong visual impact and could be incorporated into the theme.