Contemporary printmaking: Scott Campbell

OCA Printmaking 1: Your First Monoprints

Research into Contemporary Printmakers

Introduction

I undertook this investigation into contemporary printmakers as part of my OCA Printmaking 1 coursework. The print featured below is the work of printmaker Scott Campbell, a Master Printmaker at the Glasow Print Studio. A link to his work is provided below:

http://www.glasgowprintstudio.co.uk/Shop/DisplayArtist/10?page=0

Untitled IV, Scott Campbell, Unique monoprint, 2015

imageI spotted this print which is one of a series of 3, on my visit to the Glasgow Print Studio. I was initially drawn to the striking colours and sense of tranquility which I got from viewing the work. I thought that it would be interesting to look at prints which contrasted in the techniques used, and set out to compare and contrast this work by the monotype by the artist Calum McClure which Is on display in the same gallery.

Composition

The print is a semi-abstract landscape, square in format, with the picture plane divided roughly into thirds, creating a harmonious feel to the print. These divisions have been created by the use of contrasting bands of colour within each third.

A very dark phthalo blue occupies the lower third of the picture plane, suggesting the sea in the foreground. This fades gradually to pale blue in the middle third of the picture plan, changing to pale yellow in the upper third of the print.

The artist adds emphasis to the very pale colours between land and sky by the addition of a contrasting line of pale pink with small vertical lines bisecting this, suggesting movement in this area across the horizon line. Interestingly, the view seems to be from sea to land, in contrast to the common view from land out to sea.
The addition of colour at the horizon line works very well to bring a representational element to the print.

The artist places a small yellow circle above the horizon, suggesting the sun and again strengthening the more representational aspects of the print and helping to make sense of the scene for the viewer.

Speculation on Method

The print is smooth in texture in contrast to the work “In Blue, Pollock Park” 2015 by Calum McClure. I think that the artist has used masking techniques on successive print runs to create the bands of colour on the prints and to create such sharp lines on the little disc representing the sun. The pale grey markings look as though they may have been added very carefully with a brush at the end of the printing process as a last layer on the last print run.

Reflections

Overall, I think the print is very successful, with subtle use of colour and precise application of colour. It contrasts with the more fluid approach taken by Calum McClure in the Pollock Park print, which has a much more Expressionist feel to it.
I would like to try to creat this effect in my own work and may consider trying to rework some of my landscape paintings as abstract prints using pale
“ seascape” colours.

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