Yesterday’s (surprisingly sunny) walk from South Brent up on to Dartmoor produced some new prints – ‘prints on the go’ that suggest my walk experience – not at all sure what I’m going to do with them yet but very much enjoying the process
I have been making collagraphs from materials collected on my coastal walks – seaweed gives marvellous abstract marks when pressed into the plaster base – these are a couple of the latest printed to the torn edges of the paper (Fabriano Rosapina) . The first one was only partially inked and I’ve made a sequence of these ending up with a print from a completely inked plate (the second image)
I feel that this image captures the rhythm of the walk especially when 6 are displayed horizontally as a sequence.
In the third image, above, the print is made from 2 plates – one using some sand (printed first) and the other using a large seaweed strand – I am now experimenting with introducing some minimal colour. I have also experimented printing on dry paper but this has lost the rich texture of the image. The collagraphs are 62 x 22 cms. Some of the less successful prints will be torn into smaller prints, like the ones in my last post, and be displayed as ‘path fragments’. It has become rather obsessive!
It first came up in the group crit a few weeks ago – printing to the edges of the paper – now I can’t imagine any other way – it is so much easier – so I started ripping the paper to give it that lovely deckelled edge that sheets of uncut paper have – only it is never quite the same of course!
Today I decided to tear one of my smaller collagraph prints into 4 – I used this one
the 5cms square pieces below seem to relate to the small etching plates of the same size – you can see these in this post HERE – I like the intimacy of these tiny prints and that you have to go up close to look at them.
I have also gone to the other extreme and made the largest collagraph plate that fits on the press – 116 x 84 cms – every stage of the process presented a new challenge – from soaking the paper to where to store the prints – at this point they are still in the print room at university and then they will have to live under the bed unless I decide to also tear thsse into smaller prints. I also found it quite exhausting to print such large images! I’m not very pleased with the results, they are disappointing, and I will have to think about whether to work on the plate further. I will take a photograph of it as soon as I can find a place to display it . I only have another few days to finish my print work before the end of term next week – then the print room is closed for the Easter break for 3 weeks – assessment is a week later!
I picked the dullest of the 3 good days we had a couple of weeks ago unfortunately – it was cold but dry and the sun did struggle out around lunchtime when I ate my sandwiches on the beach (alone!) I don’t set out with any clear idea of how I am going to document my walk and this time I left my camera at home so I couldn’t take a photo of the place where I gathered the material for my latest ‘ball’ It was from a massive bindweed (I think but am not sure) bush covered in seedheads, not unlike the dandelion. I wished I had taken my camera – if only as a way of identifying the plant for certain – but I often walk this path so I will collect some leaves next time to aid identification.
I often carry small copper etching plates (5cm square) which I have been testing with various grounds – these are the three I carried on this walk – The middle one was placed in my bra near to my heart, and left me with a tattoo for several days
And I have been making paper from natural materials collected from the path. Where this is taking me I’m not sure at the moment but I’m enjoying the process! This is my favorite piece as it is more 3D so I am going to try a more sculptural form next time
Last week I visited Green Hill Arts to see the exhibition ‘Gathering Silence’ – the work of 4 artists who have made work from walking on Dartmoor. Steve Thorpe had collected rocks which he had ground to make pigments – the colours were really beautiful and I felt it was a shame that more attention had not been given to the presentation – It reinforced the importance of presentation to me especially with minimal work where every mistake/smudge is highly visible – it can really make or break a work.
My next walk is on Saturday and I have a tutorial on Friday this week so I will be able to talk through some of these ideas and how I can develop them further
3 more balls made – 2 lichen and 1 of sheep’s wool collected along the way from hedges and fences and rolled in my hands while walking – a very meditative experience and totally phenomenological.
I now have 6 balls and am not sure how to display them for my assessment next week. My tutor commented negatively on my display of them at my crit – I had 3 arranged on a narrow shelf – I’m wondering now about using a plinth or does that carry the same message as the shelf? I can possibly make one more by next week giving me 7 for display – ‘a week of quiet walking’
A lovely sunny walk on Dartmoor last Sunday, a quick drawing because it was too cold to remain without gloves for more than a few minutes, and a rubbing which I am using to create a solar plate print
The walks on Dartmoor are a collaboration with a painter friend, Judy Cockram. We have discovered so far that we look at very different things when we’re walking – it will stretch us both – the legs and the art! We are planning a book of our responses at the end of April.
I have had a nasty virus for the last month and have been unable to do any long walks or related artwork – I’ve felt pretty awful, very low and unmotivated and consequently I am way behind with my MA work and have missed my group crit. I’m gently easing my way back by doing a large drawing 30 ins square based on my ‘not walking’ frustrations and it seems to have been influenced by the circular theme that emerged a few weeks ago, when I last posted……
most of my walks are circular walks so it kind of makes sense. I have 2 walks planned for this week so I hope to progress the work further.
This is where the large drawing has got to but I am going to work into it further
During the drawing I took some prints – body movement traces