Friday 28 October 2011

Shibori Seas

 Remember I said I was piecing together an indigo seascape? Well I didn't get it finished to take to Weymouth , in fact it took another month but it's now ready to layer for quilting. Machine in the distance, hand stiching in the foreground I think.  I'd forgotten how difficult it is to photo indigo and it doesn't help it's currently about 125 h x 45cm w. I'm particularly pleased with these 2 sections and I'm itching to start another watery piece to incorporate the effects I achieved here before I forget!

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Sand Ghosts and Threads

Print 1: Dirty yellow ink applied with brayer to mylar sheet ( same one  as used for 'Green Sea' prints - halved  trips to the press!) Rayon standed thread applied to plate. On the print the white areas left are embossed (or should that be debossed?) 
Print 2: 'Ghost' print with threads removed - you get a dark outline around where the threads were.
Print 3: Another 'ghost print , this time with the threads added back after being on a green sea print - I love the subtle colours it adds in this detail (below)

Print 4 : Additional ink added then lines scored with end of paintbrush. If you look very carefully, there's still the very faint outlines of the threads beneath .

I got a lot out of this workshop - not least seeing what everyone else got up to. There's no way I'm going to use oil-based inks at home so I'll be interested to see how these techniques will work with acrylics or selectasine screenprinting inks  on fabric ( succumbed after all - George Weil is such a temptation!). Any idea where I can buy mylar sheets?It was a joy using the press - doing it by hand gave mixed results.  Might have to sign up for the class again in February...

Green Sea Ghosts and Threads

Print 1: Ink up mylar sheet with murky green, place sections of builders scrim, put through press. Decided not to continue with the scrim as pattern a bit regular but others were very grateful for my supplies and used them to great effect.
Print 2: Apply another layer of murky green ink and rayon thread already used on a yellow print. Use rag dipped in Zest-it to remove areas of ink. In the 'crit' at the end this was everyone's favourite of my work - wonderful subtle textures and colours.
Print 2 detail: Colours deposited by the threads being on the yellow print.
Print 3: 'Ghost' print of print 2
Print 3 detail: loving the textures here.

Print4: More ink applied and  moved around with brushes and rags dipped in Zest-it .

Working into Light

This Sunday at City Lit, only half the class turned up for the second session on monotypes (perhaps because the weather was so nice?) Their loss- we had more access to the presses! I came prepared with all kinds of ideas  but in the end spent most of the time exploring what the materials would do, inspired by  the same photos and sketches I used last  week of the sea, this time in colour!! My wrist certainly knows about the work needed with a 'push knife' to get the printing inks into a workable state.  The larger expensive rollers were in use so I  used the poor quality of the smaller brayers to my advantage - I rather like the blotchiness of the ink. Just scoring into the surface with the end of a paintbrush produced intriguing results
The bristles of the paint brushes gave interesting marks and once I'd got going with laying some standed rayon threads down there was no stopping me!

The 'ghost' prints were especially appealing. More on ghosts and thread in further posts.  

Friday 21 October 2011

October Boat Friday - 401st Post

Frustrated at not being able to save my Powerpoint presentation for Monday after several hours at the computer, I left work early and being a Friday, decided to revisit the boats along the river by Kew Bridge.
It was a very low tide - the water almost dwindles to nothing on the RH side of the 'Ait'.  I noticed quite a few gaps - there's been a lot of 'tidying up' with the new development. I wonder whether mooring costs have increased  or  not renewed so as not to block the views from the swanky flats?
Happily some of my favourites were still there.

As dusk started to fall and the temperature fell,  it was very atmospheric with the smell of woodsmoke. However romantic, I wouldn't want to live on one  and  was happy to cycle home to create nice smells of my own baking fruity bread.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Deductive Monotypes

 Deductive is seductive! After trace monotypes we moved onto 'deductive' which as the name implies, involves taking off some of the ink using rags dipped in white spirit, paraffin or in  my case 'Zest-It'. I also used brushes, tissue paper and cotton buds (for those blobby marks)
 These 2 prints were taken off the same plate - the one at the top was pressed by hand using a barren and a heavyweight roller. The one below was the result of going through the 'proper' press afterwards

Different results and effects - overall I prefer the hand pressed version but it took an awful lot of work.
We also covered 'additive' but I didn't get round to that. I need to think a bit more about what I want to do in the next session. Stitch-like marks in colour appeals .

Sunday 16 October 2011

Trace Monotypes

 Just back from  the first of a 2 day course at City Lit on Monoprinting. While I've had a go at this technique before both on paper and fabric , these used water-based media. This was my first attempt with  oil-based inks and access to a proper printing press - what a difference it  makes. Though my nails are appalling despite gloves , my head spining from the solvents  and it took half an hour to clear up!
 The first technique was inking up a plastic sheet then placing a sheet of paper over it and drawing into it (being careful not to get fingerprints on)
 Magic results when you peel the paper off and then the subtle negative print when put throught the press.

The tutor commented on the stitch-like marks( well one of the aims of the course was to relate it ito our own practice) Perhaps it was because I was using the same source photo as this journal quilt!

Friday 14 October 2011

Tout Quarry Sculpture Park

We spent a wonderful windy morning exploring Tout Quarry Sculpture Park on Portland. I wish I'd had my netbook with me so I could have found out a bit more about it beforehand (it's got over 70 sculptures spread through an old quarry). But stumbling across sculptures, some partly hewn,emerging from the stone, had it's own magic particularly as we had the site to ourselves. You never knew what might be around the next corner or if shapes were natural or intentional .

 The 'hand of the maker' was very evident, this one scratched like graffitti into a rock by the coastal path. It was bizarre coming out of this alternative world onto a well-used path ( a jogger passed us with her dog just as we emerged )

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Changeable Chesil

 We certainly had variable weather in Weymouth! We arrived for the hottest weekend in October since records began (or similar) - having to rethink our packing from fleeces and thick socks  to short sleeved shirts and sunhats. On Sunday even at 10am the fishermen were out in force on Chesil beach.
By Wednesday however when we walked  on Portland we were glad of wind proofs and thermal tubes. Very difficult not to get camera shake while being buffeted by the winds at 'The Heights' viewpoint.

 The following day was even more bracing! My camera battery had given up so I was reliant on my mobile phone - not too bad for close-ups of pebbles but definately a bit ropey for distant shots although the graininess added the the dramatic seascapes.
 I got Ian to take some photos on my behalf of the dramatic changes in colour with cloud shadows - should have taken heed of the changing weather as a sudden downpour sent us racing for the bus. Thanks to great public transport  we were 'home' in no time.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Portland Skies

The changing skies and colours over Portland definately influenced the stitching on my holiday sewing project - a composition I put together from Jo Budd's class at CQ Summer school

 They also provided constant inspiration for sketches out of the bedroom window. Next time I'll take larger painting surfaces to do them justice.

Saturday 8 October 2011

Back from Weymouth

If you've been thinking it's been a bit quiet here lately it's because I've been away for a week in Weymouth and I didn't take my netbook. Instead took books to read, a stitching project and my paints, went for walks and had several fishy lunches including at the fabulous Cove House Inn as recommended by Liz.
Had a fabulous time (despite a cold) with weather varying from  29C  to bracing winds.
With views like this from the bedroom window , we'll be back!!