At the end of each school year, home comes a big folder of of all the lovely paintings my kids have done, week by week. We do a bit of slapping paint around at home too. Some go on the wall. Quietly, quite a lot go in the paper recycling. When in the experimental drawing workshops, I often wonder what distinguishes us from small children playing with paint. I sort of think, not a lot.
We seem to have been playing with monoprints: layering pigment on metal plates and pressing paper on this by hand. The output from the group is very varied. My own approach was at first to use quite dilute gouache, and some ground charcoal and chalk pastels.
I wondered what then to do. I had made nine monoprints in rapid succession. I could look at the pretty patterns and say – “finished”. But a few purposeless patterns are not art any more than just looking at mountains or rivers or the appearence of stained tissue on a microscope slide are art. Eventually, this is the stuff of the recycling bin. Unless I use it. Somehow.
I started to go over these first patterns first in charcoal (not sure about that) and then I explored printing again, using thickly brushed acrylic. This is still experimentation. but I begin to have an idea. I am thinking of printing more sparingly over these patterns, building layers with rose and viridan to re–create an image of a heron on look out that I have previously attempted in watercolour (with very limited success). A version I’ve not posted before is below and I’ve linked to the previous attempts also.