Planning how to make the cuts

20131031 sketch for printmaking 3

Field sketch.

marsh Lane lino source drawing 1

Planning a reduction linocut.  White black and two mid tones in acrylic ink.

20131031 sketch for printmaking 2

Increasingly turbulent,

White broken,

Striated linear,

Light blue:

1. Black

2. Mid

3. Contrast

4. White

Light from sun from above and behind left arch of bridge,

Thin reeds tapering up silhouetted to water,

White striated clouds like rock facies some areas darkened – dense parallel lines, others sparse striae

Areas of mid tone dense non-striated grey cloud in front in lower parts,

Trees silhouette against sky but more variegated by the light in front of bridge,

Here, shape the undergrowth in white and mid tone against the darks

Evening light at Marsh lane.


Vesuvius morning light

201311115 Naples 2

I spent a day and a half in a hotel and in a meeting room in L’Istituto Nazionale Tumori “Fondazione Pascale”.  As the car wound up the hill between the two, I caught a glimpse through the roadside barriers of the dramatic wedge of sand making up the Bay of Naples with the sun suddenly glaring from behind the dark shape of Vesuvius.  I tried several times, in odd moments, to recapture this in my sketch book.

201311115 Naples 1

I have in mind a set of simplified shapes that might be captured in a lino print.

201311115 Naples 3

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune

Tens of thousands of medical professionals and representatives of the worldwide pharmaceutical industry come together in the McCormick Conference Centre in Chicago for a summer time festival, largely replicating patterns of hominid behaviour going on since Neolithic times.

I found this a bit overwhelming and went, alone, walking round Chicago. Last year, I painted several pieces based on those walks.  I had forgotten this one.

Linocut: guillemot assembly

Last weekend I was back at Birmingham Printmakers, cheerfully learning the techniques of suicidal linocutting from Jacqui Dodds and Christine Bradshaw.

20131103 Printmaking guillemots (2)

I had done a tonal drawing sitting on the cliff top at St Abbs in June.  I had had the idea from the start about using this as the template for a print.  I wanted to use the blue as the mid tone for both the darks of the birds’ uppers and the shadows of the white underparts.

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I mixed a light blue ink for the first cut.  On reflection, I think I should have cut more white into the foreground and allowed the background to recede in the mid-ground blue.

For the second cut, I mixed a reddish brown which darkened when overlaid onto the blue.

When the third layer in black went on, it was like magic, suddenly pulling the whole piece together.

I’ll add a plug for my hosts.  The Birmingham Printmakers are celebrating 30 years of existence with an exhibition in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.   It’s very good though I was dragged around rather rapidly by my impatient children.

Thanks Jacqui and Christine.  I’m looking forward to joining BPM and doing more of this.