Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Chapter 5 : Patterned Papers

A range of patterned papers using drawings of fish markings,

A selection of decorated papers made with ink marks.  As you can tell papers 1-4 are made with white tissue and it's interesting to glimpse the next column of samples beneath.  The tissue makes for an attractive texture, like seersucker which is created by the water stretching the paper.  The other samples are made of white cartridge paper and printed on with a variety of homemade pens -- corrugated card, polystyrene, credit card etc. -- and different strengths of ink.  On sample 7 I used a stronger ink over a weaker one but the same tool to make curved scraping marks.  Throughout the range of tones is mid to light grey and on sample 6, where the ink is darkest and the lines finest the white paper appears whitest although it is no different to that used elsewhere.  Seen as a collection there is a sense of watery movement evocative of my fishy inspirations..

My absolute favourite of all the techniques.  Watching the designs develop seemed almost like alchemy, a positively magical experience.  I like the way the tissue becomes translucent and it would be nice to try and exploit that quality.These are only small samples (2" by 4") cut from the A4 sheet but I think they reflect the animal markings well. I used a range of tools to print (1 and 5), draw (2, 4 and 6) and scrape (3).

The image shows a selection of twelve monoprinted papers, again white cartridge paper.  I attempted to use white tissue having been so pleased with the ink and bleach effects, however this time the effects were disastrous.  Papers 1-5 were made with acrylic paint rollered onto a glass sheet (something I still need to work on before the paint surface is as I would like - it's getting the amount of paint right at the beginning and ensuring the surface is even) and then drawn on using card, rubber and an old pen. Papers  9 and 10 were made by placing the paper on a n acrylic layer and than drawing on the back with a pencil.  Papers 11 and 12 were scraped directly on to the acrylic layer with wide stiff card markers to try and imitate the prehistoric markings round the mackerel eye. The background painty texture increased the complexity of the surface in an interesting way.  Finally for papers 8 and 9 I returned to printing, using up left over paint and  bubble pack and torn polystyrene strips.

Monoprinting is an interesting  method of producing decorated papers, much more spontaneous than with ink and bleach where I felt I had a little more time to develop the designs, and as a result find them preferable.

Now I see the papers together I'm surprised by the tonal range.  Comparing it with the broccoli greyscale above, created in my photography class, many of the tones are there and it would be an interesting exercise to make a  greyscale with the whole range of papers I've produced.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


Meet Max, a much-loved sixteen month old dalmatian.  He's boisterous, sociable, inquisitive, and always hungry. Max been adopted by our son and daughter-in-law and whilst they have been away on honeymoon he's has been staying with us.  As a house-guest he's been a little challenging and I rather feel it's been more a matter of his training us rather than the other way round.  We returned him on Sunday after a three week stay and I must confess the house seems very quiet and empty without him: no more whimpering because Max is on his own, no more well-chewed plastic milk containers strewn on the floor and no more tiptoeing past a dog basket complete with sleeping hound, just a collection of unwanted dog biscuits in my pocket.

Monday, 9 April 2012


Have you ever asked yourself why you don't do the blindingly obvious? In this instance I'm talking about using my reference books.  My defense for not having done this is clear: I don't want to be overly influenced by examples of other people's work.  I want to use the module's explanations, ideas and samples and then engender something I can call my own.  Of course this is perfectly ridiculous; the reason for choosing "echoes" as my blog name is a recognition that anything I may do has its roots elsewhere -- nature, an exhibition, even someone else's blog.  So, I'm getting down to a little serious reading, notebook and post-its to hand in the hope that I too can use the pearls gathered over a lifetime by the likes of Valerie Campbell-Harding, to say nothing of those that arrive in my student feedback from Sian.

Whilst I'm on the subject of resources I've also been reminding myself of the contents of my cupboard: machine feet, needles, threads, fabric, paints -- I could go on.  I learned to appreciate those tidying days from the Summer Drawing Project -- yet another pearl I'm making my own.