2019 Catch-up

Early in 2019 we spent several weeks in Cornwall. We love visiting in winter, when there are often unexpected and wonderful sights. This series of work started with the rise of a red full moon, the blood moon.

An amazing sight by itself, but it was joined by a pod of dolphins, jumping and tumbling as they dashed across Mount Bay. I made a quick sketch, but when I returned to my studio I began to make a series of monotypes of the dolphins.

Sketch – dolphins go home between blood moons.

Preparing to print each dolphin, I cut out shapes in transparent acetate and as I dropped them onto the table, I realised that they had formed an interesting clustered image. I photographed that and made a solarplate etching from it.

Dolphin scraps

I inked each separately, adding them to a print as I developed it, passing each print many times through my etching press.

There were ten prints in the series and they were exhibited in a restaurant in Worthing and later in our summer Open Studios show.

2019 was a disrupted year, because we moved house and it took months for our new studios to be ready to use. The work in this blog was completed before May 2019, when we went to share a workshop in Florence for a few weeks – more about that in the next blog!

 

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Drifting Down the Danube

Last Christmas I spent a week drifting down the Danube and I filled a sketchbook with impressions, images and ideas. Most of the drawings were of reflections on the ship windows, mixed with images visible through the windows and objects (mainly plants) between me and the windows. I liked the ambiguity of the drawings, the juxtaposition of the different types of image and the way they seemed to suggest stories and questions that reflected the experience of the journey.

I made a series of twenty monotype paintings, which I began in a workshop in Florence in May this year. Most of the paintings went through four or five stages, where I added colour and marks or removed sections. This is a selection from the completed series.

I’m not sure if I’ve finished this series yet because there are several more ideas that I might return to soon.

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Exhibition at the Fish Factory

This year Paul and I are showing work at the Fish Factory in Brighton Road, Worthing for the Worthing Artists Open Houses trail (from June 16th – July 1st 2018, more info http://www.worthingartistsopenhouses.com).

‘Rock Pool’ is a carborundum print, the image developed from watercolour studies of rockpools.

This etching began as a study of a rock at Marazion, in Cornwall. There were intricate layers of dark and light strands, reminding me of how rocks document their own history, through their slow development of form.

This is an older image that always reminds me of living by the sea. The image is of John, one of the last local fishermen to still push his boat out from the beach to fish here. I wanted to hang this etching/collage here because we often eat his catch here as our fish and chips!

 

 

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Tales of the riverbank

We spent last Christmas floating down the Danube. Last year I had made a series of prints from my drawings of the Rhine riverbanks, which used some of the reflections on windows and water as part of the image. This time, I made the reflections the starting point of most of my drawings, choosing to focus on the windows that we normally look right through. Here are some pages from my sketchbook:

This is a mixture of the bridge, the street lights and the river running beneath, with a plant and the lights in the cabin.

Another window looked out to a church and had reflections from a window behind me.

The bridge again, this time drawn from a different angle.

This was an evening when people were dancing and many were waving their hands in the air – seen reflected in a window where I was watching the river go by.

A daytime view of winter river banks, when the sun was low and light flashed onto windows, making bright zig-zags and hints of rainbows.

Another daytime drawing, with detail in the windows reflected on windows.

Christmas Day in Budapest – lots of inside lights overlaying the views outside.

Now I’m looking forward to developing prints or paintings from these ideas. I like the feeling of starting the New Year with new ideas, although I still have a lot of work still in progress from last year!

 

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Goodbye 2016

img_20161231_0012A New Year at last! In 2016 we had Christmas floating down the Rhine and instead of our usual morning champagne on Worthing beach, we drank a toast to all our relatives and friends in different corners of the world and shared some with the Rhine to carry to Neptune and the loved ones we’ve lost! These are some of the drawings I made through the week afloat – now I’ll start working out how to make larger work from them.

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This first group were of trees and windows lit up with Christmas lights, on the river banks as we moved out of Cologne.

 

 

 

 

 

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There were lots of castles perched on the tops of hills. Sometimes I drew with a pen and often I added colour with water-soluble pencils and a brush with a small water reservoir.

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2016 was very difficult for me because my younger brother died suddenly early in the year, which was a horrible shock and the reason why we had to do something very different and away from home at Christmas. As it happened, we arrived in Strasbourg docks on Christmas Day and I rather liked these magenta rail trucks.

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Maybe I had quite a lot of champagne, because not everyone saw the Rhine maidens or the Rhine gold, as I did!

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I’ve been thinking that I might develop some of my print sequences into books, so I joined a workshop focused on making visual diaries and graphic novels. That has helped me to increase the variety and spontaneity of drawing and I’ve learnt to be a lot less fussy about accuracy – who would have thought that it would take fifty years to shake off the objective drawing habits from 1960s art college! So these drawings may become part of a book as well as contributing to a series of monotypes – more in due course…

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