Tutor Feedback on Assignment 1  and my own interpretation

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There are FOUR Assignment 1 pages in this section:

Project 1 Rural Landscape

Project 2 Urban Landscape

Project 3 Abstract

Final Piece – Tryptych of Prints.

Overall this Assignment has taken a huge amount more time than I anticipated.  On the domestic front I have been dealing with two elderly mums and changes to their care needs (including one now living with us, and another who has rapidly progressing dementia).  I am not well myself and awaiting surgery and my husband has been at home for a long period without any work. This ought to have made life easier but it has not.

On a more positive note – I am pleased with the style and complexity of the work that I have produced.  It has been a period of getting back into printmaking after a break to do the Graphic Design Course.  I feel that my work has become stronger in rhythm and pattern for having studied graphic design.

I am not happy with the standard of finish.  I feel it needs to be crisper and cleaner in terms of edges, registration and colour saturation.  I still tend to be surprised by outcomes, and whilst this is part of the pleasure of printmaking, I feel I ought to have a bit more control over it.

PAPERS: I have used Somerset  paper, cartridge paper and a finer Japanese paper.  These were all papers that I had in stock but I would be hard pushed to say exactly what they were.  I could not, for instance re-order the Japanese paper confidently and now what I was getting.

One of the things I have done for September onwards is to enrol on some short courses and a series of evening classes at our closest Print Workshop – Gainsborough’s House, the home of Sudbury Printmakers.  Although this will take a lot of organising I think it will be be extremely helpful in taking my printmaking to a more professional level and I will have a chance to work with others and to see and get to know a range of papers (and other materials).

INKS: I use the Caligo Safewash inks and have found that working from tubes is much more controllable and economical than tins.  I wonder if they let my work down by being less dense than oil based inks, but working as I do between bedroom/ bathroom and  domestic utility room I am happy with their environmental friendliness.  I have made good progress with controlling colour mixing and quantities so am happy to stay with them for the moment.

PRINTING AND PRESS:  My husband bought me a small table top twin roller press for Christmas.  A4 is the maximum size that will go through it.  I have done a lot with trial and error to learn to get the best from it.  It didn’t come with a plate or blankets so I have had to work out how to set these up.  I am very happy with the results I get on small prints with dampened Somerset paper. I have a hard wood plate to support my prints, but need to also experiment with putting a thinner, soft “sandwich” of plate and paper (suitable protected) through the rollers.

For acetates, I like to print by hand and I have worked out ways of steadying up to A3 size whilst I work on each area in turn.  I love the control it gives over the final print.

Because I have given up work to look after my mother in law, I want to maximise my income.  I have allowed myself to become distracted with putting pictures and prints into local exhibitions (very poor response generally in the current climate). I feel that my urban landscape and my final piece have local commercial value which could be explored and again have caused delay by thinking along these lines rather than getting course work shifted. It is a matter of discipline to leave this alone and to concentrate on building my skills, looking on it as a longer term investment.


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