I started this piece of work on 2nd September. I haven’t got any preconceived ideas of what I want to do as a subject.
I used the notes I made after the Joseph Cornell exhibition of all the things that I like as a starting point. A seaside theme is emerging at the moment. (3rd September) It has lots of potential and I think it would be better to use my time to do it well, rather than to keep looking for an alternative idea.
There are two options for this final piece – An A0 collage or a series of five prints. At the moment I am exploring both options.
First thoughts and studios of Picasso beach paintings:
Planning of both options:
Further development of ideas for both options:
I have not managed to get a successful print from my plate. It took a lot of inking, and because of the size I was working kneeling or squatting on the floor which was not ideal. I was really excited about the composition and the effects buts they did not translate well into ink. I was just starting to get somewhere when the surface of the plate started to break up. (it was glued onto the smooth side of hardboard and finished with a coat of PVA)
I did get one print that I thought worked as an abstract – none of them worked as representational images, but I tried to do a “patching” job on it and spoiled it.
So overall this was disappointing – I really liked the image, but I failed in the execution of it. I produced some good textures but they didn’t translate well into a discernible image. I think it would work really well as a wood cut on a large scale because I would be able to get the detail (especially in face and hands) and character I wanted. A piece of beach-combed wood would be lovely and in keeping with the theme. This was outside the brief though.
So I worked on my other idea – the series of 5. I am pleased with the idea – it still feels witty even after I have worked on it for a while.
Sequence of 5 prints (see above) :
I printed in batches – lots of lighthouses – experimenting with masks and different backgrounds. I was pleased with the shells- the cuts used on the woodblock gave good realistic textures. For the groynes/chocolate flakes I printed directly off small pieces of driftwood that I had collected from a beach. That gave me a good set of images to work with, mixing and matching to get the series of five – I tried out quite a few different ideas.
I like the sequence I have made – blue is on the central 3 pictures – simple images on either end. I like the way that I have played with scale in the relative sizing and position of the objects. The strength of the piece is in the idea of playing with shapes. The colours have been influenced by my Picasso studies.
Using wood blocks and fairly deep cuts means that the images are embossed and have some texture to them. As I was cutting the collage pieces, I left an “edge” on them to show off the embossing and also the printed edge which is attractive and I didn’t want to lose it in favour of a straight scissor cut. I was also able to make use of plain paper as light on the top of the groynes.
I think the overall effect could be improved by printing everything directly instead of collaging it. Now that I have my sequence sorted out – I could reprint the whole thing on a very large sheet of paper A1 or A0 to tell the story on one page. I like the break in step of the diagonal blue on Print number 4 – but I should have left a bigger margin round it – it was difficult to frame.
The more I think about this piece of work, the more I feel I have fallen way short of the brief, the whole piece is very tight and far too conventional . I explored some really great ideas on the way – Fabric, 3D, transfer printed backgrounds, collage – but seem to have managed to forget most of this in the production of my work, due to being carried away with the idea.
I have recently started meeting with East Anglia Extreme – the local OCA student support group which has a facebook page and meets reasonably regularly. A lot of them are textilers – which has made me appreciate the medium more – I think this set of prints could be developed in that way – printing on fabric as a panel showing the sequence – or possible printing to create a large composite picture.
The only saving grace that I can see is that I have learnt a huge amount to take with me into Assignment 6. (see planning stages) . A lot of this has come from the work I have done in my parallel project and the situation I am in in my private life.