I am becoming obsessed with monotype processes! I have done a lot of work with gel press plates but last week I obtained a sheet of plexiglass (about A2 in size) and have been doing some experiments towards coursework (portraits mainly). I have also been using it to develop some layered landscapes. I am using acrylics at the moment, although my Caligo printing ink should be delivered today and I can start messing about with that. I am fascinated with the process of creating monotypes and how different each one can be. I had a kinda of plan for this one but the trees took over. It’s inspired by all the woodland I visit on my wanderings around these parts.
I have an ex-pat South African friend who now lives in New Zealand. She is always so supportive and appreciative of the art I do and regularly comments on my social media pages whenever she sees something she really likes. She has no ‘art’ on the walls in her new house, so I decided to gift her something. I asked her what she would like – landscape, realist, abstract? She has always liked a ‘dotty’ abstract painting I did (which is very large about 5foot by 4foot).
After trying a few ideas out – that I didn’t like 🙂 – I decided to just play and create something happy and positive – kinda like her. Funny, I could hear her voice in my head as I was painting, i think that’s a good thing! Here it is:
I tore a section of paper to about A2 size from my giant piece of Atlantis paper, the painting itself is 55 x 37.5cm in size. I used Amsterdam, Winsor&Newton and Golden Open acrylics. The surface of the painting has been sealed with an acrylic binder.
About the paper
Atlantis Giant 400gsm – this is a very durable and high quality paper for artists needing a large surface format (It comes in a huge roll – and the paper sheet size was 60”x 48” / 1524 x 1219mm). It can be used for most main applications ranging from watercolours, gouache and drawing through to silkscreen and acrylic. Made from 70% highly refined woodfree pulp and 30% cotton fibre. Acid free. Buffered with calcium carbonate, pH 8.5 (hot extract). The paper is gelatine sized, un-watermarked. NOT surface. Two deckle edges. Available in White only. It can be purchased direct from Atlantis here: https://www.atlantisart.co.uk/atlantis-giant-watercolour-drawing-paper-400gsm/ (this is not an affiliate link!)
I will be rolling this painting into a large tube (adequately protected first) and shipped off to New Zealand as soon as I can. Hope she likes it.
I use a gel plate, which once painted on is folded to create a channel in the paint. I use Golden Open Acrylics. Then I lay it flat and may use a stencil and dot with isopropyl alcohol before taking a print. Afterwards, I work into the surface with soft pastel pencils. This is all still in the experimental stage but lots of fun.
Well, I’m having such a great load of fun at the moment, I don’t know when I’m going to stop fiddling about with this gel plate – it’s addictive! I obtained supplies to learn these techniques whilst doing the next part of my degree course … although we are supposed to just work on a piece of perspex or glass … sod that, I wanted an excuse to a get a gel press plate, so I did 🙂 (I’m such a rebel)
I have started a sketchbook dedicated to the monoprinting experiments I’m doing. It took a while to get the right paint and technique right as far as transferring images and text is concerned. I also bought a small laser printer because it is a right battle to transfer images that have been printed out using an inkjet printer. I got a dinkie little Pantum, such a cute little thing and works really well.
Anyhow, I will try and do a video (whoa, hold me back) to show how I’m making the monoprints and results. Please ‘don’t watch this space‘ because knowing me I’ll just stuff up any attempt at making a video but my heart is in the right place, I will give it a go …
I decided to try this composition/subject out using water-mixable oils on paper, the underpainting was in acrylics. The paper I used is Daler-Rowney Heavyweight Finegrain 200gsm and was A2 or 59x42cm The actual painting is 57×39.5cm (there is a small border around it). This is the final result:
I’ve been without wheels for over a year but yesterday, I was gifted with a Ford Focus Titanium! I promised myself that the first place I’d visit would be the sea. Well, the weather is not playing ball today, so my trip to the beach will have to wait a couple more days. The Norfolk coastline is not too far away from where I live (too far to walk though). I think the idea of going to the water was on my mind when I started this little painting. It began like this:
But it has ended up like this:
I used enamels (gold, sapphire blue, red, white and yellow), resin pigment inks and acrylics. It is signed on the lower right hand corner with my initials and measures 10″ x 8″ x 1/2″ or 25.5cm x 20cm x 1 cm – I’ve put it in my shop here.
Oh aren’t we all fed up with winter and Covid yet?! I know I am. I have been studying quite a lot, so haven’t had much time to paint for myself in a while. Today, I decided to have a go with my Polyvine acrylic enamel paints, which I’m really loving. I bought them to use for the coursework (I’m now studying Understanding Painting Medium) and they were a great investment. I have a lot of little canvases lying around, so today was summer rose day! These roses grew outside one of the houses we rented a couple of years ago, they were always a delight.
Canvasses are 10x8x 1/2″ or 25.5x20x1cm
If you would like to purchase one or both, please email me: email@example.com
I obtained some more soft pastels over Christmas, as well as a 36 colour set of Mont Marte H2O watermixable oils. I’ve been practising with both mediums this past week – doing two versions of the same scene, one using soft pastel and the other with oils, to see how well I can get a good result. One thing that’s becoming obvious is I have a far better grasp of it with soft pastels than I do with oils!
One of the comparison studies I did today, involved the use of a reworked pastel study. I took the earlier pastel practise piece and rubbed the surface pigment off as much as i could, leaving a kind of underpainted base to work on, to which I added some white …
I then completed a moody landscape from a photo I took a few years ago.
I’m really pleased with how this turned out. I have done an oil version of this same scene, which is drying at the moment. I’m not happy with that at all but I’ll do some more work on it tomorrow and maybe I can get it right, then will post on here to show the difference between the two techniques – soft pastel on Pastelmat and watersoluble oils on Arches oil paper.
I hope everyone is safe and healthy. Last year was hard for so many people, I just hope that with the vaccines being rolled out all over the place, that we get to crush this Covid thing once and for all during 2021.
You may have noticed that I’m having another go at re-organising this website, and have decided to start including my photography as I take A LOT of photos, some of them not too bad.
I want to make this website my primary place of business going forward. I have quite a large body of work building up, which includes pieces I’ve done for my Uni studies. I have to sell it off, as I’m battling to find storage space. I’ve sold my work on eBay a few times but it does appear that marketing work person to person is how I sell most of my paintings. I have a few reliable patrons who buy work from me off and on – I wonder how I could expand that base?
Where do you guys sell your art? Or if you’re not selling art, do you buy it online? And what kind of art do you buy, from where?
Available from my shop. This work is sold unframed, it has been set with a proprietary pastel fixative and is posted to you flat, protected with glassene and packed to avoid disturbance of the surface. It is signed.
I splashed out a while ago and bought a wonderful set of 12 Caran D’Ache pastel pencils, which are really lovely to use, I definitely want to buy more colours eventually. However, one of the biggest problems was I just couldn’t sharpen them properly. I tried using your standard metal pencil sharpener with the big hole, as well as trying to use a sharp knife but I just ended up breaking the pencil tip or getting a lovely bulb shaped snub-nosed point! I then watched a YouTube video by Jason Morgan (him with the lovely Welsh accent) and in it, he recommended (amongst other products), the M+R crank-handled sharpener (made in Germany).
And whilst this set me back about 20 quid (including postage and packing from Uncle Amazing), it was money well-spent. It’s easy to operate, clean and also fix if anything gets jammed (like broken pencil tops). It comes with a clamp to secure on your desk or work table if you so prefer and easy to follow instructions (even for mechanica-phobes like me). It is adjustable for various sized pencils. Caran D’Ache are notably thicker than other pastel pencils and whilst their wood casings are very hard, the centre pastel is soft, which makes them very difficult to sharpen without the pastel crumbling away or breaking completely.
This year has been a good one for me, can’t really complain, at least i’m still alive. It’s just the hanging about waiting to see family, give people hugs and sloppy kisses, that’s what’s been crap about it. I made the decision in February to sell my ageing car and whilst that was a good financial move, it has created a lot of frustration. Gone are the days when I could just take myself off to the nearest wood for a wander about, or go shopping by myself somewhere out of the usual supermarket slog. Pathetic to whine about crap like that though, hey?
I have worked from home for the last twenty years of my life, so that has not been an issue for me – other than the fact that I’ve had no work since February! I share this home with my daughter and son-in-law, plus two grandchildren, so I’m fortunate not having to worry too much about the massive dip in my earnings, I have definitely not gone hungry. Her Majesty has been kind enough to provide a couple of hand-outs this year and I believe another one is on the offing soon, I would never look a gift horse in the mouth (sorry, ma’am) but I really want to get back to earning my own dosh soon.
We’re being told that lockdown measures may be relaxed somewhat over the festive period, allowing us to be close to loved ones and in our case have more than one person visit. The ‘rule of six’ has been a gut punch for us, as there are already five of us in this house, so only one visitorwas ever allowed.
If you pass by this post between now and 2021, know that I wish you a very pleasant festive season. I hope you are safe and well and that 2021 is kind to us all.
that’s such a weird word, ‘updating’ … does it mean you are upping your dating game or dating above your station …
Anyhoo, I am frantically working on my final assignment pieces for the course I’m doing at the moment with OCA (Uni for the Creative Arts) … and it’s taking up a lot of my time – nay, I can’t even get back to knitting jerseys! My world’s gone mad, I tell you.
I am doing A LOT of art projects but I can’t post pictures of them on ‘ere until after my final projects for this course have been assessed, which will be in March next year. Crikey, what a to-do ‘ey?
So, that’s why you haven’t been seeing much of my work getting posted up on this website for a while.