Sherwood Printmakers 23 March 2014

I went to Sherwood Printmakers on Sunday and had a great time experimenting with stripes.

While I was making my new TV cabinet, organising the living room (my mind is now sorted and I feel ready to create again now my life is more in order!) and disposing of the packaging from the units, I realised the cardboard would make great monoprinting plates for stripes.

I had some larger panels with thin corrugations and smaller, packing pieces of board which had much larger corrugations. By picking off one of the outer layers and exposing the corrugations, I could easily create a striped plate. I say ‘easily’ – the outer layer was ‘challenging’ to remove, but I eventually developed a technique and was left with several different sized plates/blocks to try out with my colours. I took the colours in order from the diary and laid them down in order.

The corrugations have a really interesting texture – which are fuzzy lines with variations in intensity of colour according to pressure and inking. These were pressed by burnishing rather than through a press as the plates would have been squashed.

I tried to retain a sheet from each pressing (so I could see the progression of colour addition) and tried out various compositions as I went along.

Towards the end I feel they become too busy and cluttered with different blocks and colours and the simpler prints are more effective and intriguing.

I prefer the visual disruption of these and the fact that some of the registration is on and off of the lines – suggesting something is ‘amiss’. I like the optical mixing of the colours to create another, ‘unseen’ colour that didn’t appear in my diary – but is created from colours that DID appear through nothing more than the placement of the stripes and the physiology of the eye.

The striped monoprints remind me very much of Bridget Riley’s work – in particular the optical effects created by the images below (taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/bridget-riley) in the way that they distort, disrupt and confuse the vision.

Howard Hodgkin is an artist that is very popular within Sherwood Printmakers. Clare drew my attention to an article in today’s Guardian about Hodgkin by Jonathan Jones.

The cleaning of the Louise’s yellow perspex plate – which I snapped whilst Lou was cleaning it – is very reminiscent of his work, such as those below. These could be influential in future colour diary work – particularly ‘Pain’

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