I made these green samples last night but it was only under the scrutiny of the camera and daylight that they revealed their full potential. In the evening I focused on experimenting with different backgrounds and used yarns and scrunched papers to make the marks. This morning I used a viewfinder to look at framing areas of interest. It was quite astounding how different the sample became framed in this way. Sometimes I worry that the frame and mountboard elevates a work beyond its actual potency. It’s like window dressing.
Nevertheless what leapt out at me this morning was the green heart – this shape and form I’d played with in part 3 emerged again. I’d used the viewfinder to select the areas of interest and it was only when I looked at the photo upside down that I recognised what I had (2nd down on right). I am taken by the printing on the sacrificial dictionary – the text breaks up the negative spaces and acts as a uniting story across the piece.
I’m also learning not to judge the prints on fabric too quickly as a lot changes when the paint dries.
Today I experimented with sketchbook weight paper and lining paper as background. I also wanted to see how I could create a thorniness. Much bleeding and paper piercing later I realised that to take a print from the gelliplate with bramble thorns on I had to use a thick cloth to push the paper down. This has left potential stitch holes where the thorns pierced – but at least this way they pierced the paper and not me! The effect was not as I desired so I returned to using the nigella:
I used the nigella and bramble either as a stencil or as a mark-making tool in motion (bottom left I dragged scrunched paper and bramble; I also dragged thorns alone, and nigella alone).
The bottom right hand sample shows the immense detail that a combination of the higher quality paper, acrylic and practice can return – recalling scientific illustrations for me. With the lining paper samples I didn’t like the second print taken from the plate as it seemed to paint heavy. The most interesting print was the third and final print taken from each plate – one of the grasses below:
Can these prints convey meaning? Not yet. There are not enough layers and not enough interplay between features for me. I feel ready to move on to the next exercise (which I am not looking forward to) as I feel I have gained an element of control with the combination of surface, paint and mark-making tool. I would like to print to gauze or tissue paper but I need to get some first!
Arranging the features on the plate and altering the print/removal order is beginning to impact the depth of colour I can acquire as seen above – almost x-rays of the bramble thorns.
I have learnt more procedural fluency today. Now I want to say something with these prints, not just do something with the technique.