T1: MMT: Pt 4; Pj2 ex3 finished!!

Collatype boards for last 4 samples using found items and pva technique:

I really didn’t think I was going to make it through this but it is done. I’ve hated every moment of collatype following the instructions in the course notes. It has not been inspirational nor expansive, nor has it encouraged me to be brave and daring. It has lacked imagination. It has felt dull, dull, dull. There are many, many artists creating beautiful and considered collatype landscapes and abstract works – just see pinterest! My fellow coursemate Julie has the most stunning collection of these works on her board. Yet, for me, as maker I draw a line. Then I’ve beaten myself up about why I have such a block with it and why I can’t produce something beautiful, imaginative, inspiring and creative with this process too. Then yesterday in amongst the rest of my crazy world I just realised I can’t because I can’t. And what I’m actually dealing with is disappointment at ending a part of this module on a low note. Admitting that to myself was really tough, yet writing it today seems rather foolish. What a lot of energy I have wasted wrangling with this!


I looked back through all my prints and realised I have accomplished the process of collatype using the gelliplate and it was decorative and textural and usable.

I have, rather, failed using the pva and filler technique. Just like I fail at running, or getting up early. I still walk, quite lengthy walks sometimes, I still get where I’m going on foot. I still get up and get on with the day – I don’t spend the whole day in bed (chance would be a fine thing) I am just not a wake up and immediately with it type of person. So enough of the woe is me I can’t do this exercise. It’s done.

What is emerging from the print research is an ongoing interest in using gestural and expressive line – a desire for something much more raw and ragged – inspired further by Tracey Emin’s monoprints and her drawings.

Continuing with more TE-style blind line life sketches:

I am still passionate about using some of the print techniques to develop the mini-series ‘Not All Wounds are Visible’, and I have made progress sketching (albeit in the tiniest hidden book) in public.

So, this post is sharing the failed collatypes, but awakening a refusal to be limited by this.

Truth be told, the only thing I do like is the left-behind damaged surface of the print-stained collatype board after its use for the last samples: made from the back of a cardboard postage packet, on which I pva’d stitched materials where I had been trying to fix the tension on my electric sewing machine and realised no matter what I did it wasn’t changing – I couldn’t control what was being drawn up from inside the machine, from the bobbin, neither could I loosen the surface tension that kept making the thread from the spool break– so the tension control has broken.


Typing these words I cannot think of a better metaphor for where I’m at in me than that last sentence!! This work has thereby earned its title and I have understood my problem – well one of them…

T1: MMT; Pt4 Pj2 

Ex 1 & 2.

I followed instructions. I printed from prepared collage boards. It was dull. The results were dull and pre-school-esque. Actually, no the results felt like something straight out of the 80s. 


Moving on. One more exercise to go. 

T1: MMT: Pt 4: Pj 2: ex 1 & 2 collatype

This post was evidently not ready for the world until today. I posted on Monday and it refused to upload. I posted last night and three paragraphs in this sad little face came up on wordpress saying ‘uh-oh something went wrong’ and deleted the whole post again. Recognising what I’m up against today I started with a different approach – I typed into word and saved it to copy and paste here. Oh, and I did some work worth posting about too!

The ethers have been conspiring.

Rather than starting with talking about all the research and deliberating further on why I hate the notion of collatype and the pointlessness of further sample making when I have a mini series emerging (‘Not all Wounds are Visible’) I grasped the proverbial bull by the horns, bought some shop’s own filler, went through all my beach finds from the last few days camping and forced myself to get making and get this section over with.

I am in hell in my head at the moment- where I thought things couldn’t get any worse and life showed me that yes, actually they could- this kicked me in touch with triggering my ‘you can’t break me’ attitude. As in life, so in Art. I shall just do these tasks and free myself of the disappointment I feel at the course materials here. Not everything should be inspirational. This part is not for me. That’s not to say it won’t be for someone else. I just need to knuckle down and deliver. Be professional and business like about this part.

I even resented having to find a ruler and making 10 ‘even’ sections. Come to think of it now, I don’t know why I didn’t get a circle and divide that up into 10 segments.


But, it was a start and broke the silence that has been the current mode of making.

For exercise 1 I followed instructions smothering the board with glue, sticking down the finds, then wallowing these in more glue and setting this aside in the sun to dry – and touching it now it still needs an overnight full dry.

Then, for exercise 2 I got the filler which I hated working with. It wouldn’t adhere to the card surface. It wouldn’t spread. I then decided that I wouldn’t fight it but use this to my advantage, making the pasting of the board the process of mark-making. Then I tried using a pencil rolled to alter one sample area, a pencil point to stab another, a thorned-stem from the rose bush to make marks in a third section and finally I pushed a leaf onto a 4th surface and lifted it away (taking most of the filler with it in the process).  Set aside to dry to tomorrow for printing. Which leaves exercise 3 and then the summary and review of the whole part.


It would appear from my blog though that the research section for printing has been scant. This is very far from the truth and deserves a summative post in and of itself.

Considerations pre-Part 4

I’ve been stalling a little before I start this part as I had to have a mental shift.

Living in a house of girls, teenage girls predominantly, print is big this season. I feel overwhelmed, saturated, sensory-overload at the exposure to printed clothing, scarfs, bags, books, pens… that I have been immersed in. I don’t do shops. I get overwhelmed and living in a village, I get a bit Johnny Country Mouse when I go into town. But when there are birthday voucers to be spent, the tri-annual pilgrimage descends. Wow, there is so much print out there! It has been like being back in Hell n’ Earth (toys r us) for me. Too much colour, too much for sale, too high shelves, too full shelves, groaning commerce, too much noise, too many flashing lights. I feel sick with it in the same way you do when you’ve eaten too many sweets. All systems overload.

So, I’ve had to wait for the sick feeling to settle so I can look at this project with unsated eyes.

I have sketched with black ink, a fine brush, fine lines – a bit like a drawing diet of toast and water in an effort to clear and settle my senses.

Top left was trying to explain what happens when I returned from town: bubbles, invasive hit lines, and so much mental noise. The cat on the right helped settle me, she stayed put so I could draw her simpler yet. 4 lines. The other curves sketched in the bottom left were lines that I used to recentre me and reground me. I wanted to see if it worked both ways – that I coud project my energy on to the page, but also if I could project a desired state on to the page and in drawing it absorb it. I’m going to experiment with this further.