Tag Archives: Bideford Black

Waste Not, Want Not.

17 Jun

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So I was working with some fellow artists and one of them, a painter, chucked some black oil paint mixed with turps down the sink. Unfortunately, the sink was blocked so he filled it with water and squeezed some washing up liquid into it and suddenly it went all marbled. So, waste not, want not, I grabbed some of my Fabriano Accademica paper and threw it on top of the water and marbled my paper. It’s been sitting round for a few months and I’d just about forgotten about it until today, when I decided to do some drawing.

 

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I’ve been working on a series of silkscreen prints over the past few weeks, tight design and a very specific technical process and I wanted to get back to something intuitive, so I grabbed my marbled paper and various black drawing media: some willow charcoal, carbon, compressed charcoal and Bideford Black. And I got stuck in. I used an old life drawing very loosely as a basis and then got into the zone, moving the media across the paper, just letting it happen.

 

New male nude

27 Nov

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Just back from life drawing at Swansea Print Workshop where I did some experimenting with my new natural media, walnut sepia ink (I made this a few weeks ago) and Bideford Black, kindly sent to me by artists in North Devon. I was focussed on trying out these media to see what they can do. It was a nice surprise to find out that the Bideford Black is semi-soluble in water but more soluble in the walnut ink, possibly because the ink contains 20% alcohol (surgical spirit) so maybe it’s acting as a solvent? I used Fabriano Accademica paper and applied the ink with a sable brush.

Bideford Black

14 Nov

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I was with a group of artists working with the 15 Hundred Lives collective at Creative Bubble today. We have the artspace for a couple of days every month to work together and to let the public come in and see how art is created. I’ve been working on a very big drawing in charcoal and chalky pastels, based on an original life drawing, and I’ve been trying out an old traditional pigment, Bideford Black, which is a naturally occurring black clay-like pigment from Devon.

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I found it very interesting to use. It feels like a lump of crumbly clay but when you start to rub it on the paper, it quickly acquires a smooth surface and feels oily as it moves across the paper. I thought it would be hard to overlay it with other media, like carbon and chalky pastels, but they went on beautifully.

DSC08171It made me feel a connection to ancient artists, those who drew on the caves in Paleolithic times, using ochres, chalks and clays they found on and in the earth around them. Primeval. I like it. I’m at Creative Bubble for another day tomorrow so will finish the drawing then.

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