Tag Archives: Gerhard Richter

Faces From The Dark

26 Jul


I have some lovely vintage papers and I’m trying out different ways of using them. I used a silkscreen squeegee to randomly coat a few sheets with acrylic paint, firstly in black and when that was dry, overlaid with a translucent bronze. Then I sat and looked at a sheet with a piece of willow charcoal in my hand. I had no idea what to do, I sketched a few lines, rubbed them out with a wetwipe (the acrylic surface wipes clean) and then lightly sketched some ellipses. I picked up a piece of chalk and then the faces began to emerge out of the dark without my bidding.

I don’t normally work from my imagination, usually directly from life, from my sketchbooks and occasionally from photographs, so it’s interesting what emerges without any references. The preparation of the paper and the method of random drawing without a stimulus is a bit like some of the techniques of automatic drawing used by Surrealists to develop their creativity. The painter, Gerhard Richter, also used a squeegee extensively in his work, to apply paint. I like using the squeegee, it’s so random.

Experiments On The Dark Side

21 Feb

Fragment of an experiment in oil on board.

I’m an unashamed printmaker and scribbler and I don’t paint. Don’t get it, don’t understand it, don’t like canvas and brushes. Give me squeegees and rollers and barens and presses any day. So I thought I’d enter an international painting competition. Yeah, I go looking for trouble. So I decided I’d try and construct a painting using printmaking tools, materials and techniques as much as possible.

I’ve been experimenting by coating smallish offcuts of thick mounting card with several layers of rabbit skin glue. When it dried, I used a squeegee to apply a layer of printing ink in Rhodamine Red, thinned down with linseed oil [Gerhard Richter often ‘painted’ with squeegees] and then I used the Direct Monotype technique to put drawings and text onto the surface and let it dry over several days. Today I applied a second layer of printer’s ink in Lemon Yellow, thinned with medium plate oil, again using a squeegee. I didn’t do it over the whole thing as I’m exploiting colour theory and I want to get different colour mixes by using transluscent glazes. While it was wet, I wrapped rags around my fingers and removed some of the yellow, exposing the pink below in areas of patterning.The Welsh painter Nicholas Evans used a similar technique, although he only worked in black and white [I think].

When the yellow area is dry, I will apply a coat of Pthalo Blue, again thinned out to make it easy to squeegee and so it’s translucent. I’m hoping for a similar effect to the 3 colour-separation monotypes I’ve been working on recently. Is it painting? Well, it’s not printmaking because a print is an image that has been taken indirectly from another surface, or matrix. This is being applied directly using pigment suspended in oil, which is the same as paint.

Watch this space ……….

%d bloggers like this: