Tag Archives: randomness

Surrealists In The Bathroom

13 Apr

mylar

I was doing some experimental lino cuts earlier in the week, trying to push myself out of my comfort zone, printing hacked-up vinyl blocks randomly onto ripped paper. At the end of each session I had a bit of ink left over. Well, waste not, want not, I had a sheet of translucent Mylar film knocking around so I used up the remaining ink on it. I didn’t know what to expect when I started this, I had no plans at all. I was hoping that I would get something like the Surrealists used to get from their experimental creative exercises. But it’s starting to look like the 1950’s bathroom wallpaper that my Aunty used to have. Hmmmm ……

A Happy Accident

11 Apr

accidental

I’ve been doing some experimental printmaking onto some donated vintage paper the past few days and when I was cleaning up after the first day, where I used yellow ink, I rolled my roller onto a large piece of paper to get the excess ink off. The next day, when I used red ink, I used the same paper to dab off some bubble wrap that had red ink on it. I liked it. So when it was time to clean the roller, I ripped a few strips of newspaper and put them onto the paper before I rolled the roller onto it. I really like it. I get my roller clean enough to wash AND I have some nice paper to work on. A happy accident.

 

Nooks And Crannies

10 Apr

red c

This morning I carried on with my detour into randomness, overprinting yesterday’s yellow lino cuts with red (Caligo Easy Wipe in Process Magenta mixed 70:30 with Extender).

Because I had a moment of madness and ripped the paper with my bare hands instead of using a nice steel straight edge it was a bit awkward to take the prints with a Japanese baren, especially around the rough edges, so I used a smooth marble egg to get into the nooks and crannies.

red d

I saw marble eggs and spheres being used for hand printing when I did a residency in Pakistan a few years back, where there is a traditional marble carving industry. It works really well for small areas. The eggs are quite expensive so I’ve gotten into the habit of buying them from charity shops and car boot sales.

 

Random Ripping

9 Apr

yellow 3

So, carrying on with my experiment to loosen up and make my approach to art more random and less controlled. I have gone through a process of cutting vinyl blocks randomly, with a selection of tools, then I hacked away at the edges to get rid of the square boundaries. So the next stage is to print them up. I was lucky to have been given some vintage printmaking papers by a friend who was clearing out his late father’s studio. It isn’t watermarked so I don’t know what it is, but it’s a nice off-white, very warm colour and I estimate about 150 gsm or thereabouts.

To keep the randomness going, I gritted my teeth and ripped the paper without measuring it out and using a nice straight edge. It was a horrible experience! It felt like vandalism! I decided to go with a translucent oil-based litho / relief ink (Caligo Safewash), in Process Yellow, mixed 60:40 with Extender.

I inked up the blocks with my best roller and then took the print using a traditional Japanese bamboo baren. The ink was nice and loose because of the amount of Extender I added and the paper thin enough to pick up the ink without needing a heavy press.

yellow 5

And here’s the first print. I’ll be overlaying this with more colours in the next couple of days to push the randomness as far as I can.

Faces From The Dark

26 Jul

faces

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.

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