This week is my 'making week' - something I try to schedule in monthly. It's not necessarily about producing work I can then sell; it also gives me the opportunity to experiment with new ideas, techniques and materials.
Apologies for the quality of the photographs in this post. After several days of glorious sunshine we're back to rain and grey skies. Not the best when you're taking pictures indoors.
I've been using colour. Mixing inks (I only have black, white, blue, red, green and yellow, and the colours straight from the tube are very bright).
Indigo is one of my favourite colours. So I played with blue and black and tried a bit of monoprinting.
I really loved how the shades came out. A bit of very dark navy, areas of brighter blue.
The framed fern print (second photo) is something I just put on the mantel for now. I was given a bag of ugly old frames, so I sanded this one down from orange pine then distressed it a bit and waxed it. You can get frames like this for next to nothing at car boot sales and in charity shops. I might get some mounts made for the bigger ones once I've sanded them back.
Because I was using last year's ferns, they's become quite brittle and actually disintegrated after this session so I've since been and collected more.
I also had a play with shades of green. The print's not perfect by any means but I do quite like the colour. Again, a charity shop frame. I've got a bigger one too, and thought they'd be useful for product photography.
The 'ghost prints' look as though they were made with oil pastel. Again, I really like the effect.
Some of the prints were made using my new handmade papers. They took some getting used to, as they're very thick and textured compared to the papers I usually use. So I had to apply a lot of ink and some are still drying. They'll need flattening too as they've buckled a bit.
But they suit those glass frames as you can see the torn edges of the paper. And they have a bold, graphic quality which is quite different to my usual detailed and intricate prints.
Finally: my new sketchbook. I sat down this afternoon and spent maybe fifteen minutes just drawing. No rubbing out or trying to get a perfect likeness. Pen, not pencil. Just putting down the lines and not thinking about it too much. I'm determined to be able to sketch 'on the hoof' and capture what I see without getting annoyed with myself for not getting it just right...