Monday, 6 February 2017

February: New ideas and a new approach

When you work for yourself, from home, there are various pitfalls. Like straying from the task in hand to tidy the kitchen/run errands/look random things up online. 

At other times you might work for hours and forget to eat lunch because you're so engrossed in what you're doing. I spent most of Saturday printmaking and photographing my work whilst Jay did things with Joe. I really need to work out my work and family time boundaries.

It's also easy to sit at the computer for hours and hours without taking any kind of break.

So on Friday I went out for a walk with the camera. I do try and get out most days - the school run doesn't really count as it takes us roughly two minutes on foot door to door. But Friday was sunny(ish) and I just felt the urge to go and get some green therapy.

It helps that one of my favourite walks is nearby. It's somewhere I played when I was little and escaped to as a teenager. You walk through a field by the river then follow it into the woods. 

It gets a bit muddy.

But my work is inspired by nature and the seasons, so it makes perfect sense to get outside and look for ideas.

There was definitely a sense of spring approaching. The birds were busy and there are buds coming through everywhere. When the clouds parted it actually felt warm. The sun's still low in the sky but it felt good to get some light and fresh air. 

There was nobody about. Perhaps it was a bit early in the day. I do like being out alone though.

And when I got home I thought about my way of working. My artistic style, to be more exact.

I remember my art teacher at school trying to encourage me to be bolder and more free with the way I draw. My illustrative work is very neat, detailed and precise. I'm a perfectionist in many ways - not that that's necessarily a good thing - and the work I produce is always crisp and defined. Lino and monoprints are carefully, painstakingly positioned and pulled.

But recently I was watching a programme about architecture, of all things. The architect was somewhere in the Scottish Highlands and he went out with a sketchbook and made rough pencil drawings of tumbledown buildings. It really appealed to me. I decided I need to get out and sketch too.

It doesn't matter if those sketches are prefect or not, if the perspective's a bit off or they're smudged here and there. It's about confidence and experimentation.

With this new, bold outlook I had a go at monotype printing. It is, by nature, a bit messy. It works best (in my opinion) with very simple drawings. I'm dying to try it again, and plan to work on some line drawings to use.

Sometimes imperfection is even better than perfection. Which is why I always keep these reverse prints (above), part of the monoprinting process. In some ways I actually prefer them to the clean, sharp final print. I don't know whether people would buy them. But to me, they have a modern look and I like the rough, charcoal effect.

So far February's been good to me. A new writing opportunity with Creative Countryside, and the urge to try new ideas and break out of my comfort zone. I've even booked a table at a fair in a few weeks. I don't do many but if they're near home, and the fee is reasonable, I go along. Meeting new people is always worthwhile.

I'm even toying with the idea of doing one of these... Maybe.

P.S. The fabric in the background of the pictures is actually my work apron, hence the marks and stains!

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are having a good February! Your prints are beautiful, I would love them and I am sure that others would too, but sometimes it is good to keep something just for ourselves!