year one part seven: back to the drawing board
stravinsky upside down (after picasso)
In complete contrast, I am going to Carole Robson’s freestyle watercolour workshops on Thursday afternoons in Marden. I like her teaching style, which is very strong on the basics like composition and plant forms, which she then uses to give us the confidence to work freely. I’m able to relate to the layering process and the use of masking fluid, waxed paper, sticks, scratching, salt etc. because this is how I’ve always liked to work and the textural aspects are familiar territory for an etcher. It’s also a good way of integrating my twin interests of plant forms and landscape with a need for experimentation and above all, for colour. I crave magenta and orange and red!
fennel and common mallow studies
I’ve always looked at hedgerows and tangles of plants but was never sure how to use them in etching. Carole taught me that the composition of “a patch of ground” is as important as a landscape, possibly even more so. The golden mean still applies, diagonals give movement and the eye needs to feel comfortable. Negative space counts for a lot too, and space for the eye to rest, as Liz would say.
I’m not sure where all this is going but I’m enjoying the journey! I seem to be trying to cram in a lot of things I should have discovered earlier. Time to study and experiment is something we rarely manage to fit in if we are engaged in earning a living from art. As a printmaker, I used to enjoy January, when many galleries were closed, sales were zero and everything was quiet. I would settle down in my studio and teach myself some new tricks. Eventually it became a peaceful new year’s ritual, paving the way for a fresh start.
next month: juggling with freestyle