Diary 2008

January 4th - Freshen up

Website freshen-up planned soon - the current look has been around since 2004 and although it still 'does the job', it'll be good to re-design it and make it a bit more oomphy. Will I give in to having a proper Blog? Still thinking about that one.



January 4th - Work in progress


above - 2 colours printed
below - 3rd cut, ready to print


At the moment, I'm finding it hard to keep up with the deluge of ideas I'm having for new prints, and long may they keep flowing!

This landscape, in complete contrast to most of my other work, is derived completely from my imagination. Two, or perhaps three other landscape prints use, or are losely based on places which exist (Hel meddyliau, Harbwr Trefor, Gaddo Eira and Syrthiais dan dy hud but this one has no specific source.

Without being confined, consciously or subconsciously, by trying to represent a place people might recognise, I feel I'm allowing myself to work in a more narrative sense and I'm aware that I'm letting myself go with what feels and looks right - the evolving image and what remains of the original sketch on the lino is largely dictating what happens next.

This seems to enable me to be less self-conscious, make more experimental marks, take more risks, work more with pattern .... worry less?

It's not a way I would want to work all the time because I enjoy the challenges of my more representative work too but this looser, more illustrative style definately has its pluses and pleasures.



January 3rd - Waterfall in flood


There is more info on this print in Gallery 1>>


The new (old) book press is turning out to be a real joy to use. Pressure seems to be very consistent across the whole plate and a slightly different method of working is meaning much, much better registration on multi-coloured prints. I also managed to get rid of an ear-splitting squeal that was happening somewhere in the workings with a few drops of olive oil - much more effective than 3 in 1!

My decision to restrict the white areas and to limit the tonal range within the waterfall section of the print have achieved what I'd hoped for - a strong feeling of force, flood and fullness through the centre of the image.

I might, if working on this print again, add a third, paler grey to the mountain behind the trees, throwing it slightly more into the background but on the other hand, using a minimal palette (I eventually used 3 colours, although in the diary entry in Dec 2007, I envisaged using 2) often results in a stronger, more dramatic image whereas using extra colours can, if not used carefully, lead to fussiness and an over complicated image.


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