Retrospective Response and Reflection on Assignment Two
Demonstration of technical and visual skills, quality of outcome, demonstration of creativity
Task 1 (Project 5)
“It is very easy to underestimate the skill required to make good quality lino prints. The inking would be improved further with better quality paper even a 200g cartridge paper would help the quality of your work. This clip by arches papers may help you understand the impact of paper on a print. I’m not advocating you spend a fortune but even a thicker cartridge would help.
I watched the above video and began to understand how the quality of the paper can really affect the printing results. The sizing and weight of the paper makes a big difference. Since then I have considered which paper to use consciously, using Somerset printing paper, heavy weight water-colour paper and quality, heavy weight cartridge. All have given me much better results with subtle differences that I am beginning to recognise and exploit.
“Angela Cavalieri’s large scale lino work shows incredible skill at cutting and printing it’s worth watching this video to help with technique.
I watched this video several times with incredulity, I hadn’t even considered it possible to product prints of such dimensions and not putting pieces together like this. I, of course, do not have the space or a ready and willing band of helpers to add press and reveal the print. However, it has opened my mind to possibilities. In addition, I like the fact that if a section does not print perfectly, it is fine to fill in with ink afterwards, and also to paint in the background colour. I did find a reference to this video in my blog here , under Preparing Your Design.
Task 3 (Project 7)
“The work presented for project 7 is a leap in sophistication from the other prints submitted. The bird motif is well composed and despite your critical writings you have mastered the technical requirements of lino printing extremely well. I would consider further your choice of colour in these prints. They are tonally similar in strength, have you considered adding more white to one of these colours? There are many more options compositionally that could be achieved from these plates either through the use of colour or placement of the blocks. Reflect how these images could be read by a viewer and are these achieving your intentions? The imagery is quite beautiful but ‘safe’.
It would help you to develop more drawings and thumbnail sketches in your sketchbook before deciding on your compositions and symbols. Draw them quickly using a biro just to get ideas down on paper before making a print.”
The multi-block lino print had to be very carefully planned, thought through, cut and registered. With all this, I must confess, other than reproducing similar colours to those I saw in front of me, I hadn’t overly considered them. It is another aspect to add to the list! Other than mixing red and yellow to create orange and layering the blue over the yellow to hopefully achieve green, I hadn’t thought any more. My supply of oil based inks is very limited as I bought the primary colours whilst still in the UK. I didn’t think to order white – I thought I just left the paper showing! How “green” was I!? Anyway, going forwards, I just added Titanium White oil paint and, so far, have got away with it. I am having trouble sourcing oil based printing inks here on the island. Although there are legends of two more art shops in the capital of Arrecife, I haven’t yet physically found them in the maze of old streets. The only one I have found, (after some tricky language barriers – Spanish for printing inks is tintas de imprenta apparently), the answer was “No”. By that time whether they be oil or water based was irrelevant. Online ordering is also drawing a blank for delivery to the Canary Islands of oil based inks. So for now – it’s all I have – I will have to use my paints to expand my palette.
Again, I see that I need to think about my themes/subjects more carefully. Why am I making this, what am I trying to say? The suggestion of using more thumbnails and development of ideas in my sketchbook fired me up and now it is a crucial part of my work process. It helps me work through fledgling ideas and move them on to something that may work in print. I can make decisions, change my mind, prove myself wrong or right before committing to the print block.
Demonstration of technical and visual skills, demonstration of creativity
“Your sketchbook is developing with each task .You are displaying new conceptual ideas emerging for future projects. Continue to combine reflective text with imagery.
You have extremely competent drawing skills that I would continue to use a source of inspiration and development. I would recommend before launching into making a print produce further drawings around the idea first. There is always more than one way to represent an idea and multiple ways to deconstruct a composition.”
Response as above.
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical Essays
“You may be interested in the work of Jackie Berridge who has explored themes around power and control using animals to discuss her narratives in an unnerving manner. I especially like her drawings with donkeys. These are extremely powerful and moving.
Your writing also reminds me of Marcelle Hanselaar’s work.
For improvement reflect upon the artists you are researching and ask yourself how and why their work, methods or thinking influences your own strategies for making.”
Jackie Burridge – I must admit that I did look at these when I received my report but didn’t quite get it then. I think my tutor is more in tune with where I was heading than I was at the time. Now I look at these, particularly the drawings and understand or interpret them in a way that means something to me. The crowd mentality, not accepting anything/one that is different ie “Birds of a feather, flock together!”. This is particularly prevalent in today’s social media society and, I think I alluded to that during my work reflections. With regards to the paintings, it was a shame I couldn’t expand them to see the work in detail, however, a couple made me smile and ponder, these I’ve added to my Pinterest Contemporary Printmakers board – even though they are not actually prints. It was interesting to see the initial drawings that would become the paintings.
Marcelle Hanselaar – The Crying Game series of etchings is hard-hitting and extremely thought-provoking. I see now why my tutor drew parallels with my writing about possible themes and subjects. There is a lot about the exploitation and value placed upon women, however, we can see women as symbolic of all of the disadvantaged, innocent and manipulated. Not that I think women are all these things as individuals but as a perceived global whole, those of us who are “lucky” enough to be in forward thinking, fairly safe environments are shielded from much of what goes on – or are we? Who knows what goes on behind closed doors. A powerful and limitless theme. Marcelle’s etchings are fabulous at putting across the pain, the inner strength, the struggles, the injustice – I hope to be able to emulate the simplicity of the image that clearly expresses the complexity of the subject. A very big ask, but the challenge is laid down!
“Jackie Berridge for themes around power involving women.
Marcelle Hanselaar’s work for powerful use of themes in contemporary printmaking.
Ana Marie Pacheco for symbolism and narratives in work
Ana Marie Pacheco – This artist can certainly tell a story, in paint, sculpture and print! Her sculptures were very disturbing, particularly for me, The Banquet and The Man and His Sheep, especially given their size. Her print series were all exceptional and full of meaning – I have to admit that I was not familiar with some of the stories/themes used for inspiration. However, the ones to which I could relate to more, were “There Was This Jaguar”, a common tale where a majestic beast is brought down by humankind because of perceived fear and danger, “The Miraculous Journey” following journey of the vixen from fear of the unknown, her manipulation and exploitation through to her discovery of herself and realisation of her dream, “Domestic Scenes” which were anything but the visions that may spring to mind from the title, no domestic bliss here but again, exploitation and dominance over the weak.
“Pointers for the next assignment
- Continue to reflect on the wider context of your work, keep asking yourself why and what is it about?
- Continue to use your log in a reflective and evaluative way
- Continue your development of themes and personal voice in your artwork to give meaning to your making.
- Reflect upon the scale and shape of your work are your images this shape because that’s how the lino was sold in the packet?
- Use your ability to sketch to work out imagery.”
Am taking these forward with all projects.