Tutor Feedback – Assignment Five

Tutor Feedback – Assignment Five


Response and Reflection on Assignment Five

I have taken excerpts from my tutor’s report that reflect areas for improvement and/or suggestions for research and/or experimentation. My responses and reflections are noted beneath each.

Overall Comments

“…You are technically very able and show great potential as a printmaking. I hope its something you will continue with.”

Funnily enough, I was so relieved to finish the last project due to a looming deadline, I thought I’d enjoy a break from printmaking. It turns out, I’m really missing it. I keep thinking of new themes to work on. I really feel as if I will be actively looking for ways in which to include an element of printmaking into my future course work and personal projects. I have also been gifted a small die cut machine that doubles as a press for up to A4, and longer if I make an extended base, therefore, I have no excuse not to continue to incorporate printmaking in my work.

Feedback on Assignment

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Task 1 (Project 13)

“I’m unsure if you need all the text, perhaps the only word you require is ‘greed’.You have to leave something for the viewer to imagine. Sometimes less is more!”

With this particular image, I was quite excited by the idea of using text as the tower blocks being cleared away. I don’t think the actual result was quite as I had envisaged and this may have prompted this opinion from my tutor. I do, however, understand that I sometimes do over think and subsequently over do the explanation. I had similar feedback on Project 15, which I respond to below.

Task 2 (Project 14)

“These are beautiful little chine colle prints. This is an incredibly difficult process to master and you have technically very able work.

The composition of the shapes, colour text and chine colle had led to sophisticated imagery.

I enjoy the fact they are more ambiguous on first inspection. Again you are referencing your personal voice and working out your approach made evident in your sketchbook.

Collage may be something you wish to explore further, it may help you to place images and text together to explore new ideas and composition further.”

I have included this feedback, as although, there is only the encouragement to push the incorporation of  collage further, I want to remember the success of the ambiguity of text and shape. To remember not to give too much information and allow the viewer to make their own interpretations. A very valid point that I need to absorb for future work.

Task 3 (Project 15)

“This task sees you pushing personal voice further. Your imagery is referencing political posters, propaganda and protest art.

The linocut of Putin is very much in the style of Roy Bizley’s political linocuts.”


I was not aware of Roy Bizley and so have researched him and his work as suggested. Unfortunately, there are few images online except for John Major, Edwina Curry and I believe Kenneth Baker. I can see the similarities, although Roy Bizley caricatured these portraits, which I was trying to avoid. These images prove how powerful printmaking can be to push home a point when in skilled hands.

“The people’s history museum has a great collect of posters.

http://www.phm.org.uk/our-collection/introduction-to-our-collections/ “

The banners and posters within the People’s History Museum is fascinating. As well as the overtly party political posters, I was drawn to the “This is Hull” anti-racism 1979-1982 examples. The strong colours and textual imagery are very powerful. Perusing their website was frustrating as it hinted at so many great images. I love where I live now but this is one of the main drawbacks of inhabiting a small volcanic island off of the African coast. We have a lively arts and crafts culture and community here, however, I miss out on the wider choice of viewing – at least I have the internet!

“Your bravery and approach to making meaning artwork is to be applauded. The lino of Putin is well cut. I’m unsure if you need all the text. Would the image be stronger if it said ‘ From Russia with?’ This would leave something for the viewer to reflect upon further.

All the images may have benefited from further drawing and working out especially with the quantity of text. Maybe the only word you needed on each image is power?

This work is certainly ambitious and exciting. I believe it poses many questions for you about the kind of work you want to make.”

I really wish I’d thought of the “From Russia with ?” !!! However, I was researching Putin’s influence and consequences and came across a photograph of a poster from a demonstration with Putin’s face made up as if in drag, the rainbow and those words. As my tutor points out, maybe if I had taken more time to draw it all out prior to committing, this sort of thing may have been more obvious. It really does drive it home, that there is a fine line between planning and naturally evolving a piece of work.  Again, any text has to be relevant yet not specifically spelling out meaning – I need to leave something for the viewer to become involved with – or they will just walk by. I have learned that myself, as I like to keep looking at artwork and keep seeing more.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

“Your sketchbook has continued to be used as an integral document throughout the course. You have combined imagery and text to really plot and plan your work. The journey through all your processes and thinking is here. You are combining thumbnails and drawing. It may help you to include more sample prints as well.

Would an A3 sketchbook help you? You feel very contained in this book especially once you started embracing more personal themes.”

Again very valid points, towards the end of the projects, I did add a couple of practice/sample prints and it made my jottings in my sketchbook more coherent. I think prior to submitting for assessment, I will see if any of these will be relevant to add retrospectively. Regarding the A3 sketchbook, I have to agree that the A4 books were beginning to constrain me and I found myself planning out on separate sheets because of this. Nothing wrong with that, but to keep everything together it is something to really consider. Beginning the Level One courses, I really enjoyed the A4 books and love the series of sketchbooks I have accumulated over the time and often look through them. However, the further I travel this degree path, I feel that they may be limiting my experimentation and flow of thought.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

“Your learning log is very well organised and easy for the reader to follow. It has developed in a reflective manner throughout the course. You are posing questions to yourself around themes and technical decision making.

Living in Lanzarote you have less access to contemporary galleries than the UK students. I recommend looking at Tate shots on you tube.”

Noted and will keep referring back to this and Youtube, thank you for the tip!

Suggested reading/viewing

“Have a look at Banksy.”

This was an enjoyable and thought-provoking perusal of Banksy’s work. The images are often minimal and demonstrate what my tutor is trying to make me realise. I do not have to spell out my message explicitly, it just needs to be enough to make the viewer stop and think. If they come away with a slightly different message, then that’s fine, maybe they’ll keep coming back and depending on their circumstances will find more in the work another time. The key is to keep them looking and thinking. I can see that stencils are sometimes used and are repeated to say something different depending on the location, this is something in common with printmaking. I’ve noticed printmakers doing this before in my research, a repeated motif does not mean unoriginal work but a progression and expansion of a message or theme for example Clare Curtis repeats her forest elements regularly.

“Many artists during the 1960s and 1970s visibly opposed the Vietnam War including Ronald Haeberle, Peter Saul, Carl Andre, Norman Carlberg and Nancy Spero and produced artworks that raised awareness and called for the responsibility.”

Ronald Haeberle – When I was young the Vietnam war on the news every evening, I don’t recall anything about this, yet I can appreciate that this was a brave photographer. He did his day job by taking official army photos yet also recorded what he was witnessing on his own camera in colour. I’m sure he could have been in a lot of trouble should this have been discovered and he was instrumental in bringing evidence at subsequent Court Martials. – his pictures were truly shocking but served their purpose.

Peter Saul – activist pop art? His work is so colourful, yet as one headline says “the grotesque art of Peter Saul”, and when closely viewed, some of it really is grotesque, yet meaningful in its imagery.

Carl Andre – famous in the 70s for his brick sculpture in the Tate, he builds his sculptures on site in the exhibition space sourcing local materials. From the information I could find, I struggle to connect his work with the social commentary aspect we are discussing, however, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a relevance, maybe I just need to look harder.

Norman Carlberg – a sculptor and printmaker. He is associated with constructivism movement and I find his work very undulating and although completely man-made, it has an organic feel with curves and angles that seem natural. I found one painting relating to the Vietnam war that was credited as courtesy of Norman Carlberg, which I assume means he was the artist? It depicts a  darkened room full of caskets draped in the American flag to symbolise the lost lives of soldiers in the Vietnam war.  It does have a patriotic ambience but also a respectful one – the room itself is constructed of the US flag. Although it has the style of his sculptures, being minimalist, graphical and geometric in design, I was surprised that it was a painting.

Nancy Spero – I’m so glad my tutor has brought this artist to my attention. So many of her themes are still relevant and extremely important to me. Her war series are quick gouache and ink sketches that say so much with so little detail. Researching her, she is glibly (in my opinion) described as a feminist artist, she is so much more than that I can see from a brief overview. I will spend more time looking at her work and have found a website of her quotes about it and how she thinks. I note that she also uses text within her work.

“One of the most famous figures associated with political activism in contemporary art is certainly Ai Weiwei. Using his art to address the corruption of Chinese government and their neglect of human rights, but also other politically touchy issues, Ai Weiwei has become a synonym for disobedience. Some of his most memorable pieces are the Study of Perspective series where he took photographs of his middle finger sticking it up various monuments around the world including Tienanmen.”

Ai Weiwei – I think you cannot not have heard of Ai Weiwei. Just reading his Wikipedia page, it is difficult to believe all that has happened to him, his family and associates, and that he still finds it in himself to continue his activism and social comment. I remember watching a documentary about the Sunflower Seeds and marvelled at the fact that they are all individually made of porcelain and hand painted by Chinese artisans. I take from this the inference that we are all individuals but en mass we all look the same – so why the division – and it’s only getting worse.  Again, another artist that needs so much more research.

“Have a look at Arab Spring Graffiti.

Despite not being a coherent art movement, some of the most immediate, insightful and human art seen for some time has been produced during the Arab Spring in 2011 when protesters armed with spray cans articulated their interpretations of the uprising on the walls around them.

These are a few artists that may be of interest. Reflect on how they engage their audience with their message and how they use different methods.”

Researching Arab Spring Graffiti and Art I came across this Telling the Story of the Arab Spring: an Interactive Graffiti Map. This is fascinating and again, shows the bravery of expression, allowing views and opinions to be shared and debated openly.

Artistic activism can be so powerful and strikes fear into oppressive regimes, particularly now as the (anti-)social media explosion spreads the visual “word” far and wide. Cleverly, it need not be overt or particularly aggressive, just visible.

“Pointers for the next assignment

  • Continue your development of themes and personal voice in your artwork to give meaning to your making. Keep asking yourself what am I making work about and why.
  • Use your ability to sketch to work out imagery include biro and marker pens in your line work.
  • Keep the passion in your work.”

My tutor has pushed me to use pens and markers before in my development work and, in Project 13, I did just that. I do keep forgetting and naturally reach for a pencil, which is ok, but maybe not as expressive as other implements would be.

With this course and tutor, I feel that my personal voice, although in its infancy, is coming through. It needs refining to a well-considered point, although the occasional “rebel yell” is valuable! Inspiration for opinion based subjects is flooding into my head. Although, this is a strange and troubling time globally, it is not short of subjects, issues and reasons to speak out in visual art. I have a passion for image making and now have a vehicle through that to share my passions for social justice. This last research has empowered me to say what I think in a way that overrules my natural reticence.


Research Point: Investigating Combination Printmaking and Incorporating Chine Colle Collages

25 September 2017

Research Point: Investigating Combination Printmaking and Incorporating Chine Colle Collages

Find some examples of good use of chine colle in printmaking and share them with other OCA printmakers via the forum or make notes in your learning log.

I have searched for Chine Colle print images online and found many examples. Those that particularly appealed to me, I have added to a newly created Pinterest Board imaginatively called, Chine Colle Printing. I have to admit that, for some reason, I was having a mental block against this technique. I couldn’t get my head around how to do this, maybe because I hadn’t really explored collage extensively. However, after reading different methods both in the course manual, online and in instructional books, it began to sink in. Plus after reviewing other artists’ take on the technique, I began to see ways of having fun with it and experimenting.

From the selection I “pinned”, it became obvious to me that I preferred those images where the chine colle was not used to colour precise aspects of the subject. Whereas I respect the skill of registration required, I found it too tight and restrictive. This is something I have felt I have become from over-planning in my previous projects. Therefore, where there is overlapping of the printed line or other layers of paper is much more interesting to me. I also liked where strips of paper have been used to extend the boundaries of the entire image to alter the orientation, shape and scale of the original print.

Another method I enjoyed was where more than one print block was placed side by side, for example, to create one image and then chine colle was used to bring them together and give a shared sense of place. A good example of this is the Coyote & Chicken by Melissa West:


Coyote & Chicken by Melissa West, two images to make one with chine colle bringing them together

Coyote & Chicken by Melissa West, two images to make one with chine colle bringing them together


I really like this as the bright yellow, what looks like, handmade paper top and bottom implies the straw in the hen-house and hints at the narrative about to happen, although not so good for the chicken!

Another simple but effective print I found used the chine colle to extend the border of the image as previously mentioned. Striped Cat by Robyn Sinclair:

Striped Cat by Robyn Sinclair. Example of pushing out the borders of the image with Cine Colle

Striped Cat by Robyn Sinclair. Example of pushing out the borders of the image with Chine Colle


I was also taken with more abstract and textural images where chine colle was employed using all sorts of materials not just paper. I liked the layering of materials and printing – the effect was fuller and richer with depth. This print was eye-catching with its using of colour and texture, unfortunately, I am unable to give credit as the link appears to be broken, I only know the artist’s name is Kate, I have no title either.


Abstract with chine colle using various materials to create texture

Abstract with chine colle using various materials to create texture


One more that again is simple with regards the addition of coloured paper but I like that they are tonally similar, complementary and do not slavishly match the outline – Green Tea 1 by Rosemary Eagle.

Green Tea 1 by Rosemary Eagle

Green Tea 1 by Rosemary Eagle


The best thing after doing this exercise? I can’t wait to have a go!

Research Point: Collagraphs/Collatypes


Research Point: Collagraphs/Collatypes

Before you embark on this interesting project, take look at what others have achieved using a relief collage as a starting point. Trawl through some examples of collagraphs/collatypes (same thing) online, pick out some favourites and write about them in your learning log.

As I have very limited knowledge of the technique and process of collagraphs, I decided to research some artists first and then move to their work. This way I have learnt how they created their images as well as just viewing them.

Stefan Barton http://www.collagraphs.com/

Stefan is a German artist who now resides in the USA.

From his website, I am intrigued by the “other worldly” appearance he has achieved in many of his prints. the layers of colour and the textures are mesmerising. They make me think of Dr Who type science fiction sets. I like the way different prints from the same block each have their own identity depending on the colours used and the way some are more defined than others because of the colours. I can see how both relief and intaglio techniques have been brought together in one print.

Sue Brown http://suebrownprintmaker.blogspot.com.es/p/gallery_31.html

Looking through Sue’s blog and website, she produces totally different images of birds and animals but retains texture and painterly effect for the backgrounds. The main subjects themselves though, have a clarity and detail that is impressive. She also prints successfully on fabric to make many items including cushions and lampshades, demonstrating the versatility of print.

Tessa Horrocks http://www.tessahorrocks.com/Print_pages/mr_frog.html

Again, like Sue, the themes seem to reflect around the natural world. From clean, precise studies of pebbles in differing colourways to micro-organism influenced images. I personally prefer the more monochrome, textured and tonal abstract prints. there is more depth to them and they stand many repeat viewings. I find they are more emotive and pleasing to me eg Little Worlds, and the And Breathe series.

On the whole, I am beginning to move to preferring the more abstract images, rather than those that are purely representational as the textures, shapes and reproduction techniques lend themselves well to being more obscure. This may well be also because of the abstract painting lessons I have been attending over the last few weeks, in that I am seeing things differently and feeling more connection to a piece of work that I like.

Research Point: Advanced and Experimental Relief Prints

06 & 09/01/17

Research Point: Advanced and Experimental Relief Prints

Now look at the work of Clare Curtis or Mark Hearld, both contemporary printmakers, and look closely at how their prints are created. What makes them work? Are there any techniques you could re-use? 

I had a look at both printmakers suggested and had intended to concentrate on Mark Hearld, however, I had another look at Clare Curtis’ work and decided to consider both of them.

Initially, they both use nature predominantly in their work, taking inspiration from the environment around them, although Clare appears to lean towards more of a narrative. Her prints have included a human element with bringing in the suburban and some figurative subjects.

I had a look through the internet searches, however, a lot if not most of her work is recorded on her website. I noticed that there appears to be overlaid transparent colour and almost inconsequential  marks that add interest and liveliness to a scene as a whole. One print I particularly liked, (it is on the page that opens on the previous link), is “Coppicing”. It has a simplification of objects yet a complex composition. Structures in the print pull your eye around it and has many places for it to rest and contemplate as any good image should. The colours are complementary with black/grey dramatic shapes pulling them all together – I see more each time I look at it. Elements are repeated in other prints, once an object is part of a composition it is not discarded but re-used in other scenes e.g. the tree trunk in “Coppicing” appears again in “Woodland” but in reverse, in other colour-ways. One is a linocut, the other is a lithograph. I like the flow of ideas from one technique to another and she says that she often combines techniques within the same image. Colour is used to great effect, particularly complementary colours, which are sometimes muted for subtlety yet still give drama by their juxtaposition. I particularly liked this in the oranges and blues of “Wordsworth’s House” and the pinks and sage greens of “Aeonium”.

From looking at these works of Clare Curtis, I am struck by the mark making, use of apparently unrelated shapes and the simple colour choices that add depth and complexity to the image. Comparing these with my efforts, even with all the planning of Project 8, my images are far too simplistic. I need to make more of the elements of my images with a variety of marks, and also consider the use of less colours. I should make fewer colours work harder for me by overlaying transparent colour and considering which goes next to another. I have also noticed that I tend to avoid the addition of black in my colour images – why is that? I have previously mentioned that I like the outlining in other research and the way that black is used to denote tone, yet I haven’t taken advantage of it myself. Maybe I think too much in flat colour, I should draw on my painting and tonal work to incorporate the black hatching and mark making. I am thinking back to the Monoprinting assignment, where I used templates of vases in different sizes and orientations, overlaying them to make interesting abstract images. I need to bring all these things I have previously learnt to the table and not think in isolation. As they say, I need to mix it up a bit!

Final Print for Project 4

Final Print for Project 4

I also watched a few YouTube videos of Mark Hearld’s work and processes. He, like Clare, uses nature as his inspiration and builds images and designs from motifs he finds around him on his walks in the countryside. Whereas Clare often follows a narrative and has many book illustrations to her credit, Mark has followed a path into design, fabric design being most prevalent.

I found this short film interesting as an insight into Mark’s thought processes and journey. I watched this last Friday and tried, over the weekend, to assimilate the content of this and other films that I viewed. Of course, there are many similar aspects from most printmakers, however, I found it interesting that both Mark and Clare were advocates and practitioners of collage. I haven’t tried much collage myself, apart from at school many years ago, it did however, make sense that these two media would inform each other by the overlaying of shapes, colours and textures. Mark says that he thinks in layers, which I now realise is key to producing interesting prints. Printed images are of course created in layers. Is this why my print images are flat and simplistic, I wonder? Layers create depth and interest – if I think of the flat finished article before I even begin, this must ignore many aspects I could explore to create interest! Maybe I could use collage as a tool to work through ideas rather than just relying on drawing. It is an extension of the back, mid and foreground of any painting composition.

Techniques to Consider

  • Introduce black as a tool for outline, texture and tone
  • Consider keeping elements of an image simple, yet introduce complexity in the composition
  • Draw on previous experience such as drawing, painting and monoprinting to bring interest to a composition
  • Use less colours but make them work harder by overlaying, considering juxtaposition and texture
  • Explore non representational mark making to add life
  • Consider using collage when working through ideas
  • Think in layers rather than a flat image to incorporate depth in an image
  • Let things happen!


Research Point: Multi Block Linocuts


Research Point: Multi Block Linocuts

Look at the work of Edward Bawden, and his son, contemporary printmaker Richard Bawden. Take a close look at the way they have worked with multiple blocks.

I decided to make most of my notes in my sketchbook for easier reference whilst working. I have saved some of my favourite images to my Pinterest board:


Edward Bawden

Reference sites:



Specific images discussed:

Sahara (1928)


Swan and Grass (white, yellow, grey) (1950s)



Edward Bawden - notes regarding multi block printing in A4 sketchbook

Edward Bawden – notes regarding multi block lino cuts in A4 sketchbook


Richard Bawden

Reference site:


Specific images discussed:





Richard Bawden - notes in A4 sketchbook

Richard Bawden – notes regarding multi block linocuts in A4 sketchbook

What can you learn from them?

  • The most obvious point is the importance of clean registration when overprinting with numerous blocks for layers of colour.
  • As Edward Bawden’s linocuts were often designs for wallpaper, they needed to be simple yet effective, fresh yet representative of their subject.
  • A larger piece of work can be made by using smaller blocks printing alongside one another, be that for wallpaper or a larger image.
  • With Richard Bawden, I learnt that any level of detail is possible by using minimal colours with overlays of (black in his case) outline, directional line for contours and variations of hatching and stippling for tonal changes.
  • A multitude of colours may be suggested when only 3 or 4 are actually used. Layering transparent colours can produce another and optically mixing by placing textured colours alongside each other also enhances the illusion.
  • Simple subjects can be taken out of the ordinary by the treatment given to them.
  • There is no subject that can not be attempted.
  • Although I did not find any process information for the two artists, I got the impression that many drawings and plans were worked through before cutting the lino.
  • I am also very glad I studied these two printmakers before attempting the printing of my multi block linocuts! It’s reiterated the care I should take and given me inspiration and a little more confidence to just do it!


Research Point: Linocuts

26, 30 & 31/08/16

Research Point

Find a couple of contemporary printmakers whose work you like, and reflect on their techniques. How do they use lino? What sort of marks do they make? What could you learn from them?

Initially I looked over my tutor’s comments following on from my first assignment and researched some of the printmakers that had been noted. These, although, not strictly relating to linocuts but monoprints, were really inspiring for future work. I spent time looking at how they went through their individual processes and inspirations. My thoughts, along with ideas for future personal concepts are at the end of this post.

Regarding linocut printmaking in particular, I found some beautiful work and have selected a couple of the printmakers that particularly caught my eye. I have also created a Pinterest board, where I have pinned a small sample of the work that I really liked and/or found interesting: https://uk.pinterest.com/ginaemmett/contemporary-printmakers/

Mark A Pearce

A painter and printmaker who lives and works in the Lake District, using his surroundings to create beautiful work. His linocuts are colourful and sharp, using the same block in a reductive technique to layer his colours and images, once cut they can not be reused for the earlier layers. I find this thought both terrifying and liberating. His mark making is very precise in appearance, although he manages to reproduce the natural shapes around him with some very straight and angular lines with directional cuts. From these he can produce stunning water reflections and ripples with lots of movement in water, skies and foliage. There are examples of strong contrasting colours and also of subtle shifts in tones of similar colours. The registration of each layer has to be spot on to create these sharp images, one that immediately springs to mind is of the boat in the water called Morning Reflection 42 x 26cm – https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/359232507760718720/

I was also struck by the differing scale of his prints along with orientation best suited to the compositions. Some were quite small at around 17x17cm and the largest I noted was 71x44cm, pretty big for a single block I would think. The images are very painterly, Mark himself, notes that his paintings can look like his prints and vice versa.

Website: http://www.markapearce.co.uk/original-linocut-prints

Angela Newberry

This printmaker has quite a different style – her prints are still colourful but in a more muted sense and I’m wondering whether this is, in part, due to the different papers she uses. This is something I have yet to explore in any depth, I have used different paper but only as far as newsprint, differing weights of cartridge and some fairly standard, flat and strong printing paper. Angela has used handmade papers such as Italian Fabriano, Japanese Hosho (made from the bark of the Kozo tree (paper Mulberry)) and Nepalese Lokta (from the Lokta plant, a member of the Laurel family) in different colours. Unfortunately, I can not really see the variety of printing quality on-screen as I’m sure I would in the “flesh”, however, with handmade paper there must be natural variations that give a unique quality to each print in an edition. The artist is based in Cornwall and Australia although is mostly inspired by the Australian landscape, however, there is a strong Japanese feel to her printmaking – maybe again, because of the papers?

Website: http://angela-newberry.co.uk/index.htm

Hosho Papers – Strong and soft, not liable to shrinkage or expansion. Natural colouring – unbleached.

Ref: David Bull’s Encyclopedia of Woodblock Printing, Woodblock.com

Lokta Papers – Long lasting and durable, strong and easily foldable avoiding crinkling and corrugation, free from germs and highly resistant to insects. Made from the bark of the Lokta sampling when 5-7 feet tall, is cut from the base and regenerates over a few years and is a sustainable resource.

Ref: http://www.papermojo.com/lokta.html

Other Recommended Printmakers

Suggestions from my tutor for printmakers to look at, again images I liked have been added to my Pinterest board – link above:

Terry Frost – Abstract/colourful/joyful

Richard Diebenkorn – Etchings

Pat Steir – Silk screen/etchings/monoprints over the top of screen prints – each individual – there are NO MISTAKES in art just discoveries – inspired by Chinese water painting.

Prunella Clough – Idea development – development of images and compositional choices. Landscapes and geology. Reducing and enlarging – industrial legacies – abstraction of images.

Helen Frankethaler – Abstraction – emotional overload – very expressive – more screen printing and monoprinting.

Shelley Burgoyne – Working from observation – Magadelena series – Etching & linocut. Fabulous pen and ink drawings from which to build prints. Very inventive and creative yet managing to continue to explore her main themes – always finding new ways to express them – thought to take away! Particularly like the Tide drawings 2x2m. Further thoughts in A4 sketchbook.

Possible themes for development:

Have been pondering where I can go regarding developing themes. Looking back at past courses and work, I am always interested in contrasts – be they shadow-light, hard-soft, jagged or rounded, industrial-natural. In Drawing and Painting 1, I was fascinated with cast shadows – making them as important as the object throwing them. Here in my new location, I am drawn to the volcanic rock which was once molten and fluid and is now solid yet can appear rounded or sharp.

  1. Examine contrasts as discussed above:
    1. shadow/light
    2. hard/soft
    3. angular/curved
    4. industrial/natural
  2. Female misogyny – this idea has been floating around in my head for a few months.
    1. what
    2. who
    3. why
    4. how
    5. competition?
    6. jealousy?
    7. male indoctrination?
    8. to be valued by men – the ultimate goal?

“Contrasts” would be more easily translated into a visual context – although for interest would benefit from abstraction and examining the feelings evoked.

Female misogyny, a more conceptual theme that would require much contemplation and expressive experimentation. Again, abstraction of emotions, rules applying to females across cultures, religions, the work place, family hierarchy – plus, I’m sure, many more angles. Maybe explore symbolism as well as expressionism.

Could the two themes be brought together – I’m sure they could with thought…


Research Point: Monoprints by Degas


Research Point: Monoprints by Degas

Take a look at monoprints by Degas. How have these  been achieved? How successful are they? What can you learn from his prints?

I have been collecting a few examples of Degas’ monoprints on Pinterest and have a pin board dedicated to them: https://uk.pinterest.com/ginaemmett/mono-prints-by-degas/

Quite a few of Degas’ monoprints appear to have been made by inking the entire plate and removing ink to indicate the subject matter, whether that is a figure, an object or light. He seems to have used a variety of tools to do this, although many marks are soft as if he has used a cloth or rag. Occasionally, scratch marks can be seen to help denote tone and texture. He quite clearly also uses his fingers to press into the ink and smudge away to soften the image. A lot of the time he worked very tonally and, in the examples I’ve seen, there is minimal line drawing. Some of the images appear to be second or third ghost pressings that he has worked into with pastel, chalks and washes.

I think these have worked beautifully and have great mood and atmosphere. There seems to be an added intimacy compared with his paintings.

I can learn many things from Degas’ prints, not least to be free and expressive. Although, many colours can be used within the monoprinting process itself, the use of tone is still key to producing atmospheric images. Almost anything may be used to make a mark, and those marks can be incredibly subtle or strongly dominant. Even as each print is unique, the inked plate itself can be re-used and modified many times producing different effects yet underpinned by the original. The ghost prints used as under-paintings for pastel work is something I would like to try out, as well as washes and maybe, when I use oil based inks, there maybe an element of resist that can also be explored.

Links to articles in relation to my research:





Degas Monoprint - girl brushing her hair

Degas Monoprint – girl brushing her hair


I really liked this print – it’s low on detail but high on impact. My observations are noted along side with this and the other print I’ve chosen. Both will be added to my sketchbook as a constant reminder of what may be achieved.




Degas Monoprint - The Fireside

Degas Monoprint – The Fireside



This is beautifully depicted and is packed full of atmosphere and mood. Annotated with observations and inserted into my sketchbook.