#circleobsessed 2014

From September 2014 I’m taking part in Karen Shaw’s Circle Collaboration 14 #circleobsessed. This page is my diary of the experience, in chronological order from first to last…

First circle emailed on Sunday September 28th.

Karen’s brief: mull over the meaning of the circle: this could be visual / spiritual / energetic /mathematical / symbolic / biological / graphic / metaphorical, you decide. Send a digital image of your first circle which must measure no more than 6 inches in diameter and a short narrative about your thought processes when working on the image, including prep work if you wish.

polystyrene press print with holes cut into it

polystyrene press print with holes cut into it

On a rainy bank holiday in August I spent some time experimenting with circles in basic printmaking using polystyrene press print, card and wallpaper.

I made different sized circles, some with drawing onto press print and some with textured wallpaper patterns stuck on. I also made the reverse: sheets with circular holes cut out.

2014-08-25 15.48.50I printed them on large sheets of paper in layers mainly using a range of blue water-based printing inks. It was great fun experimenting with these in different combinations and each set of printing led to the next – with colour changes and choices of circles or circular holes.

2014-08-25 16.10.33

In early September I began to think about another primary printmaking technique that allowed spheres to leave a print – bubble-printing. I mixed different combinations of  washing up liquid, water, waterproof drawing ink and Brusho to experiment with.

2014-09-20 18.17.35I had ideas of using a mixture of washing up liquid, water and PVA to make bubble prints on mount board that I could later print as a collagraph. This was largely unsuccessful as the mixture did not produce very large or defined bubbles. I haven’t printed from these yet.

2014-09-13 12.35.44

Later in September I continued to experiment further with circles – this time using collagraph printmaking. I cut a circle of mount board and painted PVA onto it, cut away with a craft knife, and added textures such as sand paper. Later I cut the circle into sections planning to experiment with applying different colours of ink and then putting them pieces back together before printing.

collagraph pieces for printing from

collagraph pieces for printing from

Looking at these marks, shapes and patterns now I can see connections back to the circular holes of the earlier experiments. It also makes me think of a map or aerial view.

When I printed the collagraph circle pieces I used oil based relief printing ink and put the pieces back together to print them as a complete circle.I also used a roller to roll some yellow ink onto parts of the surface before printing.

collagraph print of the complete circle

collagraph print of the complete circle

This is the complete image that I am emailing to Karen – it is 6 inches in diameter. The electronic image does not fully convey the texture of the print – especially the sandpaper.

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to experiment with textures, shapes, patterns and colours in this series of images. Its also given me a chance to try out some new approaches that I can apply to my collagraph printmaking as well as trying out my new roller and some new colours of ink – viridian and French ultramarine.

Along the way I have also collected some images on a board on Pinterest – these can be seen

Second circle – October 2014

the image I received to respond to in October

the image I received to respond to in October

I received this circle to inspire my next image. It was interesting to see the use of bubbles in the image as I had been experimenting with bubbles earlier (see above).

Over the month I was taking part in several other collaborative art projects:

Mr Jake Parker’s #Inktober and making and posting a drawing using pen or ink. (I managed to do this every day of the month.)

#PrintOctober (I was able to post on a few days of the month.)

#sketchbookcircle (My September pages has connections to all the above.)

At work we used the theme ‘circles and spheres’ for our Northampton Inspire Network Meeting in late October. You can see what we did here – Northampton Inspire 1415

2014-10-31 15.19.57

All these different ideas and experiences overlapped and led me to this drawing using fine black pen and Tombow pens in shades of gray.

PVA bubble printing, then printed intaglio

PVA bubble printing, then printed intaglio

I also printed from the PVA bubble printing that I made in September – I’m not sure it was what I had hoped for but it was worth trying and could be worth developing further.

(a photos taken in poor light, apologies!)

Having tried out different ideas I combined the pen drawing above and  the bubbles image I was sent in the app ‘Moldiv’. This allowed me to cut

using Moldiv to cut bubbles and add them to the drawing

using Moldiv to cut bubbles and add them to the drawing

out some of the bubbles and add them to my drawing.

After this I put the image into the app ‘Fragment’ and manipulated it using some circles. I also took inspiration from the pink and blue colours and ended up with this image that I’ll send to Karen later today.

final image for #circleobsessed October

final image for #circleobsessed October

Third Circle – November 2014

For the next circle we could look through all the images posted so far on the #circleobsessed Facebook group and choose one to respond to and be inspired by. It was interesting to browse through all the images and I was struck by those that were created by cutting out circles to look through or placing circles in combinations.

I used a drawing I had made a few months ago in response to the design on the Kate Bush ticket I was lucky enough to receive in late September. You can read the amazing story of that experience here – Seeing Kate Bush

2014-10-03 21.35.34For a long time afterwards the sounds, colours and atmosphere came back to me leading me to make this drawing based on a memory of the ticket design.

For my November #circleobsessed image I photographed this image and manipulated it using an app that allowed me to change colours, cut out circles and replace them  and resize them.

This led me to this image that I contributed to the group.

2014-11-11 22.13.15


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