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.
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.
I 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.
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.
I 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.
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.
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.
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.
Second circle – October 2014
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
All these different ideas and experiences overlapped and led me to this drawing using fine black pen and Tombow pens in shades of gray.
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
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.
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
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.