In April Karen sent me her sketchbook – she had continued to develop the small abstracts using brightly coloured paper. I liked the way these have titles and that’s something I’ve begun to think more about especially since I’ve been experimenting with more abstract work.
During April the NN Contemporary Gallery, here in Northampton, had an exhibition called Pip and Pop, an installation on the floors of the gallery using fine sand, sugar, origami, plastic figures, glitter, lights and found objects put together to make fantasy worlds. The gallery has windows that open to the street and walking past the injection of light and colour that the exhibition provided on a dull day was immense. Visiting the exhibition reinforced for me (along with seeing Karen’s work) the possibility of using more colour in the art I make.
When I got home from seeing the exhibition I immediately made a tissue collage to help me remember what I had seen.
As well the collages, Karen had also developed her work with shape and colour into two reduction lino cuts. She had mentioned this possibility in February and I had begun to think about trying out shapes and colours in my own practice, which is making collagraph prints. Usually my prints are representational and it was liberating to try something different.
The use of different sized shapes and the positioning of shapes on top each other was something I wanted to try with collagraphs. I made a few separate shapes from mountboard; cutting it into a knife, painting on PVA and sticking textured wallpaper onto the plates. I also cut holes in some of them. I used a reddish brown, red and yellow to print the tiles – firstly with no overlapping to get a sense of what each looked like when printed.
I am appreciating the way the exchange of ideas and visual material in the sketchbook circle is having an influence on my own art – I have built on these several plate two print collagraphs by making a series of two plate collagraphs using the sky and winter trees.
I look forward to receiving the next boost of ideas from Mary soon – she gave a tantalising preview on Facebook yesterday!