Category Archives: Printmaking

Parallel Project: Choosing a Printmaker/Artist to study

Pablo Picasso

What is it that has drawn you to this artist?

I was drawn to look further into Pablo Picasso’s printmaking after seeing an exhibition which focused solely on his print explorations ( Picasso’s Prints was held at Compton Verney). What I discovered and am continuing to discover is the breadth of expression Picasso was able to achieve through print as a medium. Much like his painting and other art his prints have a wide range of styles and subjects. They range from complex etchings and sugar tints to simple but expressive mono-prints.

What do they do in their work that makes them unique?

I think partly Picasso’s breadth of chosen mediums not just in print but in art in general makes him unique. He was constantly learning and stretching his form of expression in new methods and techniques. I think that as I mentioned earlier the range of methods he chose to print in makes him unique. Also that this was a medium he explored later in life. I think this is important because it allowed him time to develop his own artistic voice or style over time. The result is that generally when you look at his prints it’s easy to identify them as the work of Picasso based on creative language or style.

Who do you think has influenced their own development?

I’m still learning about Picasso and his influences in general. But I do know he was often influenced by friendships and relationships. Many of his prints are of lovers or wives/his own children growing up. Some of his delicate mono-prints resemble the line style of Matisse whom Picasso had a friendship with for some of his adult life. One print in particular comes to mind; ‘Francoise with a Bow in Her Hair, 1946’.

I’ve begun reading ‘A Picasso Portfolio – Prints from the Museum of Modern Art by Deborah Wye’ as part of my research into the influences behind his prints.

How influential do you see their printmaking to have been in the historical context?

So far I feel unable to say how influential Picasso’s printing has been. But I know Picasso as an artist in general is regarded as one of the most influential to art in the 20th Century. I assume I will learn more about this as I research.

Research Links:

The British Museum – has lots of Picasso’s Prints but I can’t seem to view the images online or find information about whether or not they’re on display at the moment.

The V&A Collection – have a range of Picasso’s work and images of the Artist.

Tate: Portrait of a Woman after Cranach the Younger – 1958 Linocut 

Head of a Young Boy – 1945 Lithograph 

MoMA Collection – is extensive, some 1,241 works online.

 

Angie Lewin

What is it that has drawn you to this artist?

I’ve admired Angie Lewin’s work for a few years new and continue to be surprised by her work. I’m mostly drawn to the aesthetic of he work and her subject matter. I admire her use of colours, always to complement and enhance her subject never to clash or confront. Much of her work depicts natural plant life, or landscapes across Great Britain. I’m also curious about how commercially viable and flexible her work is. Her work has been used for wallpaper design, fabric patters, book illustrations, posters.

I also admire the way she brings different natural materials together in arrangements. Perhaps I’m drawn to work out of nostalgia, I grew up in the countryside and spent a lot of time outside collecting leaves and natural objects often bringing them home to admire or even to draw.

As a print-maker her work is highly detailed and skilled. As modern print-maker’s go she is probably among the most skilled of our era. She works in great detail in lino and wood-block mediums as well as screen printing.

What do they do in their work that makes them unique?

I think there are a couple of things that make her work unique, whilst the subject matter may not be unique I think her style or approach towards it is. Her prints often contain landscapes or natural forms, but rather than trying to create as realistic looking a representation as possible she looks more at the patterns or shapes of the forms and represents those. Often her work is a complex layering of geometric shapes alongside natural forms or shapes. The amount of varying scale of her work is also unique. Her passion for nature is seemingly insatiable. I think she also has a uniquely flexible approach when it comes to being able to translate a drawing or watercolour sketch into a lithograph, or linocut, or woodcut print.

Who do you think has influenced their own development?

I recently went to an exhibition of Angie Lewin’s work which was titled ‘A Printmakers Journey’. This exhibition which was curated by Lewin herself included works from artists who had influenced her own development as print maker. Two print makers whose work featured prominently and she often cites as influences are Eric Ravilious & Edward Bawden. Some of her work even features visual references to these two artists for instance Edward Ravilious’ ‘Edward the VII Coronation’ mug features in her painting ‘The 1937 Coronation Mug’.

How influential do you see their printmaking to have been in the historical context?

This question is somewhat impossible to answer and any attempt would be speculation as to her future influence given that she is currently alive and active.

Research Links:

Angie Lewin’s Studio – Flickr account with images

Film by YSP to accompany her 2013 exhibition ‘A Natural Line’

‘Alphabet and Feathers’ – Wood Engraving 

‘Island Celebration’ – Linocut 

‘Moonlit Cup’ – Linocut 

‘Shoreline’ – Screenprint

First hand research/information:

I visited the exhibition ‘A Printmaker’s Journey’ whilst it was at the Winchester Discovery Centre in April. I bought a copy of the exhibition information booklet home with me as well as a set of notes which Angie Lewin had written to accompany the exhibits. Both the booklet and the her notes provide insight into the influence other artist’s have had on her journey as an artist/printmaker.

Exhibition information from Angie Lewin’s ‘A Printmaker’s Journey’ April 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also drew a couple of quick pencil sketches of some works whilst there.

Some sketches I drew of Angie Lewin’s work.

Assignment 2: Abstract prints ~ collagraphic prints.

Before I begin writing about the printing process I wanted to make sure I clarified why I chose to create collagraph prints as opposed to another printmaking medium. In some ways I feel choosing the collagraphic method is a bit more of a risk. I find it slightly more unpredictable than the lino cut method. But I like the way textural elements come through in a collagraphic print, it allows the material used in the process to be celebrated in a different way to trying to create texture when carving a lino block.  I also liked how creating a collagraphic block allowed to apply more of a collage based approach which is something I wanted to emulate from the artist’s research at the start of the assignment.

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Printmaking 2: Assignment 2 ~ Project 2 A Random Print pt.2

Printing Method/Process

For this project I tried to push myself to create different abstract prints using a variety of methods and materials. Here I’ll outline the different prints and their methods  before some analysis of the process and end results below.

Print 1 – Mono-printing with back drawing

I tried to create my first print using  randomly drawn marks or scribbles across the back of the paper. I also tried to add more variation in the colour of the marks by layering two different colours on top of each other on the glass inking plate.

Tools for mono-printing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Printmaking 2: Assignment 2 ~ Project 2 A Random Print pt.1

Artist Research:

Before beginning any practical work on this project I spent a bit of time finding some artists and work which were of an abstract nature, that I appreciated.

Cy Twombly:

Is a modern day abstract painter, whose work caught my eye as an example of something that could be explored using the medium of printmaking.

Quattro Stagioni: Inverno, 1993-5, Cy Twombly

I really like how Twombly has mixed paints in a free hand way in ‘Quattro Stagioni: Inverno’. I could see how this kind of effect might be achieve by using palette knives to mix and move paint across the glass surface of an inking plate. I’m not sure if the subsequent print would be as striking as Twombly’s painting, but I’d like to try it.

Untitled, 1954, Cy Twombly 

In ‘Untitled’ there appears to be multi-coloured scribbles or scrawls of paint across the canvas. I like the fluidity of this, and it reminded me of back drawn mono-prints. I wonder if something similar could be created using back drawing and different coloured ink layers.

Leda and the Swan, Rome 1962, Cy Twombly 

‘Leda and the Swan’ seems to combine Twombly’s scribbled or swiftly drawn marks with the mixed paint marks. I just like the frenetic energy of this painting, simple as that really!

I also found, John Squire’s Tate Shots: Cy Twombly, helpful in allowing me to have a glimpse at the real scale of some of his work. Looking online has it’s benefit’s but seeing actually footage of the works helps me to appreciate the paintings as they actually are.

Franz Kline:

I really only briefly looked at Kline’s work within the MoMA collection online. What appealed to me was the graphic even visceral nature of the mostly black marks across the paper or canvases of his work.

Painting Number 2, 1954, Franz Kline’. 

James Brooks: 

‘The Springs from Ten Lithographs by Ten Artists, 1971, James Brooks. 

I’ve included the lithographic print by Brooks in this list of research, as an example of an abstract print. Whilst I don’t know how to create lithographic prints I found it interesting to find a print in the medium which was abstract in its nature.

 

I printed these examples of work off and pinned them to a board I have in my dinning/work space to help me as I began my own abstract prints. I won’t go into the practical process/outcomes in this post. I will write in detail about that in part 2.