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.
At the start of this project I was really unsure what to use as the basis or inspiration for my print. I went to a local art gallery to try and find some inspiration but found myself feeling less certain of where to begin. Our notes suggested using ‘old master paintings’ as possible inspiration points, and this got me thinking about some the Dutch Still life Paintings. To me these paintings had an inherent or good underlying structure and plenty of forms which could be abstracted in such a way as to be semi-abstract.
I began my search looking through the Tate’s online collection. Here’s their definition for Still Life. I found two very different approaches to the subject of ‘still life’ in Claude Venard’s: ‘Still Life 1955-6’ and Edward Collier’s: ‘Still Life 1699’. Colliers oil painting is not an abstract image, it is very much in the tradition of Dutch Still Life painters. Vernard’s painting plays with the same theme but in a semi abstracted manner, you can still identify elements such as apples, a fish, a plate, but their form is simpler, even the colour palette is restricted to blue and white tones.