More Sugar lifting!

Two plate sugarlift etching, testing my skills at registration!

In my quest to move away from drypoints, as you know I have been experimenting with sugar lift aquatints.  Here are a few of the tests and experiments.  The bugs got a little more creative inspired by a recent visit to the reserve collection in the Zoology Museum in Cambridge.  What a treat that was!  We also visited the Tate Print Collection on Wednesday and got to see some beauties close up.  I just loved this early Hockney print, which I believe is his first etching… puts me to shame!  Below are some photos from last week.

Abstraction from a landscape painting in sugarlift aquatint
Dragonfly Abstraction – 1.50 x 2 approx.

Flower Mantis sugarlift –  1.50 x 2 approx.

David Hockney – Myself and my heroes. Better image to be found with Tate link


Stephen Chambers at Lynne Strover’s Gallery and a new work in progress!

I have just returned from a talk given by Stephen Chambers RA at  Lynne Strover’s beautiful gallery in Fen Ditton, near Cambridge.  What a treat!  Just a fifteen minute drive from Melanie’s and I get to hear Stephen Chambers talk about his new large printed work inspired by the 1958 American Western, ‘The Big Country’, which will be opening at the Royal Academy on 24th October.

I was pleased to be able to see his smaller series of prints again, ‘When Trouble Meets Trouble’ which I absolutely love, and first saw at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.  This suite of prints are a wonderful mix of etching and chine colle and has certainly inspired me to add this technique to my printmaking repertoire!

Marie Antoinette – Stephen Chambers

A few miles outside of Cambridge,  Fen Ditton is an unlikely place to find such an exquisite gallery as the  Lynne Strover Gallery, but well worth a visit to see some really good art!

When Trouble meets Trouble – Stephen Chambers

Stephen Chambers signing his book

And here is my latest little bug, a hornet, given to me by a fellow student, (thank you Susi!) .. it is a work in progress.  It started out as a test plate on the back of another test plate (copper is so expensive!!) for a bigger etching, using sugar lift, but I like the way it’s going and now want to do more little creatures.  This little one is only about 1.50 in square.  Sugar lift is a technique whereby you mix sugar and water and some black ink and paint it on a degreased plate.  The image you paint, is the image that is eventually printed.  You ‘stop out’ the rest of the plate with either a varnish or a hard wax ground and then put the plate in hot water, which lifts off the sugar solution.  After that you add an aquatint, which is what etches.  Some people put the acquatint on first and paint the sugar solution over this.  Ahhh… the joys of printmaking, so many ways to do the same thing! 

Susi’s Hornet – sugar lift with burnishing and scraping out.

Back to school..

Well, I have been back at University now for three weeks and as usual trying to figure out in which direction my printmaking will go.  I have been looking at insects and seedheads again, but finding  it hard to let go of the landscapes, especially after spending last weekend at the beach!  I spent most of the time painting and sketching on the beach, except of course for a little paddle with my friend Melanie.  I also went into a school last week, The Thomas Clarkson Academy, to give a little talk about my work and to assist the students.  Here is a link to their website and a little piece about my visit.  It was a good day and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the class. 

All the above, sketches executed at the Botanics Cambridge.
A dry point created on the beach this weekend, of course I forgot about the fact that when printed it is in reverse! 

Fen Mist – 5 x 7 oil/wood

Walberswick, Suffolk