Introducing colour

This week I tried introducing colour to my drypoints using ‘simultaneous colour printing’ or the viscosity printing method, largely developed by Stanley William Hayter.  This is a method of introducing layers of colour onto one plate.   What I did learn was that it isn’t as easy as our wonderful technicians make it look!  It is a process of using layers of colour on one plate, by changing the viscosity of the etching inks by adding copper plate oil.  The roller needs to be wide enough in diameter to make one sweep across the plate.  I did not manage this and that’s why the colour is uneven.  However, there are no hard and fast rules and I think it’s a very exciting process for those wanting to use colour and maybe after a lot of practice I might get somewhere!

Here are some new drypoints in progress.

Primrose, Bird’s-Eye Primrose, bees, pollen, petals, roots – 25 x 25 cm
In a whirl
Close up of In a whirl
Rolling out the ink – good arm exercise as it took me a while to get it even!
After laying down of the ink onto the plate it is placed on the press (note: I did not mess up the blankets!)
First In a whirl with colour

New drypoint and Barbara Rae

One of the really great things about being in Cambridge during the week is being able to take advantage of all the events that happen here.  There is a never ending list of films, concerts and galleries to see, so many that it’s hard to choose!  Friday evening I attended a talk by Barbara Rae at Trinity Hall.  I have loved her paintings for years and have an old catalogue from the early 80’s, so it was a real privilege to listen to her talk about her work in such down to earth and amusing way.  It’s so important to see her work up close as she uses a lot of collage and textures.
I am beginning to think I might try painting with acrylic again!
Barbara Rae – Red Terraces Collioure  – 152 cm x 152 cm
I spent all day on Thursday working on a new drypoint and below is the first print.  I have been looking at some botanical drawings by Stella Ross Craig, an illustrator of flora whose masterly drawings of British plants took 26 years to complete.  I really enjoyed drawing this cowslip, although the leaves are too dark in places, so now I have to fix that!

Cowslip and Bees 6″ x 8″ Drypoint in progress