Still writing my essay and other things

I am definitely making a meal out of this writing business… it’s only 4000 words and 10% of my final MA mark, but I obviously want to do the best I can!  Plus, it’s fascinating, and the research goes on and on.  I can’t imagine how I wrote my really long dissertation back in the day when I couldn’t type and we didn’t have the web.  It doesn’t seem possible.
Koichi Yamamoto is one of the artists I am writing about, in particular this print.

Koichi Yamamoto – Rakujo
 I think his work is incredible and he has been so generous in answering my questions.  Another artist which I have discovered along the way with the help of my fellow students is Susan Derges.  Her work is so beautiful.   She is best known for her pioneering technique of capturing the continuous movement of water by immersing photographic paper directly into rivers or shorelines. She often creates her work at night, working with the light of the moon and a hand-held torch to expose images directly onto light sensitive paper. (Purdy Hicks Gallery)
Susan Derges –  River Taw – Photograms
 Meanwhile, I have been experimenting a great deal with soft ground etchings and chine colle, plus a two plate etching, soft ground and sugar lift aquatint.  
Unfinished soft ground with tosa washi monoprint chine colle.

Soft ground etching with tosa washi monoprint chine colle.
Two plate soft ground etching with background sugarlift aquatint.

A little light relief!

After spending all last Monday doing a test strip for an aquatint, I thought I would end the day with a little abstract monoprinting!  Above are the results left on the table!  Not on paper sadly.  It seems that just when you have to clear up, interesting things start to happen.  At least I have the photos.

I have decided that I need to stop doing drypoints for now because I spend hours drawing on the plate and can only get a few prints.  I am trying to learn how achieve a similar effect by using etching and aquatint.  Needless to say I haven’t succeeded yet, but it’s early days.  Since I have basically messed up a plate, I thought I would just experiment with differing techniques.  On this plate is an aquatint of varying bites, a hard and soft ground etching and some scraping out of the aquatint.  I ran out of time today to make anything of it, but at least I am learning.

First print after adding the soft ground.  Note the scraping out in the middle.
More scraping.
I added another soft ground and drew into it more and etched it for 30 minutes
The many stages of tarlatan or scrim

This week I have been to the Tate twice!  Once, to investigate an artist Vija Celmins for my essay and the other to see a fabulous exhibition on Picasso and his influences on Modern British Art