Project 2 – Old Photograph
September 2018: This project ended up as a large lino print which I exhibited at the Arts Depot in North London this summer. I spent a lot of time on the details and how to make marks in lino and I researched wood engravings. It really paid off as I think the image has lots of interest and different marks.
The original photograph that I worked on was a video still from Denis Mitchell’s film shot in the north of England and showed a typical street of terraced houses, black roofs, chimneys belching smoke and a dreadful dreary townscape that my grandparents had to live with. This is how I remember our trips back up north during my childhood
April 20th: I am going to deconstruct my lino print and combine various media to make a new kind of image. In this one I am blending lino print and photographic consctuction.
I am lo oking at artists who use different media or mark making in one print: I like this one:
This is a difficult project because it means I have to put myself into the image and that is not easy as I don’t draw very well, I can work from photos. Anyway I have done a drawing, two lino prints and a drypoint so far.
Search through some of your old photographs and source an image that you
can use for a linocut print. Find an image that shows a place or time in your
life that is important to you.
April 2017: I have a composiite photo for this project – me standing against a view of the dark satanic mills of the north. I was born in Huddersfield, a town that has a history of the industrial revolution, it’s in my genes! and my blood, the darkness, the difficulties and also the beautiful moors and the wildlife, the trees and the windblown fields.
I was born in Yorkshire, I remember the dark repetitive streets, terraced houses smoke black. Smoke in the air, iron Victorian railings. I am though very proud of my roots, Yorkshire is a very special place where all my family come from for three generations.
I remember the town as having the general colour of grey and black, coal colours. Coolers, tall waisted cylinders visible on the horizon from my granny’s dining room window in her little brick house in Central Avenue, with its nasty little garden and smoke blackened plants. Heavy stone walls with stone gateways leading to fields and sheep and farms, rolling moors where we would go walking on our rare visits north.
The documentary Morning in the Streets is a classic that evokes where I come from, even tho it was filmed in Lancashire.
My print will be a lino print but not in one colour – I will be doing four colours: white, pale grey, medium grey and black, with a registration base on cardboard.
I have drawn the image onto ieasy cut lino, unfortunately the marker pen I use transfers to the paper, which is a nuisance, I need to try a different pen.
Next is the black print. I like the print so far, it has atmosphere and I like the smoke and white windows. Not sure how I will resolve the figure.
This is a test print. I will see what I need to change and how to work on the figure, also try to mix the tones better from light to dark.
I did a second try today but there are problems with this one too. The greys are still too dark, however I will finish this one with a final print of black tomorrow on the fence and the roofs and chimneys.
I watched a programme about Paula Rego and her deeply intense psychological paintings about her inner life. She says we all have an inner story I want to get in touch with mine so that I can bring some personality into my images; some depth, some emotions, something about my childhood.
The final print is not good, you can see where the drawing has gone wrong, the figure doesn’t work. I’ll have to have another go and be more careful. I also need to do a painting of the shapes and tones of the roof tops and also the figure.
Well in spite of all the errors, the image definitely has a sense of place and reminds me of the place I was trying to evoke, so it’s not all bad. I need to work much slower and do more test prints before editioning. I started with ten images and ended up with only one.
I should have done a painting first to work out the tones. This painting is a start but there is a long way to go yet. Also, what do I do about the figure?
I wanted to make the sky white but then the smoke would not be a contrast or stand out which is important.