Narrative print

July 10th 2017:  For my next project I have decided to jump in at the deep end and have a go at a narrative print based on a story from my journeys.

Drawing for the print:

I went to Intaglio in Southwark on this rainy day and bought some Japanese vinyl since I couldn’t get easy cut in the large size.  I also bought some Tracedown for transferring the drawing to the lino with white lines – very useful stuff!

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Master drawing of a journey to a new country

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first print from the block

This journey started with a book my father got for me at a jumble sale about France.  I saw a picture of Lac d’Annecy and fell in love with it, I was 18, I wrote to the Mayor of Annecy and asked him to find me a family where I could be an au pair.  He found me the Patout family who had a little 4 year old girl called Catherine.  I was to look after Catherine and also help with cooking and housework.

My dad saw me off at Liverpool St Station into a Pullman Car, from London I travelled to Annecy via Paris.  M. Patout met me at Annecy station holding a copy of The Times!  We drove to their lovely apartment in Nouvel Annecy and thence started an amazing adventure in France for me: learning the language, eating the food, walking up the mountains, reading Stendhal and so much more – it was a blessed journey and gave me so much that I have never forgotten it.  I learned French, I worked later on in Annecy in a hotel in Sevrier, I learned to ski!  I found a culture that respects literature and good food and after growing up in grim and dowdy England in the 60s that was a revelation….

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So the next job is to reverse the image in Elements and then draw it onto the vinyl and cutting away all the areas that I am leaving pure white.

29th July 2017:  I started cutting the block today.  It is not too difficult but my tools need sharpening and I can’t afford that at present.

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Notes:  This print will be about my journey to the Haute Savoie in 1963  to work as an au pair – it was an amazing time for me.  I hope this print will/can in some way convey the new world that opened up for me.

I will document all my research and drawings here as it is a big project and one that requires a lot of research, a lot of drawing and planning.

Having written down lots of notes about the journey from London to Annecy in France I am including my experience in the cafe, reading Stendhal, the mountains, the lake, food, coffee in a silver pot on a silver tray, good cakes, my bedroom with its French country curtains in the Patouts home,  the town of Annecy, and so on…..

First drawings and image collecting from my sketchbook:

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Grayson Perry

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Grayson Perry

We saw some of the wonderful tapestries above at the Serpentine Gallery this year.

Some printmakers who have inspired me: It’s the mark making that is difficult – finding interesting ways to depict line, texture and tone.