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!
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….
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.
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:
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.