Odds and ends at the end of the year

Over the last few weeks I have been working on a range of different artworks, in a somewhat disjointed way. I have had the (totally delightful) distraction of the unexpectedly early arrival of my first grandchild, a little girl called Lumi. She was tiny, but is thriving, clearly a determined individual! And now the lead-up to Christmas provides other distractions.

On one day last week I heard that I had made two sales, very different artworks in different places. One was a painting, sold through Bluethumb, an online gallery. I have had work there for about a year and a half and had previously sold two paintings to the same buyer, but that was all, so this was a nice surprise. The other sale was one of my miniature hand-made books which was in an end of year group show, this too was quite unexpected. Neither work is new, but I had faith in them both, so it is good to know people liked them! The painting is called ‘Enigma’ and is oil on board and the book is called ‘Sleeping Beauty in Short, a book in a box’.

EnigmaWeb

Book_in_Boxweb

Etching is a print medium I have always loved, but have done little of in recent years. It is time-consuming and heavy on equipment, so when a printmaker friend who is also a magnificent teacher said she was going to conduct two mentor workshops in using aluminium plates (as opposed to copper or zinc which I have used in the past) I seized the opportunity. We had a small group of wonderful artists, it was an enormously pleasurable experience and I was reminded of the scope within etching, and how much I enjoy it. There are a few fundamental differences with using aluminium – the acid for etching is very gentle, and easily accessible from any hardware store, and there is no need to go through the complexities of applying aquatint in order to create tones, as when areas of the aluminium are left exposed in the acid, it bites leaving a texture on the plate. The darkness of the tone can be controlled by how long the plate is left in the acid – it can be pulled out and blockout applied to the areas to be kept lighter. The downside is that it can be unpredictable, and it is more difficult to obtain the clear, fine lines that are possible on copper or zinc, but this unpredictability is what I am hoping to exploit when I make more plates next year. The first image below was comparatively controlled, the second one is the same size (10 x 15 cm) and was more experimental in the way I blocked out areas, then wiped off bits of the blockout in an almost random way.

Alu_etch1Aweb

Alu_etch2Aweb

Drawing into my monoprints is continuing – a never-ending source of surprise and pleasure! The image below is a small part (about 20 x 20 cm) of a larger piece, with a ghost mono print underneath, worked into with coloured pencils. I am now thinking of simply taking the elements that work from these larger pieces and treating them as small finished works. I haven’t come up with a title for this one, so any suggestions welcomed!

mono_drawingweb

I am so grateful for the continuing support from the people who visit this blog, and who follow me on Instagram and Facebook. So many developments and new directions have come from the intelligent and thoughtful comments that you go to the trouble to make. I am constantly inspired by seeing the work of artists I follow too, so thank you, have a wonderful, peaceful Christmas, and looking forward to an inspired and productive New Year!

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26 thoughts on “Odds and ends at the end of the year

  1. A quick word from National Gallery Singapore where I am about to participate in a guided tour of impressionist work from Musee d’Orsay.
    “Mistral” springs to mind as in that print where you ask about a title, the first thing I see is a breeze.
    I haven’t time to write more so I leave you with that title suggestion. (Did I spell it right?)

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  2. I am also inspired when I read your blog. Although our artwork is completely different, I still get a lift from your positivity and enthusiasm. I love your miniature hand-made books. Merry Christmas and keep up the good work.

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    1. Thank you so much Chris – art-making can be very solitary pursuit, so finding a community like this where we can inspire one another is a very valuable thing. Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate them a great deal, being able to enthuse other people makes me very happy! There will be more miniature books next year! I will continue to enjoy your work too. Have a great Christmas!

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    1. Thanks Carol – my granddaughter gives me so much pleasure, it’s quite hard to describe! The diversity of my work bothers me every now and then, I feel I should present a cohesive body of work, but there are so many interesting areas out there, I can’t resist doing a bit of this and a bit of that, so it is encouraging to know you find it interesting!

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    1. I have so many ideas for the aluminium etching, it offers a lot of opportunity, so hopefully you will see more! I still haven’t started on the gelli plates yet, but it’s there in my mind …. A very happy Christmas to you too Anne, it will probably be nice for you to see the final tree depart then you can think about your own Christmas!

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    1. Thanks Karen, she is totally gorgeous! I think the aluminium etching has a lot to offer me, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into it next year. I’m keen to see what you will be doing too, you are off to a flying start with your beautiful roses. I hope 2018 will be a fabulous year for you, and have a very happy Christmas!

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  3. I like the aluminium prints, esp the top one. The mono I’d call Red River in the Outback, being an aerial view! 😁
    Thank you Anna for also being an inspiration. Festive greetings! 🎄💖🎈🤶🎅

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    1. Ah, now that is a nice idea too, the aerial view! I love maps, the mysteries and potential they hold. Your title also connects this piece to the other outback prints I have been doing recently. I’m delighted to have been an inspiration, you have been such a great supporter of my work for a long time, I do appreciate it Janina. I hope you have a great Christmas, and I’ll look forward to seeing what you are up to in the new year!

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