Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Henri Matisse Inspiration

As inspiration for monoprints I'm looking at a few Matisse works. This is Woman with a Hat, an early work from his Fauve period, completed in 1905. He uses dramatic unmixed colors.

I've lost direction with my painterly monotypes, I'm looking for some new ideas, so will try a simple still life but being more experimental with color. I think he has kept connections to the original colors and values, and possibly kept warm colors and cool colors in the same places, so that is a good starting point. I'm also going to try using acrylic paint as well as the heavier printing inks.

I've been a bit uninspired as I live in a very conservative place (Saudi Arabia) and don't feel comfortable working outside, so need to draw inspiration from the objects I can draw inside. I have collected some interesting shells and coral to work from so am investigating the Beasts of the Sea.

 In contrast to the last work there is a controlled use of color here, these colors look like they have come direct from the sea. Only a few of the shapes look like actual sea objects, the most distinctive shape being the blue in the bottom left, which is not dissimilar to my coral. I have already tried a bit of back drawing shapes like this on top of my first masked mono prints which I was pleased with so want to take this further with this investigation. The use of black and white are bold and important and lead the eye around the piece. I also like the subtle contrast of the coral pink. An interesting challenge will be to make several different colors clear and distinct. In my last practices I laid pink over blue and it did not show well. So from this I will try to make a masked mono print using several layers of color with my shapes taken from sea objects and some invented shapes.

This next work is La Gerbe, 1953, a large ceramic mural completed to commission at the end of Matisse's life. The simplicity of this is very effective, I want to explore a piece made up of all the same shapes, first all independent of each other then with layering.

Last of all, White Torso and Blue Torso, 1944, from the work Jazz. This piece was conceived as a collage then reproduced as a stencil. This work is a very simple shape stenciled as a positive and negative shape. This is a figure, I will continue with still life work so will look for some interesting objects, I have a nice bottle that may work.

A few ideas to be going on with...

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

First Masked Monoprints

I'm moving on to the next assignment of the OCA Introduction to Printmaking. I'm not sure where to go next with my first monoprints so will come back to them when I get some inspiration. The first image I created a mask from was a drawing of a river.

I created a collage of the image, I was interested in the curves of the river. I cut a mask of this and took a one and two colour print from it.

 This was not enormously successful, the stencil was too fragile as I had cut so much away. It was particularly difficult to attempt to line up the two colours. I used pencil marks to show where I thought the second mask should go but it was all too flexible. It was particularly hard to register the loose pieces of masks that do not touch the edges.

 For this mask I used some sketches of fish. I placed them diagonally to create energy which was effective. I'm not sure if using more ink would give a cleaner print.

In this image I added a second layer of a negative mask of pink fish. The color wasn't strong enough or I didn't use enough ink as it is not very clear. Maybe this could be a nice effect for a subtle layer. It is hard to get a balance between an image where the ink leaks out the edges from too much ink and one which doesn't transfer well. It would be interesting to see how this worked if the blue went over the pink.

In this image I used the negative mask from the first image. This is the second print from this. I used quite a lot of ink and the first print bled a lot around the edges. I much prefer this second image and the texture created.
In this print I have used two layers. Layer one is the ghost of the attempted layer of positive masked pink fish on the blue print above. This is one of many ghost prints I prefer to the first print. I then inked up a green plate and experimented with some simple back drawing leaf shapes inspired by Matisse collages.
This image is the ghost print of the green plate back drawing above. After I drew on the back of the paper to create some leaf like shapes and took the first print I put masks down to take this print and I like this texture. I will explore this further with more detailed back drawing.
This is the third take of this plate, I love these ghost images.
In these prints I have used very simple shapes, taken from simple sketches and my imagination. I love the textures I have created and am very excited by the beginning of exploring layering. I am going to develop this further by exploring some sea shapes in more detail and exploring Matisses Beasts of the Sea and other collages and stenciled works. I am pleased with the use of diagonal movement and the energy it creates and will explore this further.