Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Week 1: Minehead to Barnstaple 'In the Studio'

Back in the warmth and comfort of the studio I have started working on the sketches I made on the path. 

I found that the first week was dominated by the physical aspects of the walk. I had underestimated the impact of this on the artwork. I felt I needed more time to look, take notes and absorb the atmosphere. My time was spent fighting with the weather, tired legs and the practicalities of recording all aspects of the project.

The first sketches were tight, boring and not at all what I had envisaged. These will be discarded and a new freer approach with more risk-taking will replace them. The regimented mindset required to plan and organise this project had crept into the artwork.

I want the prints to convey the feeling of place rather than be exact copies of my sketches; I find producing rapid ink sketches from memory helps me to achieve this. I then use these images to make the drypoints.

After relaxing into studio mode I have produced four out of the six daily prints. Two days are missing as there are no sketches due to the bad weather.  I will need to return to Baggy Point and the Taw/Torridge Estuary later in the year. I have to accept that some days will be lost, either due to bad weather, lack of inspiration, or most likely - lack of energy!

Here is one of the daily drypoints in the making:
Ink sketches of Heddon's Mouth 

This is the perspex plate inked up (like all printing plates it is in reverse so that when printed out it will be the right way round).

The first proof onto paper. I will make further adjustments to this including darkening parts of the sea and adding more linear marks.

As we become fitter, as the weather gets better and as our daily routine gets slicker, I am sure that the whole process will become easier!

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