Ink and Trees

Following my last post it’s been another week, another lesson out-and-about, another bash at the dreaded trees… but a different type of monoprint. The last method was fun but messy, involving tubs, brushes, cloths, white spirit. This was simpler: roll on a decent layer of ink evenly over the plate (again, perspex) and lay a sheet of paper over it. Draw your image onto the paper, and the pressure lifts off the ink, so you have an exact reversed print to the other side. I like this because I am still finding trees  frustratingly hard and boring (like an impatient child, the former state normally leads to the latter). Our class has been drawing at Kensington Palace Gardens which, although beautiful in the shrill summer sun, can seem artificial and repetitive at times. I long to be in a forest. But with this method a so-so quality drawing  (which I’m not sharing with you because I am that self-conscious about my poor trees) can be made richer, and unexpected instances  appear. A graphic language of blacks and whites emerge, which reflect the sharpness of light that at times overwhelms me (after drawing all morning I started to realise heat stroke was kicking in by lunch-time). The gentle pressure of the hand on paper can lead to soft contact with the ink, resulting in a dappled texture over the paper, giving the image a harmonious quality. I’m not satisfied with these trees (but which artist has ever been truly satisfied with their efforts?) but I do feel at least that I’m making progress, and my own translation of these strange and unpredictable organic forms is a step closer.

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