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Upon reflection: Northumberland Castles


Rebecca Vincent monotype seascape painting sunrise castle with reflections contemporary style
Detail of Castle in the Sky

I've had an ambition for a long time, to create seascapes that include our wonderful Northumberland coastal castles, the sea and reflections either in calm pools or wet sand. For the monotype medium I choose to work in, this presents a number of challenges so it will take practice. Alongside that, I've been changing my working method to use more translucent colours. Sometimes it's just too much to keep in my head all at once!


Rebecca Vincent monotype seascape painting sunrise castle
Castle in the Sky (imagined castle) | image size 33 x 51cm | £395 unmounted | Survivors | image size 33 x 51cm | £395 unmounted | £420 mounted | £520 framed in oak or black with art glass

So this new series represents a step along this creative journey. I've simplified the composition to just headland (with castle), sunrise sky and reflections. I'm playing with different ways of representing reflections so some of these original prints have a mirrored reflection in still water and others have some vertical mark-making that represents a blurring of the reflection. I will also try some horizontal blurring like ripples


Rebecca Vincent monotype seascape painting sunrise castle with reflections contemporary style
In Deep Reflection (imagined castle) | image size 33 x 51cm | £395 unmounted | £420 mounted | £520 framed in oak or black with art glass

Rebecca Vincent monotype seascape painting sunrise castle with reflections contemporary style
Through the Looking Glass (imagined castle) | image size 33 x 51cm | £395 unmounted | £420 mounted | £520 framed in oak or black with art glass

Monotype is quite a broad medium so simplification is essential. Over the years, I've come to understand that I need not portray the subject realistically, but rather find a shape, pattern or working method that represents that subject in a more symbolic way. Reflections are complicated things so I'm trying a range of approaches to suggest them rather than a realistic rendering.


Rebecca Vincent monotype seascape painting sunrise headland with reflections contemporary style
Calm Reflection | image size 33 x 51cm | £395 unmounted | £420 mounted | £520 framed in oak or black with art glass

I've really enjoyed working on these monotypes - the beauty of working in series is that I can make changes and improvements as I move from sheet to sheet. Sometimes mistakes are a cue for a new way of doing things. So for the one at the top, the vertical marks came about when I forgot to mirror the sky in the water!


Rebecca Vincent monotype seascape painting sunrise Lindisfarne castle Holy Island with reflections contemporary style
Lindisfarne Reflections | image size 33 x 51cm | £395 unmounted | £420 mounted | £520 framed in oak or black with art glass

After creating a few silhouetted castles, I saw the potential to add a highlight with a lit window, reflected in the water. It gives a focus - somewhere for the eye to rest. It was a little fiddly to do using tiny bits of paper that block the ink when I print the castle stencil. You can see me doing that in this short YouTube video.


Rebecca Vincent monotype seascape painting sunrise Dunstanburgh castle Northumberland with reflections contemporary style
Dunstanburgh Reflections | image size 33 x 51cm | £395 unmounted | £420 mounted | £520 framed in oak or black with art glass

I deliberately kept the colour palette simple so there weren't too many choices to distract me. It also seemed fitting, with the weather in the North East of England, to have some moody skies. The colours followed on from my Expressive Skies series where I worked with Payne's Grey plus a colour gradient.


Rebecca Vincent monotype seascape painting sunrise Bamburgh castle Northumberland with reflections contemporary style
Bamburgh Reflections | image size 33 x 51cm | £395 unmounted | £420 mounted | £520 framed in oak or black with art glass

Eventually. my love for sumptuous colours broke out when I cracked open a can of magenta ink! I'm loving the way that the pink changes to red and mauve depending on the underlying colours. You can find a short video of me making this piece on YouTube here.



Rebecca Vincent monotype seascape painting sunset headlands with reflections contemporary style
In the Pink | Image size 34 x 74cm | £395 unmounted | £425 mounted | £550 framed in oak or black with art glass

I'm including the next two pieces which were unsuccessful. I used them as test subjects for the magenta sky and then for some horizontal marks in the reflected headland. It's always good to have some warm-up prints that you don't mind about! I love experimenting - it's at the heart of my creative practice and where I get my kicks! I experience an incredible feeling of excitement when I try something new; I can't wait to see how it turns out. Sometimes I need to wait for the ink to dry before I can do the next step - then I can't wait to get back in the studio to see what happens next!


Rebecca Vincent seascape monotype
Test piece for seascape

Rebecca Vincent seascape monotype
Test piece for seascape with horizontal marks

I think artists are often tempted to "churn out" what sells well and I have certainly done my fair share of that in order to make a living but ultimately, it's a creative dead end. We need to be brave enough to keep making changes in our work. Even better things will come!


All the above originals are available for sale now. Just get in touch by email or phone/text on +447717256169 to reserve a piece or to discuss framing options.


If you're interested in reflections you may like the piece below that I've just listed in my online shop. This original monotype incorportates hand-printed collage papers.



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