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A sneak peek: work in progress

What do poppy fields, seascapes, a heron and an Italian hilltop village have in common? Absolutely nothing! Find out how they came together in this photo post.

Over the last month or so I've been working on a group of monotype paintings that are nearly ready to share with you. I always intend to create a unified series around a subject and colour theme but I have so many new ideas swirling around my head that I end up pursuing completely different ideas at the same time! So it was with this collection:

The top photo shows my inks and rollers for a couple of poppy field pictures. I've tried this idea before but I wanted to incorporate even more colour and hone the viscosity inking effect for the flowers. This is where I use inks of different densities to create a colour-popping contrast. You can see a detail of a poppy field below.

Here you can see a similar idea with a strong sunset sky. A hedge and a door for the cottage are still to add to this one.

For a long time I've been turning over in my mind the idea of a bulrushes-beside-a-pond picture. I sometimes take my children to explore a nearby pond with towering bulrushes. I would pull down one of the seed heads to their level so they can feel it's velvety texture. Artistically, they're a wonderfully dramatic shape and colour.

In this picture (detail below) I couldn't help but include a heron, having seen them many times standing like statues at the pond margin. This one is a collage element but also monotype printed.

This is a detail of some of the foreground textures from the same piece. I wanted to keep the colours light and natural to contrast with the water and give the feel of the pale straw like foliage.

At the same time as the poppies and pond, I worked on three new seascape monotypes, tall with large skies. I keep revisiting this theme as I think of new colour palettes often inspired by sunset skies I see in Northumberland with shocking glowing pinks. I've often overprinted pink across gold and blue but this time I had an 'aha' moment to print grey over pale vermilion and magenta which worked really well giving that vibrating colour contrast I'm always reaching for.

I also tried out the same colour combination in stronger shades for the foreground rocks that reflect the sky colours. I'm quite pleased with the rocky/barnacle look I've achieved here.

Finally, I've been working on an Italian hill top village for a customer. This had all the complexity of a chess game as I applied layers of colour with stencils to make the walls and roof tops. Windows will also be added which is going to be a real nail-biter!

I hope this has given you an insight into the way my mind jumps around. When I can't choose what to do, I do everything at once! It's a bit crazy but I enjoy the challenge.

These originals (with the exception of the last one) will be offered initially to my loyal email subscribers in the new year. Join my list if you want to get a heads up.

Find out more about monotype printmaking by watching my videos.




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