In the best possible light
I'm delighted to introduce my latest original monotypes. These are mostly seascapes exploring the theme of sunset at the coast. The intersecting headlands of Threshold (above) suggest a way through to a place beyond. Whilst it references the isles and lochs of Scotland, it's an invented scene. It was important to me that the shapes balance one another to create a harmonious composition rather than being realistic.
I made the crisp edges of the headlands by printing using paper stencils. You can see me printing the final layer of ink in the short video above. The process is called monotype or monoprinting as you only get one original print, so it's like a painting but made with low-tech hand printing methods. There are nine layers of coloured ink in this piece - four in the sky and sea plus five for the headlands. (Yes, I know, I must be mad!)
"Along the River Bank" is an anomaly in this series of seascapes! I love walking beside a river, hearing it's soft sounds and enjoying the myriad reflections of trees interspersed with bright light. It's not an easy thing to capture in print or paint. For this one, I wanted a lot of movement in the water rather than the still, symmetrical reflections I've done previously.
Low light from behind is a strong theme in my recent work. I love the way it illuminates whatever it touches. It's hard to look into the light in this way but when a good photographer captures back-lighting at sunset or sunrise, you see things infused with colour. So in this seascape with rocky headlands, I wanted to depict this effect and maybe exagerate it a little to give more colour and variety to the subject. There are close colour relationships between the sky, the sea and the rocks.
Whilst "In the Spotlight" is a landscape, it connects to the colours and light of the seascapes. I've made many monotypes with a line of trees at sunset over the years, but I still want to move forward with it. I keep trying new approaches to the sky to bring even more colour, variety and glow. This one has delicate little cirrus clouds alongside bolder shapes and a blinding focus of light. I think we all know that moment when a sunset is momentarily transformed by the sunlight flashing through the clouds just above the horizon.
Suffused with sunset colours, "Tranquility" has a calm, serene feeling to it and brings to mind the close of a lovely day when you have time to watch the sun go down at the coast. I really wanted that effect of the light sparking on the water - I invented a new monotype technique to do it!
In "Illuminated", I wanted to let the sparkling relections on the sea take centre stage with the weight of the islands in the centre. Once more, the backlighting gives the illusion of colours in the rocks.
The inspiration for "Serenity" came from a Japanese woodcut. I've always loved the style and simplification of these. The crisp outlines of these reeds were printed in two layers to give more depth and colour variation. The tonal differences between the sea, the sky and the reeds were really important to make each level and shape distinct.
These new original monotypes are now listed in my shop - click on any image to see details of size, price and to purchase. Feel free to phone me with any questions on 07717 256169