If you've been following my progress over the last few months, you'll know that I'm on a quest to perfect my sunset skies. I have in my personality the exhaust-all-possibilities gene and to that end I'm continuing to try every combination for the layers of colour that give that elusive glow as they interact.
I've come across a new pink-blue combination that's working to good effect and will now by part of my palette of sky colours. It really does seem to echo the pink wispy clouds of a real sunset. Just to be clear, I'm not aiming to portray a particular sunset, working from a photograph, but rather an artistic equivalent that delivers some of the sensation of looking at a sky whilst at the same time delighting in the painterly marks of the monotype medium.
You can see the progress (above) on a larger landscape that now needs the land area creating. Below is a detail of the wispy mark-making using a cloth.
Here you can see the large roller I use to apply blended colours of ink to the plastic sheet I work on (the print is on the right is the same one as above but one stage earlier)
This 1 min video shows the highlights of the printing process (edited down for your enjoyment - each layer is left to dry for a couple of days)
I'm also working out a magenta-orange sky which has a wonderful glow to it. It worked well in my print "Incandescence" quite by accident so now I'm trying to understand it so I can use the colours more intentionally next time around.
For each monotype I create, I draw an actual size sketch in pen to guide me through the various layers otherwise I would lose my place. In printmaking, we call the matching up of layers "registration". This will be another Sycamore Gap picture, this time incorporating Hadrian's Wall. I've found the perfect texture for the stones of the wall which I can't wait to use! The sky will be similar to the one at the top.
After spending a long time working on sunset colours, I'm now starting to turn my attention to more stormy skies and getting more sense of wet and windy weather. This little cottage on a cliff is the first, in what I hope will be a new series, developing this theme. The sky is darker and more brooding; I'm calling this my "Heathcliffe" style. It suits the change in the weather we're experiencing! You can see little splashes in the sky made with white spirit that dissolve the ink to indicate wet weather.
Below, a detail of the mark-making in the sky. The next step is to print darker ink in the land area.
I'll share these originals when they are completed, initially to my email subscribers. Join my list to be among the first to see them and have the opportunity to purchase.
On another inspiration topic, my husband and I have really felt the benefit of our garden and allotment in these difficult times. My heart goes out to you if you don't have access to pleasant outdoor spaces during the lockdown. Now we can travel a little further afield, I hope you're finding some refreshment and peace in nature.
These are recent photos from our allotment. I can't take credit for them as they were grown by my husband and the meconopsis (blue poppy), iris and alliums belong to neighbouring plots but couldn't resist photographing their beauty in the lovely evening light.
Above from left, a border of cowslips, forget-me-knots and daisies; Meconopsis, the famous blue poppy; amazing rose-like tulips; multi-coloured nemesia flowering their hearts out in the sunshine
Above from left, parrot tulip, (not sure!), alliums, iris
"Nature is painting for us day after day pictures of infinite beauty if only we have eyes to see."