I have really enjoyed the course and have pushed myself and worked hard to find solution for my lack of experience as a printmaker. I have faced many challenges on the way and have been at times very frustrated with my work, so I was pleased that despite my evident technical issues my tutor has recognised how hard I have worked. I am definitely not a natural printmaker but I do feel that I have come a long way and the course has helped me explore my creativity and discover many new working processes for me. I also feel that i would like to continue printmaking as despite many personal hurdles i have really enjoyed the course and how it has helped me with my personal learning goals.
The final module – combined printmaking has been a real steep learning curve for me – I gambled with producing work from the heart deciding to use printmaking to explore work inspired by a more emotional response to my themes – yet at the same time delving further into my themes and inspirations.
TASK ONE – project
I experienced several technical difficulties exploring my first combined prints. I agree with my tutor that I should have explored making my prints larger as the scale does not represent my original drawings and preliminary work. I was nervous about exploring combining printmaking methods so I feel I did not really push myself enough. My dyslexia causes me some trouble as tasks that involve measurements , straight edges and alignment I find extremely difficult ( I cannot get a straight line even with a ruler) so trying to place my paper on to my Lino was extremely difficult. Registering prints thoughout the entire course has been very problematic. This hurdle I feel has at times made me feel very disheartened but I was determined to overcome some of this in my larger set of final prints.
My fish design I felt does lack sophistication and I regret that I didn’t spend more time perfecting the image.
I have looked at Patrick Caulfield as suggested and I like the scale and the clean unfussy structure of his prints.
TASK ONE – CHINE COLLE
I found the chine colle technique very difficult and challenging. I didn’t really enjoy the task – it was difficult to produce clear fresh work. I found the gluing process very hard and I either seemed to under or over glue my collage materials. I found fine tissue paper had the tendency to buckle. I decided to focus my mind on developing ideas for my final prints by exploring themes that I intended to use later and I feel that doing this helped me relax more. I feel that this did help me a little and I did manage to produce not exactly perfect prints but something better than my early chine colle effects. I felt despite not particularly enjoying the tasks I had nonetheless learnt some new skills.
TASK 3 ( final prints)
My this stage I was feeling the pressure as I felt I needed to achieve some work that I liked. I really needed to push myself I had plenty of ideas for my final prints but was unsure whether I could achieve my objectives and aims. It was clear I needed to work larger and that this was a gamble as well as a Challenge. I really needed to enhance and really develop my themes. I did find working larger challenging especially as I do not have a printing press but I do feel working bigger worked better for me. I definitely do want to explore scale more and will explore blowing up my preliminary sketches on a photocopier. I found working larger allowed me to experiment more with the placement of my images. My final prints were definitely not completely perfect or polished but I felt they did represent me and the sense of what i was hoping to achieve.
I am interested in my tutors comment about my portraits reminding her of the work of Eileen Cooper. I do not know much about Cooper so I will definitely have a look at her work.
I have recently brought a book about Robert Rauschenberg as it was on the reading list for exploring drawing media – he is an artist that interests me as I like the way he used materials and found objects to explore collages and installations.
LEARNING BLOG / LOG
I have really found using an online blog challenging as I do not process sophisticated IT skills I struggled to import the OCA template and in comparison to other students my blog interface is very basic. Nonetheless I feel that my learning log has began to be an essential tool that has enabled me to focus and begin to find my personal voice. Blogging has made me focus much more and engage with some sort of purpose and understanding on what the course is asking me to do . Despite issues caused by my dyslexia I feel that my writing content has improved. I also enjoy recording my own responses and reflections- I introduced a A4 sizes sketchbook during part 5 to record all my research and contextual studies and the book has really helped me formulate responses to add in my learning log. I begin in the book recording my feelings which I then collate to form my critical essays. I really enjoy visiting galleries and looking at art – I try to get something useful out of these visits. During the course I feel that I have gained a much greater understanding of the power of visual art and hope that as I develop I begin to really start to evaluate and understand my own work.
I feel that my sketchbooks have evolved a great deal. They now really underpin my processes. I will endeavour to keep asking myself questions and re-work ideas. I once read an article about Grayson Perry’s sketchbooks where he commented on the importance of sketchbooks saying that he felt the work in his sketchbooks was more important than his finished work. ( source http://www.theguardian.com 19/02/2016. I tend to agree with this sentiment my sketchbooks are very precious to me.
I have a copy of “vitamin D “ a book that I really like and I have just purchased a copy of “contemporary drawing” by Katherine Scout. I will try and get a copy of “the drawing book” by Tonia Kouats.
I will continue to visit galleries and research artists. I will explore methods and ways to really use my drawings in practical ways including focusing on scale. I hope to continue practicing the techniques of printmaking with the aim of overcoming some of my technical difficulties. I will continue to draw from life.
I would like to thank my tutor for supporting me though the many challenges of printmaking. For encouraging me to find my voice and creative vision. And lastly for introducing me to some really interesting and inspiring contemporary artists.