Saturday, 31 August 2019

Skelligs Golden Light





Skelligs Golden Light
reduction linocut series by Teresa Newham


August is the month when I usually prepare for #HertsOpenStudios - mounting, framing, sending out brochures and generally getting geared up to receive the general public.  This year, however, I've been somewhat distracted by the creation of a reduction linocut I've called Skelligs Golden Light.



the sketch and the photo which inspired it
© Teresa Newham


The photo I took inspiration from was blue, and I had in mind a range of blues from palest pale to dramatic dark, with a mysterious misty sky.  Yet I kept recalling that view of the Skelligs when the weather around the rocks is clearer than that where you're standing on the Kerry mainland.


the Skelligs, emerging
© Teresa Newham

I decided to lay down some yellow first, and then a light grey as a good contrast.  It worked - but I was using so much extender that the yellow showed through the clouds.  I wished I hadn't printed the yellow, but I had; and I wished I hadn't cut the clouds, but I had - so I would have to make the best of it!


using different colours on different parts of the print
© Teresa Newham

By the time I printed the mid grey, I was convinced I would have to mount this linocut so the clouds didn't show. Luckily the Skelligs themselves looked great . . .   on impulse I printed a thin layer of white ink over the clouds, just to see what would happen.


slowly the image became clearer
© Teresa Newham

A dark layer was needed for Little Skellig, and I wanted the foreground to be darker too.  After I'd printed up a couple I realised that adding some of that dark colour on the clouds would balance the picture.  Would a thin layer of ink with lots of extender print OK on the white?


when the plate could be an artwork in itself
© Teresa Newham

I wasn't convinced, but ploughed on anyway - sometimes you just have to keep going.  The plate itself looked a promising piece of artwork in its own right, and as I carried on, the results became more encouraging.


the finished prints laid out for inspection
© Teresa Newham

At this stage I still had most of the impressions I started with, but they won't all make the cut. The variations on the rest means that this will be a series rather than an edition. It's turned out far better than I expected when I was halfway through, and I've learned a lot in the process.  Better get back to my framing . . .


one of the finished prints
© Teresa Newham





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