Sunday 23 January 2022

Watery Thinking

Last month I wrote that I thought I would start to explore a Biosphere-related theme. I'm happy to report that I've managed to develop this a little further.  I haven't been confining my work exclusively to biosphere-related ideas, but I'm trying to stick with it.  

I haven't been back to Garve, to my favourite black river, but I've looked back at my sketches and thought about progressing with the work.  And I've done further sketching in woodland.  However,  I first thought I'd try something out in oils....

Black River - Small Oil WIP

This is a very small oil pic, a study, really.  I'm not sure about this composition and if I was going to do a larger pic I think I'd need to go back and do a series of sketches.  There are some things I like about this, so I think I'll park it and resolve to return to Silverbridge.  

As a trip to Edinburgh is looming, I decided to focus on a different sketch of the river and redraw this on film in preparation for making a new photopolymer plate at Edinburgh Printmakers. The one I thought might make a good print is this one looking across the river.  Here's the final drawing I made on film. I think (hope!) it's got potential....

Black River With Trees

On Monday this week, I returned to my favourite woodland lochan at Achnashellach for more sketching. Of course, this year's mild weather means that there's no snow and ice, so no frozen lochan - I find the lochan's watery surface much more difficult to handle than an icy surface. The interplay between viewing the reflection on the top surface and seeing into the murky depths – it's hard to capture that.  I suppose that's what intrigued Monet about his waterlilies and ponds. Anyway, in this week's sketches I struggled to capture such visual effects, as you can see....



Sketch 1

Sketch 2
 Sketching was difficult enough, but what about turning these sketches into finished work? Well, all I can say is that I've made a start with this acrylic study - but there's a long way to go. 








Because I'm heading into Printmakers next week, I was thinking about other Biosphere-related images that I could use as the basis for making a new plate. This took me back to earlier sketches I had done of the river at Achnashellach.

Sketch 3

Sketch 4





I did several re-drawings from these and other are a couple of them.

And here's the final drawing on film, ready for making the new plate.

Dark Tree By The River

So this month there's a lot of work in progress and a few unresolved questions.  Will I be able to turn these new finished drawings into new plates? Will they print out well? Can I master the challenge of painting the lochan to show the dreamy interaction between reflected and refracted light? I suppose that's my challenge for next month...