How do you start?

Artist Blog resurrected. For a long time I wanted to pick up the blogging again but it seemed to take up time which I didn’t have! In 2014 I will get started again I thought, and here we are, a quarter of a year in, just at a point when I have finished a big project and in that painful process of getting into a new one.

So ‘How Do You Start’ is addressing both the creative process and the blogging, both about breaking down barriers I suspect. I was thinking about Nicola Hicks, the sculptor. I saw her amazing exhibition “Furtive Imagination” at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, in 1996. I loved it. She was there in conversation in front of an audience and I took notes furiously; she said so many interesting and helpful things. For example she explained that in between big projects she would go back to mono-printing, as it is fast and immediate and helps you come out of that empty flat place you can dip into when you have poured yourself out for a long while trying to meet a deadline.

Since then I have learned to love mono-printing and that is where I go when I just need to get re-energised, get my hands dirty and see what happens in the process. I may have been circling like a hen trying to lay an egg for days, maybe weeks, gathering ideas, drawing, making notes, researching, but eventually I need to break the tension and start ‘playing’.

inked up using crystalline water colour
Plate inked up using crystalline water colour (1)

I sprinkle my water colour pigments dry onto the wetted plated using some washing up liquid to break surface tension. You need to work fast and have different paper stock ready to try out. I am testing my new heavy quality cartridge paper which I feel will be good to use in this new series I am about to create.

It’s fun to see the fresh wet print (see image 2) then change as it dries (next image 3) and again I learn how unpredictable this technique is. Just what I needed.

I love the subtle marks which appear as the print dries, and the residue soaked up by tissue paper will become great resources in the work to come.


By now I have broken the spell at least for today! I happily go on experimenting drawing on the plate with inktense crayons, before grating crayon dry into the wetness on the plate. Here we have something interesting. My floor is full of intriguing prints now and I have resurrected my Artist Blog. I am happy. Thank you. Ingrid.

spots and lines
spots and lines

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