Monday 20th Feb 08.40: A very foggy morning. I tend to dread the fairly early rise of a Monday morning , but today I was excited to get in to uni and start etching my lithography stone. On Friday I drew out the same portrait I used for my aluminum plate etching on the lithography stone, this way I wasn't stuck for an idea and I could just learn more about the process of lithography. I was new to the whole process, and even drawing out proved more difficult than I initially thought it may be. I couldn't smudge the lines the same way I could a graphite drawing and to get rid of a line I had to scrape back the stone carefully- which makes a sound worse than nails down a black board. I had to make sure that every mark I made needed to be there, as the effort of "rubbing out" was too much. However, overall I was pleased with how the drawing turned out, but slightly concerned how it would look once it was etched. - I was sure I had made a lot of grubby finger marks which would come through. Before I etched it I added some tusche to the background of the drawing just to add to the print and also, as it was my first stone I wanted to use all the materials to know how they would look once etched and printed so that I could learn from their effect for further ideas.
Slide-Show below shows the process from me drawing out the stone to once it was etched, It etched slightly darker than I thought, but I was pleased for my first go!
Throughout the day, whilst waiting for my stone to dry so I could etch it, I made more prints of my etching plate, playing around mixing colours and seeing what happened. It's all a learning process, and you never know what will happen until you try it. I learned that as i cleaned my pate with coffee the week before to remove the ink, i left coffee granules on my plate, and when I was etching it more with spit bite, It had created these little tiny dots all over my plate and therefore my prints. It wasn't the look I was going for, but at least if I ever want to know how to create a spotty surface through etching, I now know how.
18.00 Gym with my friends. A lovely way to spend the evening, where you can de stress from work and then feel motivated for more work. - At least that is what I try and tell my self.
Tuesday 21st 05.30: woke up to the flu. What a day.
Wednesday 22nd Feb 15.00: I started to feel a bit better and decided to do some painting, inside a way from the cold!
After being stuck for ideas of what to paint in the first few weeks I began to just paint anything, things from my mind , ideas from music, colours that I like . Anything, just to try and avoid artist block. I came to the conclusion that art is like the lottery, you have to be in it to win it. I had to paint to get better at painting, it doesn't matter what you paint, you'll always learn something from it. I discovered when painting that even my mind thinks of faces and landscapes and eyes. I painted a portrait from memory, this proved to me that I enjoy something about portraiture, what it is I'm not 100% sure, as all it is is two eyes a mouth and a nose - as my lecturer keeps telling me, but I seem to always be drawn to it. I had finally come to the idea I would paint a portrait of as many people who I knew - and who would let me out of those people. This idea could link well in to my printmaking module and gave me the opportunity not to be stuck of ideas of what to paint. As after asking around, a lot of people agreed.
As well as this I have been painting around Aberystwyth, I suppose you can't go far to beat it.
By Wednesday evening I had this painting, as of yet still not complete, but I doubt I will complete it. I don't want to spend so long on a painting, as I figure I'll never be 100% happy with it, and I almost always end up getting angry and painting over it, but if I continue like that, I'd never have any work, only gessoed canvasses.
Thursday arrived and it was back to bed, i was still no better, and decided that it was best to recover.
So after a week of being ill, and a lack of sleep, today (Sunday 26th Feb) I'm starting to feel more human, and ready for the week ahead.... let's hope it was better than last.