27/03/2018

The Medium is the Message...

Finally, found the time to start the experiments in Linoprint I had intended...thinking...imagining that as my style of drawing resembled linocut, it would be interesting to go back to basics - make linoprint images and then try animating them.
<hysterical laughter>
The difference between drawing on a graphics tablet and carving into lino is almost complete...From posture (standing instead of sitting) to scale (it is impossible to cut lines in crumbly lino as fine as those you can finagle with a pen) to the thinking process informing the design and the fact that lino has no back-button or facility for making multiple versions while you make your mind up...
Instead of a simple change of medium, this has become a way to explore new ways of drawing, to improve and fine-tune mark-making processes. It has made me go back to the computer with the idea that I am "designing linoprints" - the colour separation, the process, the simplicity of texture produced in black and white (no gray)
Although I worked exclusively in linoprint many years ago, this is another illustration of how you can't go back! So, in between looking enviously at the fluid shapes and intricate beauty of linoprints in galleries, I am going back to learning simple techniques, clumsy shapes, cut hands and the frustration of realising the huge gulf between a vision and a rusty, out of practice craft process.
Yes - fairly lumpy and disgusting. But without this I wouldn't have made a whole series of drawings reminiscent of the olden days of  rotring pens, or investigated the interplay of colour and texture, or ...well, had a play about - which is always a valuable exercise.
Last week, I was with a friend on the swings in a park...no children anywhere, it was a schoolday, so we had a go on the obstacle course too. Suddenly, 3 separate old people had gathered into a huddle and were glaring at us disapprovingly, staring, muttering, you could see they were trying to decide whether to come over and brandish sticks or just write to the local paper. Because grown-ups aren't supposed to play, unless they are doing it with small children. No wonder obesity is such a problem then...Meanwhile I will continue to try making linoprints - only better - and to learn through play, and through trying to reflect on what it has shown me.

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