I’ve been constructing books using the cell prints over the last few days. I’ve used the same kind of cover for all of them, but inside they are all individual. I’m happy with the results but when I look at all the time I’ve put in and devotion it doesn’t seem like I should sell them. I couldn’t possibly make enough money from them for it to be worth while. More than anything I feel I’m selling myself short. If I sold the prints seperately I’d be able to charge the book price for each print.
But it’s the books that excite me, I enjoy planning and constructing them and then when everything comes together at the end it’s so satisfying. There’s something about books being tactile that I like, prints are usually stuck behind glass and I always feel this is a barrier. I think thats why I usually use my prints to make books or something 3D.
I went to hear Pete Clarke talk about his work at Liverpool University VG&M yesterday. Such a nice guy and so interesting to listen to. I was especially interested to see how he manages to keep his printmaking markings and text within his paintings. His use of language, whether his own or lent from other sources is prominent in many of his works. When I was still painting I tried to add text to my work for some time, but it was never successful, sounding quite pathetic upon reflection and I often wished I hadn’t spoilt my work with it. I’ve never been that good with words and have learnt that it’s just not my thing. Petes work is very tactile, (although I obviously didn’t touch it) and his paintings where a delight to see.
I finished painting my penguins early today so this evening I have been working on my cell project. I scanned the prints and added colour using photoshop to see what combinations worked best. The subtle colours suited the images more than the bold, strong colours. I think the cells look fragile and the subtle, translucent colours enhance this.
It’s been quiet in college this week because most of the students have gone a trip to London. I would have loved to go but I had to work and paint penguins.
The good thing about hardly any students being in was that I got loads of work done. I re-printed the cell division plates on Tuesday with little success. They were printing with gaps where the ink should show and Sarah the print technican suggested I leave the paper soaking a lot longer, but it occured to me that it was the paper I was using that was the problem. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before. So on Wednesday I re-printed them again and they look much better. I spent all morning playing around printing with different combinations of cells.
I’ll pick the up tommorrow after work and then next week when I’m off I’ll work on them becoming a book.
Today I continued with the new project I started last week about cell division. I got some simple but effective images printed up, so hopefully next week I can start laying out some ideas on how to make them into a book. I’d also like to try adding colour, so I may try using the plates again with relief inks, maybe in reds, browns and oranges.
I was asked in work how college was going today. I said ‘fine’, but it made me start thinking about the whole experience so far.
It’s very strange being there still, not being a student and having no deadlines to work to. It’s great too, I get to work as often as I like too, so I can develop my work. The use of colleges facilities in fantastic and of course always having someone at hand to give advice if I need it is so helpful.
I have no problem motivating myself and yet I still feel a little lost. But I’m lucky to have the reasurance of college for another year, and to know I’m not alone.