“He said that […] rain suited me and that I must always live in rainy country” — Edna O’Brien


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Saw a video on Instagram of Damien Hirst in his studio with huge paintings around all the walls. Of flowering cherries. They are sensational … remind me of a painting by Van Gogh I saw a long time ago in the Courtauld gallery looking up through branches of peach or pear blossom to sky … that painting isn’t there any more. These paintings by Hirst totally refute the notion that he can’t paint.


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Some time ago, during November, I tried making some prints at home, first making monoprints on a gelatin plate, then small screenprints. I had all the necessary tools and materials in a cupboard. The amazing thing was that it was possible to do it. There are constraints. I have to be careful not to make too much of a mess, so no photo-emulsion because the chemicals needed to clean up destroy an ordinary sink in no time. And no splashy stuff since we’ve just had the walls painted. Therefore small work and mediums that clean up easily. But being able to make prints at all is a revelation and a joy. It’s even possible to get my own images exposed with photo-emulsion in a screenprinting studio not far away, bring it home to print and take it back to clean out afterwards. In the experiment I used paper stencils and drawing fluid with filler. I tried re-doing an old print on better paper but it didn’t come out well. I’m out of practice and made silly mistakes. Monoprinting worked well enough in the small space but I was out of practice with that too and ran out of some inks. Very happy then to find the London Graphic Centre which carries all the necessary supplies.


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