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For a couple of years I’ve had this thing hanging about in my studio. It’s a paper construction made out of hundreds of small tubes of rolled up brown paper gummed strip ( I like low-tech materials). They are glued together in a sort of conglomeration which is formed around one of the rafters in my studio a bit like a wasps nest or one of those strange growths that you sometimes see on trees. It’s another one of those things like the Stones which doesn’t go away, and so, like the Stones, I decided it was time to confront it. So a year or so ago I started making a new, more purposeful version of it. It’s very labour intensive (first I have to make the tubes, then paint them, then glue them…) and it’s a bit complicated, there are a lot of things involved – too many – so it’s perhaps a bit confused. It’s attached to a piece of furniture, a small table, and it’s pink. I’m calling it Spread, Pink Spread – I’ve made quite a lot of things/drawings which I call Spread, because that is what they seem to do.

I don’t find colour easy and I do love black and white, but I’m interested in what colour can do, especially when you use big blocks of it, or completely cover something in it. While I’ve been learning some new printmaking skills I’ve been working in quite a disciplined way, focusing on one thing at a time and trying to get better at the actual printmaking, but now I’m beginning to feel more confident about that and starting to think about how the work might develop.

Last week, Scarett was producing a marvelous new reference resource for students, printing this great image of Jimi Hendrix on a variety of papers to show the different end results created using different quality papers.

She made these sample swatches which are now pinned on the notice board in the workshop.

This is my favourite and has set me thinking about this very simple way of beginning to introduce colour into my prints. One little step at a time.