I have been really excited about the prospect of starting this module, and the OCA handbooks on the websites have allowed me to look at essential reading lists and upcoming projects before enrolling. I have now enrolled, and got started on the first assignment on monoprinting. I am arranging my studies in much the same way as before. I have a notebook where I am jotting down notes from reading and observations as I go when experimenting. This will then form the basis of these blog posts as well as a quick reference guide for me when I am working. My sketches are on loose leaves that I tie into sketch books in a broadly thematic fashion.
So far I have read three books, ‘The Instant Printmaker’ by M Petterson and C Gale (Collins & Brown 2003), ‘Printmaking Handbook: Printmaking for Beginners’ by J Stobart (A&C Black 2005), and ‘Printmaking Handbook: Monoprinting’ by J Newell and D Whittington (A&C Black 2010). The printmaking handbooks are concise and practical guides that have given me lots of ideas to explore. My only problem is that I want to leap ahead of myself before doing the basics. I am also learning about myself as an artist. I am all about the texture and although I admire the aesthetic of bold prints, I relish any opportunity to get textural marks into my work.
I have been slightly indulgent and bought a little etching press. This has been on my mind since a chat with Pat Hodson (OCA textiles tutor) at a show last year. She made me aware of a small table top Italian etching press that I have managed to buy for under £200. I have had some ideas for this project involving drawing onto a (non-glass) plate with Neocolor II pastels, and printing onto soaked papers with the press. I have also had a printmaking plate made by a local glazier 24×30” 6mm glass. My palette is the glass from an old clip frame with masking tape around the edge to cover the sharp edges.
In terms of other reading, there are a number of artists referred to in the course handbook introduction, and it would seem sensible to spend some time researching each of these as a starting point.