One of the exciting things about etching is that, if an artist is ready to do battle, a plate can be reworked quite considerably. Here’s one from ten years ago. It was called “An Age of Man”, and I had made out of it, an edition of 20.
In the last few days I spent quite a bit of time going through various stages. Soft ground, aquatint, and some strategic burnishing. Now when I ink the plate and crank it through the press, this is what I get:
It is titled “Mooncalves.”
Summer’s span has gone all too soon. The absence of news here in words is basically good, though. The exhibition at Camden Image Gallery in May was a happy affair as I’ve said before, generally meeting old friends and selling lots of work. It was just the way an exhibition should be. Then Brexit happened. That was depressing and dampened the spirits of all around me in London. All I could do was put my head down and get on with work. One commission is for Amanda Palmer and Edward Ka-Spell. They have a new album coming out in the spring and I’m painting the cover. The album is provisionally called “I Can Spin a Rainbow” and it is really quite dark subject matter. Just my sort of thing. I can’t give a preview yet, but I will when I can.
An etching recently pulled at the workshop: “Save Us”.
These days I’ve been putting up a range of etchings on my facebook page. Here’s one. It’s titled “Sunrise”.
Here’s a new etching, 6 inches square, where I’m borrowing from Rodchenko at the top of the composition. The woman’s face appeared as I did some sketching for an updated version of Spider Woman. Now it’s called “Angel”.
Mathew Downward took some weird and wonderful pics for me at the opening last month. Here for instance is reflections on an etching called “Are you together?”
And another taking liberties with gravity:
And Krishna looking at some of the dark prints. (Mathew’s way of slanting sideways works well, I think.)
And a straight-on pic of me talking, and gesticulating.
My dear friend, John Lifton-Zoline, has sent over a hundred photos for me to sift through. Firstly, yours truly wearing my jokey wooden tie talking to Natalie Moorcock, with back view of Anne Witman.
John with Sira and Sophie.
View from the stairs.
Middle part of the gallery.
Towards the front with Eddie Campbell looking at my array of doubles.
Jake Tilson and Helen Manning Clark
Pamela Lifton-Zoline, John Urling-Clark, Nick Clay and Di Clay.
I’m still flying high with happiness of the show. I haven’t yet got the link that John Lifton Zoline will send showing the buzz of the opening party, but I can at least, at this moment, pop in a few pics of when baby Ash came with Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman.
Last Thursday (12 May 2016) many friends, some I haven’t seen for years, came to the Camden Image Gallery, 174 Royal College Street, for the opening of my “Darkening Garden” exhibition. I was more happy than I can say. The gallery is beautiful. The works are well hung and there are several red dots. Tomorrow, Wednesday, late afternoon we take it down.
John Lifton-Zoline took over a hundred pictures for which I will send a link soon, but in the meantime I’ll drop in here just one image that I myself managed. It is of an old friend, John Urling Clark, and by chance it catches the lovely Elena Chimonas, managing director of the gallery, striding forward.
Some of the paintings to be hung in my show next May will be quite small. This one, “Inherent Gaze”, for instance, is only 640 mm by 538mm.
If you think in terms of inches that is only 25 inches tall.
The show “Darkening Garden” will have about 15 paintings and over 50 framed limited edition etchings at the Camden Image Gallery, 13-18 May 2016.
This painting, The Mysteries, has elements I can’t quite explain. It could be that I’m delving into the world of complex relationships revolving around the mannequin as used by artists. When is the image we look at a stand-in for a real person? That’s a tricky question. Certainly I very much enjoyed the exhibition last year at the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge: Silent Partners – Artist and Mannequin from Function to Fetish.
Several years ago I painted Bone Scan. Cheryl Morgan used it for one of her Salon Futura covers. Now I’ve taken from it, the skull imagery, and adjusted it to be just what I needed as the final accent in my latest painting: Bone Clocks. Incidentally the skull is that of a little shrew.
There are to be a number of new dark etchings. Here is one, “Ferryman”, 18 x 14 cm.
Today Alison Eldred has me featured on her home page. She is my new agent. “All Flesh is Grass” is the chosen painting. http://www.alisoneldred.com/
And maybe that might be the title for my next show? This will happen next year at the Camden Image Gallery, 174 Royal College Street, Camden, NW1 0SP on the Thursday, 12th of May 2016. But there will probably be many working titles before we come up with the right one. We have time in hand.
Another finished painting: McQueen Strut, 60 by 44 cm.
Another painting, finished and titled. It is called “All Flesh is Grass” and is 60 by 43 cms framed.
At last another painting, finished and titled.
It is called ” Fourth Sally” and is 1045 x 792 mm.
Here is another painting using Hieronymus Bosch. The same bird from “Parley”. The chaps in their starched dress shirt fronts, partly obscured by the bird, are Franz Schreker, Austrian opera composer, and Bertrand Russell, philosopher and political activist. Both images were taken from photos in 1911 before the horrors of the twentieth century World Wars came to change their lives: Schreker, because he was Jewish; Bertrand Russell, because he was imprisoned for being a pacifist. Note the CND symbol: Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Bertrand Russell marched on the 18th of February, 1961, to protest to the Ministry of Defence. This is a small painting, 53 x 63 cm, framed.
Another painting using a green-man profile. It relates to “Voiced” 8 October, 2013. The strange profile in this case is laid across something from the Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch, late 15th century. And there’s also a letter “a” in two manifestations.
After the distractions of this very special August (friends from disparate parts of the globe came to London for the World Science Fiction con) I finally got back to the workshop and worked on – Coming through. The salient thing in this composition is the barbed wire. So it’s a variation on my war pictures. (plate size: 165 x 250 mm)
And it is also a reworking of an earlier plate. Actually I wish I had pulled a few prints because the enclosed is the only one in existence.