I attended the marbling print workshop of artist Briony Clark at Portmeirion, Wales .
This involved a simple technique of putting marbling oil based dyes in water trays and letting the ink do its own thing. I soon found that messing about with it and trying to make figurative works just resulted in blobs!
Left to its own devices, the ink made beautiful patterns.
Briony makes her own prints using sea water and paints produced from rocks and linseed oil. She has also devised a machine with water using the Coriolis effect.
Above shows her studion with some of her work displayed on the wall.
During conversations with her, I had the idea of making my own ‘rock’ paint for prints. We picked our rocks from a disused Welsh quarry, pounded them, dried them, more pounding and mixed with linseed oil. This is a hard process! She is an inspiring artist to talk to, with a very creative imagination. I have watched her work develop over the last 2 years, and it inspires me to see where a developmental process can lead over time.
I painted outside one morning and tried to remember the techniques from my Haidee-Jo Summers workshop last month – making shapes simple and using good tonal contrast. I think this plein air painting is one of my more successful and painted in under 3 hours. The perspective is reasonable. The foreground tree needs more work when dry, but it gives me a flavour of the day when I look at it.
Life drawing group
In today’s untutored group, I used acrylics, but forgot any mediums so for once had to make do with water, which has made me realise how good the mediums are!
The portrait was 55 minutes and I do not think it was successful because my paint got overworked and it got difficult to get the lights in. The proportions are a reasonable likeness. I wish I had painted thinner glazes to start with, but I paniced to get it done in the short time. The second I struggled with the side view of the face, which I tried to correct with unlocking formula at home, but it started to graze the paper. The last is my favourite, painted in 30 minutes. It has loose brush work, with shadows making parts of the leg recess, and a large sole of foot.
I continue to sketch with a local group – here are a few from a recent park visit. Sketching the sketchers was hard, because they kept moving around! All good practice though, and I find I’ve discovered a love of drawing in the last year – I never go anywhere without a pencil these days!