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Day 46: Blogging About Art

I’ve always believed that art is one of those subjective things where everyone has their own take on what they see.


Call me ignorant but I’ve never really been interested in the type of art that I need to read a description about what it means to actually understand it. Its almost like being forced to read a book that you don’t want to read or something.


When I look at art, I want to see something that I can feel. Maybe when I look at it, I’ll feel happy, or sad or hungry, you know what I mean? I want to feel something, I don’t want to have to read an essay to find out what it’s about.


Fair enough if I want to find out how the art has been created, that’s OK, I can deal with that. Yet saying that, I would be looking to find out how the art had been made out of my own personal interest. Not everyone that is interested in art or buying a piece of art wants to know about the process. I think that is mostly for the inquisitive minds.


For years I’ve made art at home. I’ve never really got into making art in a studio since leaving university in 2006. I really felt at home in that print studio at Northumbria University. It was really great, well worth getting out of bed for I can tell you. I could happily and did happily spend hours on end using the humongous beautiful print presses.



The good old manual ones, none of that electric press malarkey. Those old big print presses that make you feel like you’ve had a good workout. How I miss those, I really do. What I’d do to get my hands on one of them.


If I do have my own studio in the future, I definitely want one of those Insha Allah. There’s nothing like those old beauties. I’m an old-fashioned girl me, I love old, sturdy and quality things and I'm not afraid of the hard work that goes into using them either.


I used to spend hours designing large scale lino and then even longer cutting it. I remember designing my first piece at uni, I think it was towards the end of my first year (I think) and I had drawn out an intricate design and then started cutting it. It was taking so long and I didn’t actually mind that but my tutor at the time Mick (good old Mick) suggested that I do a print just as it was, even without completing it.



This was quite a strange suggestion to me at first because I love to finish what I start and I thought that it was a bit weird to print out a piece of lino that I hadn’t actually finished cutting. But he assured me that it would be a good idea because I could make a print and then continue cutting some more. Seeing as the design was so intricate, he suggested that I print out every so often between the stages of cutting and it would be a good way to document and show the stages of cutting.


I didn’t know it but I was about to fall deeply in love with the whole process of relief printing. I loved drawing on the lino, I loved cutting it and I loved printing. If my tutor had not suggested it, I would have been more than happy to wait till the end off cutting the whole of the lino sheet which was a little bigger than A2 in size. But this new method of printing as I went along really opened up a new door for me in terms of practice.


I went on to make so many prints and I would layer them as I went along. it was a good opportunity for me to explore the mixing of colours too. That was another thing that I fell in love with. Countless possibilities of colour blends and shades, layered over each other.



And then there was the embossment that was created from putting the lino and paper through those old presses. It was amazing, I’d had a beautifully embossed design that was also intensely coloured.


I miss those artworks, I really do.

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