Printing at Megalo

On Friday I spent my first day printing at Megalo, our public access print facility, for the first time in over a year. There have been big changes as they have recently moved to a newly renovated building. It’s full of light and very pleasant to work in.

I had no specific plan of what i would print so I decided to play around. I’m pretty much a screen printer, but I like to be fairly unstructured in my print making approach. I generally print with dyes rather than pigments which allows for some very free image making and the ability to use some water colour techniques as well.

Printing at Megalo. The plastic sheeting is needed to protect the print table from the dyes.

Printing at Megalo. The plastic sheeting is needed to protect the print table from the dyes.

To make things a bit easier for myself I chose to print on A4 size sheets of Stonehenge paper. I also decided that I would just do whatever doodles came into my mind, no preciousness allowed. Here are two of my prints.

Screen print using dyes, 26 July 2013

Screen print using dyes, 26 July 2013

Screen print using dyes, 26 July 2013

Screen print using dyes, 26 July 2013

I’m really pleased with the outcomes and I’m looking forward to my next printing session. I thought I handled the long days printing quite well – that is until I got home and promptly fell asleep in front of the TV.

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Japanese Ceramics

Yesterday I went to the first of a series of four lectures on contemporary Japanese ceramics, which are being held at the National Gallery of Australia. While waiting for the audience to settle in I did a quick ‘blind’ drawing of the image on the screen of an ikebana arrangement by Kawana Tetsunori, a master of the Sogetsu School of ikebana.

Kawana Tetsunori, ikebana arrangement, 18 July 2013

Kawana Tetsunori, ikebana arrangement, 18 July 2013

I love the serendipity of life. When I looked up Kawana San’s website I realised that I had seen a major installation work of his, ‘Five Elements Water’, at the National Gallery of Victoria in June 2009. Not only that, but I had made a number of drawings of the installation.

Five Elements Water, Kawana Tetsunor,i NGV Melbourne, June 2009

Five Elements Water, Kawana Tetsunori, NGV Melbourne, June 2009, brush pen on paper

Five Elements Water, Kawana Tetsunor,i NGV Melbourne, June 2009     Five Elements Water Kawana Tetsunori, NGV Melbourne June 2009, brush pen on paper

Five Elements Water Kawana Tetsunori, NGV Melbourne June 2009, brush pen on paper

Five Elements Water, Kawana Tetsunor,i NGV Melbourne, June 2009     Five Elements Water Kawana Tetsunori, NGV Melbourne June 2009, brush pen on paper

Five Elements Water Kawana Tetsunori, NGV Melbourne June 2009, brush pen on paper

The lecturer, Dr Wendy Ella Wright, was drawing attention to the link between post-WWII Japanese ceramics and their use by more contemporary Japanese schools of ikebana. OK, enough of the ikebana diversions.

I also did a second drawing of a work by Hayashi Yasuo called ‘Cloud’. This piece was made in 1948 and has a very glossy black surface. I’ve been unable to find out how large this piece is.

Cloud, Hayashi Yasuo, 1948, water colour and pen

Cloud, Hayashi Yasuo, 1948, water colour and pen

Landscape

The weather today was sunny and warm, 15 degrees C, for winter that is. On our bike ride around Lake Tuggeranong we stopped and enjoyed the view back towards Mt Taylor.

Mt Taylor from Lake Tuggeranong, 12 July 2013

Mt Taylor from Lake Tuggeranong, 12 July 2013

I used my tablet for the drawing and found the finer ‘pen’ settings to be quite effective.

Foggy night

Driving home through fog last night I noticed the way the light was falling around the streetlights.

I used lots of water to move the colour around the page and simulate the damp mixing of the atmosphere. I did one version, then once it had dried I went back and re-worked it changing the colour to a more orange than the yellow I started out with. Additional changes were also madeĀ  to darken the tone of the light poles. I like the way that the black gouacheĀ  gives some sense of the density of the fog.

Here are the two versions side by side. These are photographs of the paintings.

First and second versions of the painting

First and second versions of the painting

To give a more accurate rendering of the painting I scanned the final image.

Final version of my fog painting.

Final version of my fog painting.

While I was painting this piece I thought about the work of Clarice Beckett (1887-1935) an artist who is known and even caricatured for her use of tones and mists in depicting scenes of her life in and around the Melbourne suburb of Beaumaris. Her work has only come back into wider recognition over the past few decades. Beckett’s work is now in many collections including that of the the National Gallery of Australia.