I’ve just found a piece I wrote for my Open Studio explaining how I go about making my work. I realised that although I post images of new work on here, and exhibitions I’m involved in, I don’t often explain much about the materials and techniques I use.
So I’ll try to do a series of posts showing some of the processes involved. And after that, maybe , some posts on how ideas are generated – a much more complicated thing to explain.
First of all, papermaking. Why bother to make paper at all when you can buy beautiful heavy paper from any art supplier? It’s time-consuming , quite tiring too, and is best done outside because of all the water involved . But woe betide you if your new sheet gets rained on – it reverts to a shapeless slurry and you have to start all over again. Also, till it’s dry, whenever the cat runs over it or sits down on it (which she’s determined to do) you’re left with embedded pawprints and groomings.
The advantages. One, the paper takes on the surface of whatever it’s cast on. So it can be smooth or textured, or even three-dimensional. Secondly, it presents an enticingly unpredictable surface to work on. I love the element of chance; it’s so easy to go stale if you always encounter the same technical challenges and know exactly how to solve them.
I know and sometimes envy people who paint like angels and are prolific and fluent. But for me it’s always a question of finding a way for and towards each painting . Working with this special surface forces me into being flexible and resourceful .