Thursday 19 December 2019

Clearing the path and happy holidays

Storm's arrival   sketchbook page and watercolour  12x12cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

As I type the rain has started again - another storm is due. This will be my last post for the year as we are now racing toward the holidays. I have been reflecting on this year and have come to the conclusion that much of it has been spent straddling the line between realism and abstraction. I feel like I am at a border with a foot on each side like I need to make a decision on which direction to take. ( It occurs to me that part of this is a reflection of the influence of our political situation this year in the UK... It has certainly been a strange one.)

I know that in the coming year I would like to explore mark making in more depth and that colour might be making more of a comeback after so much grey and indigo (although that might just be a mini rebellion at the weather the last few weeks.) I think it will be a year of new ground and learning; I hope from time to time you will drop in and let me know what you think. So whilst some might think it a little odd to end the year on a stormy note I am seeing it as a positive - a clearing of the path to new and exciting things.

I wish you all a happy holidays however you celebrate the passing of a year, may 2020 be full of exciting opportunity, good health and happiness for you and yours. All my best wishes. Cheers!

Wednesday 4 December 2019

So I tried.......but I failed.....

Back at the beginning of November printmaker Sherrie York posted here about how she was going to return to a challenge of drawing 100 thumbnails in the month. What a challenge I thought to myself. I had read the post mid month and thought to myself I would give it a go myself with the aim of making it to 50. I have been a little undisciplined of late with my drawing practise and thought the challenge would give me the kick up the proverbial that I needed....

However 50 was a little ambitious I think at this time of year for me and I only managed 30 even though the maximum time I had spent on them was two minutes! How shameful - that's only an hours worth of drawing that I managed after all ;o)  I will do better this month (I hope) it's a nice challenge to get the juices flowing and a couple of these little scribbles might be the start of something in the future who knows...

Sherrie has posted a wonderful video of her Hundred which you can see here . I have to say they are amazing and show just what a skilled draughtswoman she is. Pop over and have a look. Now where is that sketchbook....

30 thumbnails for November   pencil on paper each one 5x5cm approx   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Thursday 14 November 2019

Start of the storm collagraph and mixed media

Ironically after days of storms I am posting this new piece whilst the sun is shining - a brief respite before the rains return. Whilst the sky is clear it is bitterly cold. My thoughts have been with the folk in the north of the country who have been flooded out of their homes and are awaiting the next round. I hope everyone stays safe, warm and dry.

With so much wild weather there has been a lot of sketching to try and capture the moments of contrasting cloud patterns and light. I have turned to collagraph experiments adding pencil on top of some of the deeper embossed textures once the ink has dried.

The start of the storm   collagraph monoprint and mixed media 19x14.5cm   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Thursday 17 October 2019

Heavy Weather III - drypoint

The rain it keeps on coming...

Heavy Weather III   8x7.5cm drypoint   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

The third print in a series of drypoint studies titled Heavy Weather is now available at Seaside Studios Uk .

You can also find  Heavy Weather  and  Heavy Weather II  the first and second prints in the series. All three are printed in editions of 10.

Thursday 3 October 2019

Arriving storm - drypoint with collagraph

We have had some spectacular weather the past week or so...lashing rain, howling wind, there have also been some breathtakingly beautiful sunsets. I love Autumn and all its changeability, I am looking forward to seeing the changing colours. It won't be long now I think.

The storms have been quite something and have been prompting some new work.

Storm at Sea   14x14cm drypoint with collagraph monoprint   ©2019LisaLe Quelenec

A mixture of techniques have been used to make this print - there are areas of drypoint and collagraph and due to the disintegration of the plate in the sky area each time it travelled through the press, each print has altered and arrives at the other side appearing quite different. I like the idea of the plate physically eroding like the coastline it is depicting in the storm.

This print is available at Seaside Studios UK.

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Cloud monoprints and mixed media - an experiment with technique

In the clouds   foil covered plate on the left and monoprint with mixed media on the right 12x12cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Finally the ink was dry enough to take some photos and move onto the next stage..... Above are some results of a fun mornings experiment. I was short on time and needed to be inventive as I had run out of acrylic medium. I had had an idea and was desperate to get something down on paper but without the medium to seal a plate I needed a work around in my approach.

I had read a while back about a technique called foliography where by you lay down leaves, grasses and organic matter onto a plate and cover in tin foil before inking up and running through the press. I think the idea is that the foil adds strength to the delicacies of the plate and by not varnishing it you aren't adding any accidental brush marks that could detract from subtle veining etc in the plant matter. I wondered if this idea would work for me and thought I would give it a go.

Using a 12x12cm piece of greyboard I 'drew' a quick design with a hot glue gun. The glue dries very quickly and so I could quickly move to the next stage of covering the whole plate with some tin foil. (The one I had was quite a thick one, I think the thin stuff would tear a bit too easily.) Carefully as I wrapped the foil onto the design I was burnishing it into the recesses of the plate and smoothing out any little wrinkles that could hold ink where I didn't want them.

Glue gun design on mountboard (detail) ©LisaLeQuelenec

On the left is a close up detail of another plate I have waiting in the wings to be experimented with.  This one is on a scrap of mountboard so you can compare, I hope, the  difference in depth between the board and the glue. The plate I used for this experiment had some areas that were very thick like this one.

Then I inked up the plate with a brush and wiped with a rag, taking out highlights and sometimes adding a bit more ink here and there. Now to run it through the press (using dampened paper) .... It worked pretty well and I managed to get 5 prints before the glue started to move around and tin foil began to wrinkle under the pressure of the press.

So not a great technique if you wanted to make an edition but for very small sets or for monoprinting and generating ideas I think it has its merits. Speed of plate making being the most useful - I can see with a bit more playing how this could be useful to do in a workshop situation when you are always working against the clock.

One of the things I particularly liked about using the glue gun to make the image was the variety of mark that could be made manipulating the glue and the very deep emboss that could be achieved. This is definitely something that I will utilise again. I wish I had had the forethought to make an impression without any ink at the start - I have made a mental note for next time.

In the clouds   monoprint and mixed media 12x12cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

The ink on the prints took the usual ten days to dry so I impatiently waited to work back into them with colour pencil. After seeing the depth of the emboss I knew this was something I wouldn't be able to resist. It also meant that I could carry on experimenting and exaggerating the tonal and colour differences that began in the inking process. I now have more ideas to develop at a later date maybe in print or paint - I will let them percolate a while before deciding.

We have had some spectacular rainstorms the last couple of days and are forecast the same for the rest of the week. I was caught out yesterday walking the dog in rain so heavy that I couldn't see for a few minutes. It was really quite extreme. Watching the build up of cloud and the changing light before hand was quite dramatic as were the flooded roads on the way home. The rest of the day was pretty much blue skies and sunshine. more clouds to ponder....

Friday 20 September 2019

Waiting for ink to dry....

Preparing sketchbook pages   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

I was supposed to be tidying up my desk but instead I had fun making more mess and preparing sketchbook pages for drawing. Some days you just have to keep busy whilst waiting for ink/paint to dry...idle hands and all that.

I see on my dashboard a notice to try the new Blogger... does anyone know what that is? I can't find any might have been there for a while...

Thursday 12 September 2019

The skies just lately...

The skies just lately   photographs   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

I have been enjoying looking up just lately. Evenings have been noticeably drawing in and the weather feels on the turn. The recently endless blue is now filling with some quite dramatic cloudscapes - much more interesting to record... I think there will be some clouds on my horizon.

Sky study sketchbook page   acrylic   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Sky study sketchbook page   acrylic   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Sunday 1 September 2019

The Red Ball

'I started early, took my dog,
and visited the sea;
The mermaids in the basement
Came out to look at me.'

                                              Emily Dickinson

The Red Ball   watercolour on paper 15.5x25.5cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Available at  Seaside Studios UK.

Friday 23 August 2019

Warming up my palette - dog days of summer

Walking the Dog paintings, watercolour colour notes and inspiration   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

It seems we are to have another period of warmer weather before autumn gets underway. I will head to the beach earlier or later as it cools down - kinder to 'not-so-little-now' paws.

Always By Your Side   watercolour on paper 15.5x15.5cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Paintings available at Seaside Studios UK.

Friday 26 July 2019

Turning tide - ghost print and mixed media

Turning Tide III   monoprint ghost print and mixed media 17.5x23cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

I have been working into the ghost prints from last weeks post. In reality the colours are too saturated and subtle for the camera to pick up, it has made it look very grainy and the subtle aquamarine is lost. Whilst trying to adjust the image digitally to a truer representation (not very successfully) I played with cropping the image. I might try some different versions using this format next time.

Turning Tide III (crop)   monoprint ghost print and mixed media 17.5x23cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

We are in the midst of a heatwave so I am keeping in the shade and wallowing in these blues.....there may be more to come.

Thursday 18 July 2019

A little monoprinting... Turning Tide

Preparing a monoprint plate for printing   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

I wish I could share the smell and sound of sticky ink as I roll a blend of colour. It is a very satisfying part of the process for the senses. The plate is a sheet of perspex (acrylic) the edges filed down and the corners rounded off. With the ink blend rollered on I begin to draw and paint with brushes, making marks and feeling the drag on the darker ink over the colour blend. Using a rubber tipped tool I make further marks lifting off areas of ink which will show as the white of the paper. The moon is a paper mask placed on top. Now it's ready to run through the press.

I place the plate face up on the metal bed of the press, line up a piece of dampened paper on top and cover over with a thick felt blanket. I turn the crank feeling the resistance as the plate and paper pass through the roller of the press then the give as it passes through the other side. Lifting the blanket and carefully peeling back the paper is always a moment of anticipation... you can never be 100% certain what will appear.

Turning Tide III   monoprint 19.5x27cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

This time I am pleased, the blend has covered well and there is a nice variety of marks. So after removing the paper moon mask and without adding or removing any more ink I run the plate through the press again with another piece of dampened paper to get what is called a ghost print.

Ghost print ©2019LisaLeQuelenec
There is much less ink to transfer onto the new piece of paper and a much more faded image results. I love these ghost prints for drawing on and playing with ideas for new work. They have become a part of my process now.

After cleaning off the plate of the remaining residual ink I am ready to start again. Once more a blended roll of colour the drawing/painting on top with a brush, removing ink, adding paper masks. Placing the print with its paper and blanket in the press and running it through. I almost always take a ghost print before cleaning the plate and starting the process again.

I find it a very meditative process but after a half dozen or so prints I start feel a little tired and my concentration starts to lag. Then I stop - look over the prints that I have made, take some quick photographs, evaluate and them place them within sheets of tissue paper that are then sandwiched between heavy boards and wait for them to dry. This can take a couple of weeks depending on how thick the ink is on the paper. Every few days I will change the tissue over for dry sheets and pop them back to bed between the boards.

Turning Tide II   monoprint 19.5x27cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Turning Tide I   monoprint 19.5x27cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

The original prints are available at Seaside Studios UK on Folksy  and reproduction prints and cards at RedBubble.

Thursday 11 July 2019

Coastal collages and mixed media - a larger format.

Ocean View I   mixed media collage 30x30cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Working on a larger format and suddenly there is more air... space to breathe.... - they become more like my 'big empties'. The process feels longer, like pacing yourself for a days hike rather than a morning walk. Still I flit between abstractions and more recogniseable imagery...I am still searching for my answers.

Ocean View II   mixed media collage 30x30cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Ocean View III   mixed media collage 30x30cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Ocean View IV   mixed media collage 30x30cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

All of the above are available at Seaside Studios UK on Etsy.

Thursday 4 July 2019

Palette inspirations - digital sketchbook pages and colour notes

I forget to show images of the things I use as as palette inspiration. I have posted about my colour notebook before here and I thought I would show a little of my notebook, digital sketchbook and scrapbook that I refer to when I work. I make these grids and medleys on down days as a way of getting my self going again. Just like looking at old sketchbooks and photos can be the little spark I need that leads to an inferno of ideas.

Ideas are not in short supply at the moment but unfortunately the small dexterity issue that I am experiencing with my hand means I cannot proceed with the work that I had intended. A lesson in patience for me but there is always something else that can be done. For now I am filling notebooks with thumbnails, catching up on admin and making some more medleys like these.

Colour notebook pages, photos and the paintings that they inspired  ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Magazine snippets, paint charts, beach finds and a sketch that became the basis of a drypoint  ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Snippets from a clothing catalogue with beach finds and amazonite beads   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Colour notebook pages, photos and the paintings that they inspired  ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Friday 14 June 2019

Groynes sketchbook pages - going back to the source

Sketchbook pages - drawing the groynes   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

I hadn't realised just how long I had been awol. I have been having a bit of trouble with my right hand this year but I am hoping to get it fixed soon. It has been making working a little difficult so I am thinking about how I can get around this. Anyway today I am relooking at sketchbooks and wondering/wandering where I will go next.....

The sketches above are from this year and below are from 2012 - I had completely forgotten about them! Funny how ideas and themes take a while to weave their way back into your conciousness and rise to the top. I think some printmaking might be in order soon but first a little more drawing.

Groynes sketches from summer 2012 ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Friday 3 May 2019

Marine I - VI collage and mixed media

Marine I - VI   collage and mixed media 15x15cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

I have been playing with abstraction again over the last couple of weeks. Textures, edges and markmaking seem to be the common themes that are developing at the moment. Experiments with paint and ink application (rollering, spattering, frottage, resists, glazing, washes, drybrush, printing) in the making of the 'paper palettes' to collage together have been liberating and I have been using my colour notebook extensively to choose colour combinations. The backing paper for these is a creamy off white textured watercolour paper. It has warmed everything up over all. I think I will start working a little bigger now and compare a change of scale.

Whilst making these, each piece seemed to inform the next making me feel like I had taken a walk physically along the shore seeing the changing light over the course of a day, observing the colours, textures and changing temperatures.

All six are available at Seaside Studios UK on Etsy.

Marine I   collage and mixed media 15x15cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Marine II   collage and mixed media 15x15cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Marine III   collage and mixed media 15x15cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Marine IV   collage and mixed media 15x15cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Marine V   collage and mixed media 15x15cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Marine IVI   collage and mixed media 15x15cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Thursday 25 April 2019

Coastal collages and mixed media

Coast I - IV   15.5x15.5cm each   mixed media and collage   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Four little-uns exploring some notes I made during the February project. I have been really enjoying working in this way. After the weekends hot spell and blazing sunshine my palette has brightened again. I seem to be very influenced by the weather and light - I wonder if this is a particularly British thing....we do talk about the weather a lot ;o)

All four are available at SeasidestudiosUK on Etsy.

Coast I   15.5x15.5cm mixed media and collage   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Coast II   15.5x15.5cm mixed media and collage   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Coast III   15.5x15.5cm mixed media and collage   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Coast IV   15.5x15.5cm mixed media and collage   ©2018LisaLeQuelenec

Monday 15 April 2019

Etchings and drypoint prints shop updates

I have been catching up on printing for both SeasidestudiosUk on Etsy and Seasidestudiosuk on Folksy. There are now prints from both the 'Summer's Eve' , 'Ammonite' and 'Feather I' editions available for sale. All three are variable editions and each print that I do is unique in the handling of the ink and the overall effect of the print.

Summer's Eve   6x6cm etching   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Feather I   14.5x8cm drypoint   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Ammonite   15x20.5cm solar etching   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Thursday 4 April 2019

A fun little project - carving stamps and making cards.

Three little carved stamps   4x7cm each   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

I had carved this set of little stamps some time ago and used them to make a set of greetings cards. It was a fun little project and they became best sellers when I used to do fairs and demonstrations. I thought I would re-print them and have made them available on Seasidestudiosuk on Folksy. I think I might make some new designs as it is an enjoyable project especially for a rainy afternoon.

Card design ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

Thursday 28 March 2019

From the Groynes II & III

From the Groynes II   mixed media 22x22cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec

I still haven't committed to the background, I am constantly changing my mind like the tide...

From the Groynes II   mixed media 22x22cm   ©2019LisaLeQuelenec