Looking further at Edward Bawden and his works.
(Along with my own photography)
In project 7 I recently researched Edward Bawden and his son Richard. Edward was known in particular for his linocuts of stations, markets and building exteriors and I found these much more to my liking than the work of Richard. Part of my liking comes from simple admiration regarding the detail to be found in his prints but what really draws my attention is the perspective in his works, the technique of depicting depth and spatial relationships on a flat surface – something I’ve never been good at. His visible scenes extend into the distance, unlike many other linocut artists who work flatter images.
Whilst reading a relief printing book I currently have on loan I came across the terminology ‘key block’. What an interesting concept and one that, apparently, isn’t much used these days. The key block in the print above is the cutting that has been made to produce the structural outline and shadowing of the building, and this is printed first. All other colours are then ‘snapped’ in place around this main feature. Parts of the key block will be overprinted, changing the colour and blending this into the overall composition.
In my lesson with Tony he informed me that different effects are possible when overlaying colours depending on whether they are wet on wet inks or wet on dry inks. These differences also extend to ink consistencies, i.e. are they mixed with extender (and to what degree) to give more translucency, and what order are they laid in? Yellow over blue, or blue over yellow? Wet over dry or wet over wet? So much to think about. The more I do the more I find I like a more translucent look, where the colours either blend (wet on wet) or seem to float in layers without completely obliterating what was previously laid down (wet on dry). Am I ‘finding my voice’? I’m not sure but I’m certainly forming some preferences.
With the idea of perspective in mind I took myself off to the city yesterday with two of the most important things in my life – my husband and my camera. The plan was that there was to be no plan, just to wander around taking snaps of whatever drew my attention and that was related to depth and distance.
And then the best thing I saw all day, but not related to my research. On a building site barrier at the edge of the Sydney Opera House site, this sign:
Rosemary Simmons & Katie Clemson, The Complete Manual of Relief Printmaking. Published by Collins Publishers, Australia, 1988. ISBN 0 7322 0012 1, Page 19.