Exploring experimental contemporary printmakers.
Peter Green OBE (1933-)
I came across Peter Green on the internet quite by accident and felt compelled to investigate further. My attraction comes from several sources
- His visualisation is so unrelated to anything I can ever imagine myself being able to see and use to creative advantage. My mind travels a very different route.
- I am totally stimulated and energised by his bold compositions – large dominating abstract shapes and vibrancy of colour layering.
- Over the last 6 months I’ve become very focused on translucency in colour layers, combining prints to form new colour mixes, overlapping, and trials using opposing levels of pigment + extender to strengthen or ‘dilute’ colour effects. Peter Green’s prints are a superb example of this technique working at a professional level. I’m very taken with his colour overlays.
- He combines two very contrasting techniques; woodblock and stencilling. With the woodblock he can carve intricate patterning, rough lines and random marks, whereas the stencils produce a sharply outlined shape with definite edging and fully filled with colour (albeit semi-translucent).
Debora Oden works in an entirely different manner and process than Peter Green. A ‘Meet the Artist’ write-up on the Kobo Gallery website sums up the thinking behind her artwork excellently:
Oden’s work reflects her fascination with the re-presentation of time and narrative. Her process includes working with the printing techniques of intaglio and screen-print. Her work emphasizes repeated line, building space out of ambiguity with shadowy structure and the implication of time and narrative through the organization of color and appropriated form.
Her artworks are built upon a base of blank copper sheeting, over which she applies a protective coating. She then draws and scratches into this surface, revealing the bare copper below, unprotected and prepared for etching. This is a very basic overview and her mark making can encompass multiple methods as well as stencilling and ‘stopping out’ areas prior to the acid bath etching process.
She then inks up and prints. Sounds fairly quick and simple, doesn’t it? However, her focus is on building up layers and, as colour is an exceptionally important principle, she spends a great deal of time mixing colours and running her prints through the press up to 20 times. In this case we are not looking at editions (as per Peter Green) but, instead, a range of unique monoprints which may be created to a theme but each as an individual stand alone piece.
I have included above a close-up of a small section from You look very beautiful today as I’m anxious to show the depth and dimensionality obtained through her process. To me it appears to be constructed using a piece of unravelling, very open-weave, scrim atop a painterly background – even though I know every effect is formed through print development. That’s the depth of imagery as my eye sees it. Would love to view the real thing.
The more I research, and the more artists I explore, the more I am drawn to reduced colour palettes. I find a depth in these not always evident in some of the more vibrant and garish works I’ve looked at. Both Peter Green and Debora Oden work with tightly controlled colour choices – multiple layers within a minimal range of hues but utilizing tints, shades, changes in translucency, opacity and depth of coverage.
I also explored:
- Sue Filbin where I discovered a wide range of monoprints using prints from plants and flower heads
- Anne Starling who I hope to return to further in the course, as her wonderful works incorporate chin colle which we will be covering later.
- Curlee Raven Holton (many references) who is the founding director of the Experimental Printmaking Institute and who’s work is held in many private and public collections. Very inspirational.
Peter Green –
http://www.emmamason.co.uk/i/night-river-form-peter-green – no permission from the artist was requested as I couldn’t source an email address. In addition, this picture and much of his work has been repeated featured on many websites including extensively on pinterest.
Debora Oden –
Permission kindly given by the artist to use all imagery.