Charles Shearer is an artist printmaker and teacher from Orkney, currently based in London. He also creates paintings and drawings of scenes inspired from his extensive travels both in the UK and overseas.
Many of his prints are single or multiplate collagraphs made from cutting, drawing and sculpting into display board. The plates are then printed using stencils and roller techniques to produce complex and multicoloured prints. This is the technique I started to explore in Assignment 5 The Dreaming.
His subjects are often ‘creative interpretations’ from his own travel sketchbooks, mostly from Wales, Ireland and his travels between London and Orkney. A key underlying theme is ‘man’s [sic] order within nature’. ‘Of particular interest are deserted buildings and the landscapes surrounding them as he describes “in a landscape stands a grand Irish ruin all in glorious decay, to contrast with a desolate and rutted land beyond the industrial estate”.
There are often fun images in his work too such as his large monoprints of King Flamingo or Night Prowl. He experiments too with texture and materials such as in Bubblewrap Joe.
In addition to making his own work he teaches printmaking at numerous art schools and runs creative print workshops. For experimental prints I produced from a workshop on ‘Cardboard Cuts’ see Collagraph techniques
Cornelia Ann Parker OBE, RA (born 1956) is an English sculptor and installation artist. Her work covers sculpture, photography, performance. Her work is often in collaboration with institutions dealing with political as well as psychological themes.
Her ‘violent acts’, the light textures cast by many of her sculptures and use of found objects were an inspiration for Project 5.2 Arcadia Recycled
Videos and interviews
“Beauty is too easy,” says the 56-year-old British artist Cornelia Parker. “Often in my work I take beautiful objects and do extreme things to them, so that they are overlaid with something a bit more sinister and violent.” She laughs. “I’m sure an analyst could have a field day on me.”
her ideas on the interlinked nature of memory and reality whereby memories are never fixed but reinterpreted in the light of current experience
way of continuing to work and chip away at the same piece, sticking and overlaying elements as a process of exploration of ideas
very playful aesthetic that increases the impact of her witty and sophisticated observation of life and its visual representation.
Video Interviews on her art
In the following videos she talks about her memories of childhood and war and how these influenced her art. Her main artistic input was produced after the age of 70. She was always taught not to rub out her drawings and now works and reworks her painting. A key influence on her work was Dada.
About ‘Woof Woof Quack Quack exhibition
Radio interview about the nature of experience and memory
Jenny Saville’s extremely tactile approach to painting women’s bodies, including her own, as a feminist critique of the way the female nude has been portrayed by the male art establishment has influenced my work in:
Assignment 2: The Human Condition 2: Flesh Here my focus is on the tactility of the body and ways in which different types of paper eg wrinkled blotting paper or tracing paper give different body textures. As well as meanings of different shapes.
She works from photos and sketches, not painting from live models
She plays with colours and composition in Photoshop
Some of her paintings use text – following the example of feminist photographers like Jo Spence
Mixing red and cyan on flesh creates tension because we do not know how to read it.
Body as narrative of traces, a copperplate to be etched on – possibilities for over-printing
Cut out the shape of a body and draw around and over it, then remove the mask. Keep going till you have something believable.
Jenny Saville discussing her painting process in 2018 in relation to the All Too Human exhibition at Tate Britain. This is a detailed discussion of her working process and evolution as an artist. She is interested in:
Relationship between ‘how you are’ and ‘how you are seen’ eg in work on plastic surgery, people saw themselves as ill because they did not have the nose or breasts they wanted. They saw surgery as enabling them to be their ‘real self’.
Paint as vocabulary and anatomy of paint traces from Pollock and de Kooning and document of the process of making
Earlier interview with Jenny Saville, focussing particularly on her recent work with its interest in time and traces, multiple figures and memory.
in exhibition ‘All Too Human’ pieta of people carrying bodies out from war zones. she used lots of photographs of a woman in burqa and lots of bodies.
“I have been working on Pietas [depictions of the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Christ] quite a bit, and a series of children being carried.
“Over 20 years I have collecting images of babies being carried out of bombings, war situations, in Pieta poses knowing that one day I will do a piece, so this work has been a long time in the making.
“Aleppo is the first one I have released like it.
“I have done paintings linked to war before, but not linked to a political situation – I have endless images from the internet, or from newspapers, of babies that have been killed in these bombings, and when I finished the piece, I have two children myself, how long will it be before we as humans know not to do this?
“When I was titling it, I thought I would link it – for the first time – to what is going on in Syria.
Carborundum printmaking is a collagraph printmaking technique in which the image is created by adding light passages to a dark field. It is a relatively new process invented in the US during the 1930s that allows artists to work on a large scale. Carborundum was originally used by printmakers to grind down lithography stones and is now used in collagraph prints to create gradients of tone and a sandy texture. It works because when the carborundum adheres to the plate the ink sits around it.The grit is available in several grades – fine, medium and coarse – each giving different effects.
Normally, cardboard or wood plates are coated in a layer of carborundum or screen, and the lights are created by filling in the texture with screen filler or glue.
It can be applied in a number of different ways:
Painting onto the plate with a liquid glue and then sprinkling the carborundum onto it
Mixing different amounts of glue with it and then painting them on in sections, the more grit used the darker. Example: one spoon of carborundum to five spoons of glue will be much lighter than five spoons of carborundum to five spoons of glue.
Using stencils to apply the glue and sprinkling different amounts of carborundum through the different stencils.
Using any of the above, then scratching into the plate and textures with a drypoint needle or other instrument.
Carborundum prints may be printed as intaglio plates. To print a carborundum print, the surface is covered in ink, and then the surface is wiped clean with tarlatan cloth or newspaper, leaving ink only in the texture of the screen or carborundum. A damp piece of paper is placed on top, and the plate and paper are run through a printing press that, through pressure, transfers the ink from the recesses of the plate to the paper.
Very large editions are not possible as a small amount of carborundum comes off every time it is wiped down.