I spent the weekend doing a mokuhanga workshop with the wonderful Ros Kean. In a really packed few days we learned a basic printing technique, and lots of other things, like how to make a carrier brush, how to maintain your cutting tools, and lots of information about pigments and papers.
I really enjoyed the quiet process of making things from the natural materials around the studio, and the ceremony of attending to the tools. Perhaps I won’t pursue Mokuhanga itself, who knows how it will fit into my practice?
I recently attended a workshop at Bangalow with Jenny Sages. it was an opportunity to learn how Jenny does her wonderful works. It seems that those huge portraits are painted in oils on a wax ground, so they are not really encaustic paintings. The wax ground gives the paint a beautiful luminosity, and a kind of warmth to the skin tones which would be very difficult to achieve in any other way.
I’ve arrived here at St Andrews for my encaustic and paper workshop over this coming weekend. It’s such a beautiful and inspiring place, and Tess and Lloyd such pleasant company. I’m very excited to be here. Tess even gave me a piece of George’s famous silvered printing paper!
We’re here in Santa Fe on the last leg of our journey, to take the mark making workshop with Paula Roland. The differences between the three places we have visited are quite striking – they could be three different countries, not just three different states.
Santa Fe is high desert country, and it is also having a drought at the moment. The landscape is
arid, bare, dotted with juniper. Such grass as is there is bleached like straw. At night you can hear the coyotes howl.
The rolling hills give way to mountains capped with drifts of snow.
This landscape has captivated artists for generations. The shifting patterns of light on the mountains, the extraordinary skies, and the sense of intimacy and space could be the stuff of endless interpretation. I wish I had brought my long lens!
And the culture and architecture are completely different, too, and fit so well into the landscape you couldn’t imagine them elsewhere.