A few weeks ago I worked with Johnny Bugler to create a set of prints that I could paint on to. The idea came to me when I found some etching proofs I had worked on in 2007.
I see these etchings as a background, an elaborate canvas. They are an attempt to create the essence of a bit of linen that was laying around the studio for while, picking up colour debris and studio DNA, before being stretched up and becoming a painting. Working on the etching plates, I tried to pick up as many accidental marks as possible. Now I am in Italy and I want to seal this "dirty paper” by painting on it with some luminous acrylic pigments from Florence.
I haven't been using much water-based paint in years. Water-based paint is like a different instrument to oil paint. I'm not as familiar with switching between the two as I used to be so I could wreck some of the prints by trying.
The etchings are all finished in a Burnt Umber and I have this electric blue to use on top of the brown embossed lines. The paint comes from Zecchi’s art shop in Florence. They make their own paints and the pigment is fierce intense. I don't have too many different colours which is probably a good thing, although I might get a few more when I get a chance to go to Florence.
I have 22 etchings to work with and after messing up some and maybe keeping a couple of them untouched, I am aiming to end up with a set of 12. While working on them I am trying to create some structure to make the pieces coherent. This could be a linear structure or a colour structure, all of which sounds very cognitive and organised but honestly, I’ve no idea what to do next, not a clue. At the moment I have so many things flying around my head - mechanical pollen, flying heads and shapes that are already too abstract to get a name. I hope the finished prints will be a surprise even to myself...