Earlier this year I found some etching proofs while I was cleaning out the studio. They came from a series of three prints I did in 2007 while on residency in Cill Rialaig, a famine village by the edge of the sea in Kerry which was turned into artist cottages. There were both single plate proofs and some that already had two or three plates printed on to them. I also rediscovered a few jars of delicious handmade acrylics and gouaches I bought in Zecchi’s in Florence. Holding those jars, I realised I hadn't worked with water based paints in a long time and I got a real urge to use them so I started working into the proofs.
The printing paper had this unbelievable soakage. It felt dry and thirsty and about as different to painting in oils as you can imagine. I played around with these "Mechanical Pollen” ideas that populated a lot of sketchbooks from 2013 and got a kick from the contrast of their simple block-colour shapes against the dainty lines of the print.
These Italian colours have a real steadfast presence and I think this accelerated blue against the sparse, dusty brown works really well. Lashing into those prints was such an unexpected break from the canvases I was working on and I was really getting into the simplicity of them. I ran out of etching proofs to work on. I think I'll have to make more..