Rock inspiration has struck again! When the muse whispers in our ear, the only response is to listen to what she’s saying and get on with it, so I grabbed paper, charcoal and graphite and got to work on lots of mark-making inspired by the patterns and shapes within the ‘Weird Rock’. I approached this body of work with a ‘It will be what it will be!’ attitude because I don’t know where this work will take me nor how long it will take to get there. I plan to just relax and enjoy the journey and not become concerned about or bogged down with the idea of having to produce completed works of ‘art’.Rock On 1 Rock On 2

It was a nice change to work in monochrome and focus on line, texture and tonal value without the added challenge of colour! The first drawings were fairly detailed and involved lots of rubbing charcoal and graphite into paper to build layers of tone and pattern.Rock On 3 Rock On 4

I decided to scale up the size a bit because, for me, there is nothing like working freely and energetically on a large scale to release tension and tightness in my drawing. I had planned to apply ink using a pipette but it just blobbed, so I quickly abandoned that idea and continued with charcoal and graphite, with the addition of a drawing pen to create a more refined and delicate line. The result had a scribbly and messy quality but it was the perfect exercise for loosening up my drawing.Rock On 5 Rock On 6

The next step was to consider surface texture so I prepared a strong brown paper with gesso before working on the next piece, again with charcoal and graphite but with the addition of water-soluble ink applied with pen, brush or pipette. The gesso background created some interesting areas of texture when the dry mediums were rubbed into the surface. The ink, used dry, made some very fine lines, and when water was added, moved around freely on the surface creating interesting watercolour effects and some lovely midtones.

Of course, I then had to explore this range of mark-making on cloth. I decided on liquid dye painting, with the addition of water-soluble ink, on a PFD poplin. Tools included pipettes, sable and sponge brushes, and a range of drawing pens, including dip and bamboo. I was delighted at how easily the pen glided over the surface of the fabric. The water-soluble ink worked well and spread nicely with the addition of water.

Variety of line from the various tools used.
Variety of line from the various tools used.
Bamboo pen made for me years ago and still producing a lovely line.
Bamboo pen made for me years ago and still producing a lovely line.
Lovely surprising split of colour from the ink.
Lovely surprising split of colour from the ink.
Love how the dye wicked.
Love how the dye wicked.

I’ve experimented with making a video to show the technique I used with pen and water. This is my first ever video so bear with me. I plan to explore this further and add videos, as appropriate, to upcoming blog posts.

I had to force myself to STOP working because the cloth was in danger of becoming heavily saturated and overworked, so it is now wrapped in plastic and batching snugly until tomorrow when all will be revealed! The next stage will involve painting and drawing with thickened dye and water-soluble inks, and also include discharge techniques. It’s all about laying down layers, just as the ‘Weird Rock’ did; only I hope to do it quicker than the Weird Rock did in geological time!

Thanks for visiting, I appreciate your interest.

Rock On!

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8 thoughts on “Rock On!

  • March 23, 2016 at 4:54 pm
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    Stunning work. Brings out the texture of the rock brilliantly.

    Reply
    • March 24, 2016 at 7:54 pm
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      Thank you, the Weird Rock has been a huge inspiration.

      Reply
  • March 23, 2016 at 6:06 pm
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    Absolutely great drawings Muriel; enjoyed the video too & would have liked it to be a little longer!
    You’re making me want to get out my charcoal!

    Reply
    • March 24, 2016 at 7:56 pm
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      Thanks, I will work on making future videos a little longer. Great idea about your charcoal – go for it!

      Reply
    • March 24, 2016 at 8:00 pm
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      Thanks, Frieda, I was delighted how easily the drawing tools I was using worked on fabric. The video was fun and a new venture for me.

      Reply
  • November 18, 2016 at 10:09 pm
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    I haven’t visited for a long time. Came to see Leonard and share the sense of what remains …..and there can never be an absence of light….
    And mesmerised by images of weird rock.
    And the tantalising potential of the Printroom at Smails ….
    Winter is near and the promise of snow………

    Reply
    • November 21, 2016 at 10:07 pm
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      Weird rock is intriguing and a great source of inspiration. Leonard Cohen will continue to shine …..

      Reply

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