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Short break in Brighton and solar plate etchings

We went to Brighton for a few days r and r where we visited the local museum and art gallery – showing a very interesting and eclectic mix of exhibits – to see the prints by Frank Brangwyn. We also walked to Hove to visit another lovely gallery as I wanted to see the solar plate etchings of Luella Martin. They were really atmospheric and I bought two of them.

I’ve got a UV unit and the solar plate and once I’ve made some test strips, I’ll be trying them out myself. For anyone interested, here’s some info on solar plate printing: https://solarplate.com/what-is-solarplate/

I also found these two articles really helpful:
https://www.katewatkins.co.uk/posts/2018/2/26/working-out-correct-solar-plate-exposure
https://barbara-mason.com/solarplates/how-to/

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A new printing press

Now that I’ve retired from teaching, I’ll have time to make more prints so I decided to upgrade from a tabletop printer to a larger, standalone model. I decided upon one made by a family business in Ironbridge and it’s arriving at the end of the month.

In the meantime I’ve been on an abstract painting course in Newlyn with Gareth Edwards as tutor. It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed going out to make studies on the beach then bringing them back to the art school and painting from them. We used acrylics on paper and I decided to have a go at some in the studio this week.

I experimented with some extra products like modelling paste, gloss gel and so on. I have to say I’m not a big fan of the paste as it dried to a very hard plasticy surface but I guess it’s really down to personal taste and I enjoyed making glazes much more and I haven’t exactly given it much time. I’ll persevere and learn how to use all these things properly and then if I’m still enjoying painting I’ll maybe make the switch to oils.

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