Collographs with Rachel Sargent. 10th and 11th April 2014

Our Tutor was Rachel Sargent a landscape artist and teacher who is particularly interested in the way colour shifts and changes  and who in her own work explores collographs, mixing media and collage as well as producing fine paintings in oil.  All of these can be seen on her website.  More elegantly this is how she describes her work:

I am absorbed with the way light changes and defines places, constantly transforming the same piece of land, wood or coastline. The changing quality of light and elements against the permanence and stillness of the landscape are central to my work; clouds across a hill, flashes of light through woods, shadows along a track. I use a range of mixed media, printing techniques and collage to create multi-layered surfaces and marks from which the images can evolve. I use the accidental effects that occur in the process of creating surfaces; the chance marks and random settling of oil and water based paints used together. The paintings, as a result, are often as unpredictable as any walk through the land I try to interpret. I have recently moved to a new studio in a converted cowshed at Gold Hill Organic Farm in Child Okeford where I also run workshops.

IMG_0528So it was that for two days some ten of us were guided by her to discover collograph and some collage. Collograph was certainly new to me and I think to most of us and sounds simple – but isn’t. Basically you start with a piece of card and work on it by adding textured surfaces such as a pieces of wall-paper, fabrics like lace, or some string and some sand.  These are glued in place and then shellacked. When dried they are painted with acrylic or printing inks and a dampened piece of paper is pressed down upon the template by hand or in a press.IMG_0527 This is then peeled off to reveal the print. Several prints can be made from the same template while one experiments with different paints and colours resulting in prints which are a mixture of intended and accidental effects.

As a teacher Rachel was very helpful and encouraging giving us help to “boldly go” where we had not been before and being a friendly group everyone worked away and made encouraging noises about each other. Here are the results which I think for most of us really did break new ground.  John Baxter.

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