I am continuing to add to this series of collages, inspired by London’s Hampstead Heath and the forests of Le Touquet in Northern France. I often start a new piece by working directly on to a silkscreen, taking a print by forcing the paint through the screen on to the paper beneath with a rubber blade, or squeegee. The paint has to be washed off immediately after printing to avoid it drying out and ruining the screen, so this is a hectic business – I paint, print, and wash out pretty fast. By the end of a session I will have three or four different but related monoprints which I can then start cutting about to make collages, sometimes overpainting them with acrylic or oil. Wielding a scissors on something one has just spent a full-on, intense day to make certainly requires a degree of ruthlessness and feels quite dangerous, but I love working from start to finish with my own printed material in this way.
As you can imagine, this process leaves me with lots of lovely small printed fragments and being a ‘waste not, want not’ kind of person, I love using them for more collages on postcard-sized blocks of wood covered with watercolour paper, rich, jewel-like and reasonably-priced ‘collectibles’, which I call ‘mini-s’.