Mono printing heaven… ?


I spent a disproportionate amount of time stressing last week about the prospect of covering a mono printing workshop at the Art Gallery.

I’d set the class up months ago for a local artist, but as the weeks rolled by, through no fault of her own, it transpired that she wouldn’t be available to teach.

I thought ah well, mono printing with acrylics…..I usually do this with printing inks…transfer method…Tracy Emin style…it shan’t be very different, I’ll cover no probs.

I went over to Sudeshnas so she could talk me through the process…some of her lovely playful prints are above. She’s a regular on the Open Studios circuit and has a very particular printing style. Undeterred, I collected the acrylic sheets that were to act as our plates, extra paint & paper from Fulford….all good.

I started printing on the Monday. Loved the process of painting on plastic with acrylic…wonderful. Sliding your brush across the glass like surface is marvellous, so tactile & effortless.  The simple act of laying your paper on top of the paint, smoothing it down, peeling it back to reveal marks that are somehow alien is exciting…but even though the change in mark making is a “happy” change… after a while a sense of disappointment kicks in. I want my marks to look like they did on the acrylic sheet, when I painted them…I thought a certain set of marks would be bigger, finer, more random….some sections look clumsy on the paper, it looked looser & more expressive on the plate.

For a self confessed control freak, this process proved a little tricky. It wouldn’t have, if I hadn’t have opted to teach it a few days in, but teaching it to a group of people who were expecting a particular approach was something slightly scary.

I printed throughout Tuesday, introduced it to my afternoon class on Wednesday, continued Thursday evening and on Friday found myself still printing whilst Graham Norton was on… You could say I became a little obsessed!

Saturday proved to be a lovely day. Intense, purposeful, but very creative. Blue apples – below, by the highly creative Amy Demartine. Zosia Olenska’s wonderful London café scene & Sam Pearson’s colourful landscape (Weds afternoon group) . Hope my learners are keen…I’ll be doing this more often …

mono-print-of-picasso-2 zosia



Lastly, was anyone else blown away by the theme tune to Unforgiven…crime drama that just finished on Thursday nights…? Really beautiful.



Those of you that know me, will know that Social Media isn’t my natural home, but I love art, love my job (I’m York Learning’s Visual Arts Manager), love working with people & love chatting… about stuff… so here goes…

I’ve had a real hankering to visit York Art Gallery recently.

Our Tiger Moths & Memories exhibit was up in the Project Gallery for months, (May – July ’16)… but I never quite managed to have a really good scout round the entire re-vamped space, well, at least not in the manner I’d imagined. I tend to enter a Public Gallery with the mind set of a “long haul” air passenger. I know that I’m going to be engaged for hours, like to have somewhere to store my coat, like to know that I can access food & drink quite easily without leaving the premises (I eat, almost every hour) & ideally, hope that I don’t have to be responsible for the organisation/enjoyment of anyone else’s experience… I like to be alone!

So “Flesh” was the destination. An hour or two for me to just indulge my passion… strolling, yet with intent, around a space filled with other peoples art work, knowing that I don’t need to speak, just think, feel & look.

Needless to say, I spent an hour Upstairs before I migrated downstairs… the reason for my visit.

The Antony Shaw collection fascinates me. Gillian Lowndes & Kerry Jameson’s sculptures just absorb me…appealing to my love of all that is African & fetish. Grayson Perry’s “Melanie” makes me smile & Mark Heralds beautifully curated room of “Unimagined Treasures”, children’s automations, rich red/green paintings & collages hung beneath Edwardian Funeral cloaks adorned with feathers; could keep me prisoner me for hours.

Flesh didn’t disappoint. I’ve always like the premise of themed exhibitions.

So many characters… so many personalities in the room, all with something in common, all talking about the same thing… yet with different opinions… I walk up to each piece & have a conversation, just in my head.


Jonathan Yeo, Secondary Augmentation Mastopasty
Jonathan Yeo’s work immediately make’s us question our quest for and understanding, of beauty, in relation to the female nude.


There’s a brilliant range reflecting the theme. The form & tragic elegance of Berlinde’s De Bruyckere’s Romeu (my deer) has really stuck with me, as has Donald Rodney’s, In the House of my Father, 1997 (made from the artists own skin)… I also hadn’t seen a work from the Boyle Family for years… in the flesh (that word again)… so that was a nice surprise. But I must admit, it’s Degas, Jonathan Yeo and Jenny Saville who make me want to pick up the Oil paints… Degas always captivates me and I don’t think I’ve seen a Jenny Saville piece that I don’t like. They’re intimate, yet there’s a gentle confrontation going on. They’re a current representation of where we are re:- painting the female nude I guess… carefully hung next to the Etty’s, his subjects faces turned away from the viewer, modesty drapes in tact, posed to recreate ancient mythical stories… Different treatments for a different audience.

Painting from Life – Form and Flesh Tones, a 1 day painting from life workshop, will be run at York Art Gallery on 11th March (10:30 – 3:30pm), £40* inc. entrance to the Museum.

01904 552806, book online or email