How lucky were we, Peter my husband and Nesta, Berwyn’s mum, to have as our Christmas present a weekend of experimentation, under the direction of our son in law, Berwyn, who teaches printing and painting at City Lit college in London.

We started with surface texture at Nunhead cemetery, rubbing and photographing.016 018

This was followed by an introduction to ink printing at his studio.

Different coloured inks were rolled onto separate melamine boards.

039This board reminded me of a Pierre Solange painting.

The ink was then rollered from the board to a piece of greaseproof paper, which was then masked and placed face down on a sheet of smooth cartridge paper.  The greaseproof paper was smoothed, drawn into and generally disturbed to create a printed image on the cartridge paper.  This process was repeated with further colours.


The following day we learnt to print by placing a sheet of acetate over a photograph or an image on the ipad and to make a tonal painting in oil paint or watercolour mixed with Gum Arabic.  This image was the printed onto Japanese rice paper.

The task was then to bring together the cemetery images, the ink printing and the tonal printing.050

The ghostly face was a torn tonal image and the letters just visible in the lower third was a rubbing from the cemetery.

The final task was to mask part of the work to create the basis for a painting.051053 The full image including scrunched paper used for creating white areas on the print, which was later glued on.

054 055 058 059 060


049The full image.061 064 065


048The full image.066 067

An extraordinarily interesting and productive weekend and one of the best Christmas   presents. Berwyn opened our eyes to the possibilities and delights of printing, combining, playing and cropping.  I particularly related to the roller inking.  The lack of control over outcome, the feeling that other powers are guiding suits me perfectly.  What else is out there????  Thank you.

Japanese Papers

I took a logical approach to testing and evaluating a number of Japanese papers, dividing and scrunching half of the paper.  I wanted to test the effect of watercolour whilst working in my usual way and whether there was any unpredictable result.

001 002 003 004 006 007



The results were disappointing for me.  The colours, whilst vibrant in the close ups below, where dull in reality.  Some of the papers responded to the watercolour as if blotting paper.  Not one paper surprised in the way that certain types of tissue paper might.  I had hoped for a new direction.008



The scratch-like lines were produced by  the paint,  the single interesting effect from this experiment, but too delicate to be of value.










These images, whilst interesting, providing potential for possible future work, do not stand on their own merit and are so small in reality, 2 cms square, that their value  is best expressed here.019




Author: susanmilleruk

Watercolour painter living, working and loving Hastings and St Leonards on Sea. MA in Fine Art.

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