Making Day 11 April 2015

On reflection, I don’t think I gave this day enough thought.  I focused on wanting to paint a companion work to Task 2, without thinking through the practicality of where I was working and how I was going to get it home.  Also, as I learnt during the review at the end, it was more about experimenting.


The starting point, a rare picture of us all together.  I plan to do a number of these paintings, which may or may not, ever be exhibited.  I hadn’t realised before I started task 2 that they are very much about my emotional response, the revisiting of the assumed memory, and it is about my response to events on the page that is so important to this particular process.

Emma a fellow student kindly invited me to her ‘studio’, the art department at Sevenoaks School.  As it was only an hour away, I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet Emma, and that was as far as my thought process went.


Not the best picture in the world but I was trying to show my process, which is just visible, of outlining the people with clear water using a pipette.  This gives a measure of control as to where the paint goes, because whilst it is possible to mop when paint is unwanted, on something this ‘precise’ it will still leave a shadow.

The other aspect I hadn’t considered was concentration.  In my usual way of working there are only a few moments when mistakes cannot be rectified.  There is usually too much going on, as in this nearly completed current work, for mistakes to matter.




With the monochrome work this isn’t the case, as is evidenced by my lack of attention to the dark ‘u’ shape in the lower half.




Too much chatting!

The other aspect I didn’t think about is that I like the paint to fully pool in this type of work.  The paint is a mix of Indigo and Alizarin.  The Indigo creates wonderful ‘frilly’ edges if allowed to dry naturally and mopping would detract.


By 2pm I was conscious that the work needed to be completely dry in order to get it in my mini (not the most practical car for a painter who wants to scale up their work!).




The benefit was that I could watch Emma photo litho printing her work, and got to have a go with a black and white (fortuitously, as it happens, I had run out of colour cartridges) photocopy of dead roses, a subject I have also recently painted.  Is there a theme?




001 (3)


For some reason I couldn’t get  the shadow to photocopy, so I might hand paint onto the photo litho, but maybe I will save for a painting.  The image reminds me of bull fighting and Lorca.


A great day.  Thank you Emma!

Author: susanmilleruk

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

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