Week Six -08 Nov 18

“One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” —Abraham Maslow

It has been a very interesting week. Always lots to learn and improve on and I do feel very positive about the way things are progressing, but even with my desired subject matter and direction firmly in place and feeling both able and excited to press on. I still get a feeling of being stuck, like I am in some kind of weird head fog. Mind you, the lack of sleep, constant back pain and ‘wipe out’ migraines (where the only respite is laying flat in a dark room for hours, emerging quite weary with the realisation that a whole day has been lost) are probably not helping matters much. I feel like every little step I try to take forward seems to need at least twice as much effort. I have really struggled to work for long periods of time in the studio, only managing a few hours here and there and even writing this blog has seemed just too much this week. Not conducive to a free flowing and dynamic work week I can tell you!

I do have notes and images of my experiments and ideas, but I still can’t seem to remember or organise exactly what I have been doing?!? I definitely need to keep a much more detailed and perhaps daily written art practice journal and action plan list, even if it’s just to help me with my blog post writing and the annoying bad memory episodes.

Perspective - Samantha Boulanger
Perspective – Samantha Boulanger

In the studio this past week, both in uni and at home I started off by selecting and inverting four of my high contrast black and white images to be photo etched onto 10x10cm aluminium plates and printed onto acetate via AB so they can be exposed onto some prepared cyanotype papers.

I spent all day Wednesday in the SoA studio becoming acquainted with photo etching using BIG ground and photo copies of my images. I love how the etched plates look like works of art in themselves.

BIG ground on Aluminium
Etching in Copper sulphate/saline solution for about 50 minutes
Four photo etched aluminium plates

I also continued my experimentation with cyanotypes at home with some interesting results;

Under the glass being exposed in daylight
The results

The prepared cyanotype papers seem to be getting randomly contaminated by light somehow despite being prepared in red light and stored in sealed black plastic bags. I am still unsure how? Looking into this and working on how I can better the storage method.

I did quite a few of these cyanotypes throughout the week, in various sun spots around my house and studio, under my daylight lamp, on the roof of my van as well as on the dashboard of my van, when both parked up at home and even whilst I took a trip into town. Come rain, cloud or shine they were being exposed somewhere. Really enjoying this process, looking forward to becoming more experimental with it as the weeks go on.

In between all the research and experimentation, I am somehow managing to restock my stand at the Aberystwyth Art Centre Winter Fair and I have even started working on some new stock in my Kaotic Kittus studio. I must admit trying to do everything on zero money, no energy and only 7 days in a week is proving to be a real challenge….but hey, what doesn’t kill you…etc.

What’s next?

Combining the photo etchings and the above cyanotypes, printing both directly on to them as well as experimenting with relief roll overs in various colours. see what happens. Order bigger aluminium plates. Prepare more cyanotypes but on larger sheets of paper to create space around the exposed/printed onto areas. Further research into viscosity printing and some colour theory exploration, as well as further artist research.

Oh and a nice cup of tea and a sit down!