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Demo - Playing with Ink and Collage

May 31, 2021
Hello good morning Louise Fletcher abstract painter, I'm completely black and white behind me and today I thought that instead of just sitting and talking in front of the camera I would talk while I worked so I've been working in ink and in black and white. As you can see, there is a method to my madness. I just finished a major project that I've been working on for a couple of years, working in acrylic paint and mixed media on boards and canvases of all different sizes and shapes. I finished those paintings and now I'm writing a book about the process and I hope we keep our fingers crossed that that book comes out in October 2021.
demo   playing with ink and collage
In the meantime, I'm at that stage we've reached as artists where we still want to create like Always I want to create something that never goes away, but I don't have a project, I don't have anything that I'm exploring and when that happens, I always choose to do what I love, so right now what I really love. I've long enjoyed ink and

collage

and I'm putting the two together and I've been inspired and I'll explain that to you in a second, let me switch over and show you what I'm doing. so first of all I want to show you where these ideas come from.
demo   playing with ink and collage

More Interesting Facts About,

demo playing with ink and collage...

I'm a little lost, I don't know what to do. I love ink, so I'm deciding to play with ink. I have taken a couple of courses with karen stamper look her up she is a fantastic university artist and she teaches sketchbook courses and teaches how to work in these concertina shaped sketchbooks and the first stages of the karen process that she teaches is leaving washes of ink and

playing

with ink and I found and then she and then to

collage

and then to start painting again, but I discovered that I really love this part. I like black and white ink, which is not surprising because I have done many ink paintings in the past, but only sometimes.
demo   playing with ink and collage
I forgot how much I love it and somehow I think I should use paint but I actually really like ink so I'm going to do some explorations with ink over the next few months inspired by that course and I started writing a bigger book and I started using the things that Karen teaches and then I thought, oh I wonder what would happen if I added watercolor and I had some watercolors left over from a long time ago and I started bringing them here and I don't love what I've done but I love this so there's something here for me every time I see something I love oh there's something there um and this is what I teach all the time find what you love follow what you love I don't like I made a pattern here with dots I don't like I don't care to appear in other people's paintings.
demo   playing with ink and collage
I don't like this pattern, I don't like it, it's okay, it's good to know, just learn what you like, the only thing that matters is what you It's not what other people like other people will feel like you, so that's it what I've gotten to in that book, but it made me want to go further and then I have a plan of what I'm going to do. I made them the other day. They're just a big sheet of regular dry drawing paper, just average drawing paper, but it's 220gsm so it's pretty sturdy and cheap. It's not like buying watercolor paper, where it feels gorgeous, plus it's thin enough, it's pretty thick, but I can make a collage and that's important for what I'm going to do and here's another one and it's just

playing

with big marks against little splatters and fine lines and what I like and what I don't like and notice more and this was a tip from Karen's course on how to photocopy the parts you like and actually my photocopy wasn't working.
Let me take them off so you can see the inks working, so some parts didn't work, but that's okay, I can. Cutting like this hasn't really worked, but I love that black spot and it's greatly enlarged from the original, so I'm looking at the marks, taking parts and just printing them on my home printer. I like the shape. the inks run here I really like this piece it's just all the different gradations of ink and their sizes compared to the sizes of the little splashes and then I make a small version of that and then I enlarge it and then I enlarge it even more printed side for some reason, but okay, this mark and this small and then enlarged very large, unfortunately one came out blurry and that one didn't print at all, but the stripes across it can be quite pretty for a collage, a couple I printed in watercolor color I really like this light texture and so notice, I'm just trying to notice what I'm enjoying about this, what attracts me because that's the key, it's about what we like and I think it's not waste because bits of these are going to go into those sketchbooks and parts are going to go into the collages I'm about to make now.
I also have some scraps from previous ink pieces I've already worked with and then some handmade tissue paper. which came from Susan Hart, who is an American artist, she sent me a beautiful package of handmade tissue papers and this has like coffee grounds in it. I could use those sewing patterns. I buy them on eBay. I have tons of them, they are just pretty. because they're paper and they have these cool markings and stuff, text and numbers and they're not expensive and also on eBay I buy them as packets of paper ephemera sometimes you get letters from people sometimes you just get pages from books but I like these just because of the surprisingly different things and I like text on things so I can say that a sheet music will be better for the collage than the one with a kind of shiny surface so that will be great but this one will be fine so just the parts I took.
I'm not planning what it will be at all, but what I want to do is give myself a challenge and I'll show you what. Do it, this is another sketchbook, one of many sketchbooks, and here I keep only the things that interest me and do collages and work on compositions, which are usually broken fragments of other paintings that I haven't worked on. I think it was a little bit of tissue paper and a little bit of paint that didn't work, but nothing wasted, but what I wanted to show you is that these are some inks, different inks for these, oh, I missed the paint and all of these They will get used to it.
I'll leave it when it's wet. This is now. This was inspired by a conversation I had with Lewis Noble. Look it up on youtube. He is a great artist and he makes collages of landscape pieces. I had really bad landscape painting and I could. I saw some parts that weren't that bad so I had to go play with just making a Lewis Noble and I would never sell something where I basically took someone else's idea. This is just for me to play and learn, but I appreciate other artists and the inspiration they give and I think sometimes some of us feel like we can't be inspired by other people, you can, you just can't sell it as your own, but you can, that It's, you know, you go to art school.
I'll make you copy the old masters and things to learn how things are done, but I've always loved tearing up drawings and so with this ink project I decided to start taking that similar idea and these are just leftovers from failed ink pieces and what What I did was glue them together and then I kept working on them a little bit and that's what I'm going to do today. This was another piece of ink. Here's another piece so similar to the spinning motion of this and I don't know where this is all going, that's the point, it's just going to go somewhere and in the end I'll understand, that's the point of doing the work, doing the work, we understand why we are doing what we do.
While we're at it, let's get started. I have torn these pieces of paper. The benefit of working on pieces of paper versus working on the book is that once I've glued things into the book, they have to dry and I can't move on to another one. page, however, I could start in the book and then we could move on, so let's start here and then I can use the papers, so what I'm going to do is challenge myself to make a composition from what I already have. I've created, so I'm going to take a piece where I don't like, um, I don't like what I came up with, if I like what I came up with, I'll just stick it in a sketchbook like This piece here I like, I'll just paste it into the sketchbook as is, it's a way to remind myself what I like and I'll make notes on what's successful.
This piece I don't like, so we'll start with that one. Um, now, what do I like about this, like the way the inks bloomed here, but I'm going to take a random piece? It shouldn't be too big because we only have this, but make sure that when you break it down. I'm breaking it down in a way where I don't get that advantage, although you might want that, but I don't, so I start gently to see, I'm sure there is a technical way to understand it, but I don't know what it is. So if I start with this, my challenge is to make something I like out of something I didn't like, so first let's make it small enough to fit on the page, which is why it's important that you don't choose something I really love If I choose a piece that I really love it's not going to be easy for me to just refine it and make it right I have to choose something that has no real merit and turn it into something so I'm sticking that with this is a heavy gel gloss because it's a Pretty heavy paint but I find it easier to stick with that but normally I would use pva or gloss medium for this but it's just It's good it just makes the paper stick a lot easier if I were using thin paper.
I would use it just to make sure it doesn't wrinkle, but I don't really have to worry with this because it's so thick. but that's how you flatten it out and if there are parts that aren't stuck I just go over them so I use anything I can scrape now that they're a little bit apart I quite like it but the next thing I do is What I'll think about is what I do not have here. I have a big soft shape that is gray in color with a little bit of darkness and I have a little bit of fine lines, but not that many fine lines, so can I put some fine lines on it? a little bit darker and solid, well I have solid darts here so I think it's difficult for me in this exercise, it's important for me to rip instead of cut because unless I get to a point where it's precise because I want to challenge myself to make something out of it so for now that's all there's nothing I don't have you know I don't have a line I have some colored pieces of paper but I want to find some thin line pieces or the other thing is add them. , which I'll show you shortly, so here's a little bit with something in there, so I'm going to be brutal with that, like that brings a little bit more darkness and something else. light line that's what I said I wanted so don't think too much just stick it this is a game I'm not trying to make a painting I'm just trying to learn and understand and I want to challenge myself that's why it's important I want to say it that way?
No, that's why it's important that I don't choose too carefully which piece I want to use. I actually want to shoot. I'm going to have the white line on this piece. Wait, wait here. I don't know what that thing is called where you can see the edge of the paper. I'm going to have it here. Sometimes I like that in places and sometimes it interferes with the composition. I don't have a clear composition at the moment, but now where? I want to put? I like this big slab of darkness so I can put it here superimposed on that and then where things don't fit, I don't worry about that because I can achieve it, but in the process of breaking pieces I'm choosing all the time and it's choosing it's practicing choosing choosing what you tear out choose what you put in I'm not suggesting that this is an exercise that would work for everyone, but I find it useful only for you I know how to see my own preferences and also guide myself to where I'm going to go next with the work because all of this comes from a reason I still don't know what it is and that's okay, I don't need it.
Make it clear or it will turn out to be a dead end and I will get involved in something else and this will be resolved. Now what I want to do next because I like some parts of this, we start putting this together. glue my pieces correctly. I'm terrible at having dirty hands and then gluing my pieces together and making a mess that, even though it's not a finished piece, I wish it wasn't a mess, so I just stop to have a look and see what I think about it. I still have all my color. I haven't even used any of my extra collage material.
I'm very happy with it as it is right now. I have these photocopies if I feel so. I need something, but what I feel like I need right now is to put these things together a little bit more, so I'm looking for things to do and I have some ink here that's dark, so I have something like undiluted ink so I can put those two together. . I can keep that mark there so that it hopefully stops looking like collaged pieces, especially when I flatten it all out. uh, if I want to bring, I want to bring something here and do it?
I want to wear that. I have this which is a wooden pencil. I also use neo color crayons for this or charcoal, but they are water. They all need to be fixed because you all know they move, but this gives me the ability to make quite nice thick lines and then what I like what I don't like what I feel like it's missing I would like a little more of that blue so I'm looking for it and I can't find it at the moment. This is the story of my creative life. I can't find what it means now.
I don't want to do the same. right, I want something different with it, so I'll drawthat mark there and I'm not sure I like what I've done there, so I can always cover that with something and the best thing about playing like that is If I don't like something, I just take some white paper, I can stick it in black and cover up the part that I didn't like, but it's actually working, you know, some kind of thing that I can stand to look at, I'm going to cover that up again and this, this heavy, heavy gel gloss, dries really clear, like this which you can cover things with it if you don't mind a little bit of your piece shining on the In the end, if this were to be a real piece, I would cover the whole thing with a glossy medium anyway to seal it because I like that finish, Not many people.
It is a single piece. I'm not going to spoil it, I'm just going to do it. make another one, so make it right, so what I'm left with is a really messy desk covered in pieces, I didn't use a lot of the stuff I took out, okay, I have a lot more of these to make, uh. What do I think about this one? I think he's very busy. I like blue and black together. That's something I've learned, but I think it's too busy. So what I would do next is play around tearing off like pieces of white paper. and just put it there and see if that makes it better, what part of it makes you feel too busy or too heavy, or and you can, this great thing about collage is just saying, oh, actually, it's that line that's a problem, cover it up. , no, it's this part.
That's a problem here, covering that, no, it's too big, so get rid of it or paint it of course, but for the moment I'm just sticking with ink and collage so you can keep trying, that's what I like, keep it and and. It's all learning and discovery, so that's the one I like the most, so I have to think about why it's still not as successful as I would like, it's still not what I would say is as successful. what I would like is if it makes me say oh I should flatten it and put it on my website, someone will want it not to be that, but I quite like the contrast of what's happening in the big dark mark that I had to respond to .
I've responded with a lot of lighter things and then using lines as contrast and I quite like this coffee tissue paper and that's bringing this one I think it's too busy so you know I'm often and I can sometimes turn them around to be able to see what is happening. I think it's so dark and so dark. It's just too much. I quite liked it when I illuminated it by adding light there so I can go in now and try it. adding some lighter areas and I have like this, which is my photocopy of my marks, a photocopy of a light area that I took for this very reason, I printed it for this reason because it gives me a chance, not you.
What's my problem? It gives me a chance to try things out so I can test what happens if I remove that dark shape that I created there or what happens if I remove it in the middle. What happens if I remove that now? pretty much like that whole part uh, what if I come put some light in here? I definitely think it's beneficial to have light here, so that could be something and then there could be some benefit with a little more light here, but you can keep layering. keep layering keep layering on top and it doesn't matter if it's one type of paper or another type it will all be sealed in the end if I ever end up with something that I want to keep that is one piece and then where do I want that piece ?
Do I want that piece? I don't want a bigger piece. Yes, stick it. Can I always cover it with these thinner pieces of paper that I will put? I'll put a layer of medium on top first. I try to work on it, otherwise if I put ink on it, it's just copy paper, everything will disintegrate. I guess I don't like that blue there, I like someone else's blue, but there's too much there, so keep going. I go with my paper light and try to use all the little bits so I don't waste things. I don't really take them.
I don't actually use these compositions in paintings, but you know I'm not going, oh, let me find. that and then copying it, but I often find that they come anyway in one form or another, but for me it's more about exploring what it is I'm trying to do and why and just getting back to it, of course, now it's more like part of what I'm doing, but what are these shapes that keep coming back in this swirl and these lines and I'm just interested in why and then following that and developing it, I already think it's gotten better by doing that, but uh , I'm going to make many more of these.
I'll eventually be done with what I do with these larger ones. If I want to keep them, I'll just make my own sketchbook out of them or stick them in. I have some large sketchbooks. I could stick them in large sketchbooks, but sometimes I just use masking tape to make my own book and put a cardboard cover on it and then I'll have them in the future if I want. There's no point in going back to them, there's no need to waste anything we work on, we can always learn something from it, so if this sounds like fun, join me on June 3rd for a free eight-day trial of my full course which I teach every year.
The trial course is free for everyone and you are welcome to join even if you don't intend to stay for the full course. It's a week, a little more than a week a year, that I spend helping everyone unleash their creativity and learn to play and explore without worry and in the process of playing and exploring you begin to discover who you really are, what that you really like, so I hope you come and join me. The link is below this video and we will start on June 3rd. I know if I'm seeing this when I first posted it, that's the time to wait, but I hope it's worth the wait and in the meantime, I'll send you a few tidbits when you sign up.
Don't forget to leave me a comment if you liked this and subscribe if you are interested in seeing more, it really helps me with YouTube so I would love it if you did, take care everyone, bye.

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