Diane Young

Artist ~ Printmaker ~ Painter ~Every Picture tells a story ~ Artwork ©Diane Young

Sleeping Fox painting by Diane Young available as a Commission Me This Design


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Foxy Reference for a #Collagraph Print

How does your creativity come to you? There are so many different ways and means for us to form our new ideas. If only (sigh) we could produce utterly original work from referring only to the inside one’s head this is in reality impossible. ldeas cannot possibly arrive from nothing can they? Even if you suddenly have this visual composition roaming in your head based on mathematics or a fantasy style painting inspired by a walk in the woods last week, or an abstract work depicting the feeling of being by the sea since your beach holiday these refer to information already stored which has been absorbed from the world outside of you. And of course we are also informed by seeing other artists’ work; whether that art is produced by your friend or your art group or an Old Master of times gone; this could be incidental or deliberate. It is wasted energy trying to avoid what has been seen or done already!

I usually get a pretty fixed idea of how I want something to look and try to find reference for this from all manner of things. I have stores of actual photos, reference books, lots of my own photos of nature despite how rubbish they might be, snaps from TV programmes, and holiday pics on my PC and also digital storage of old drawings and my paintings. Of course the internet is really useful in figuring out the form of say animals in action, or the way the moon reflects on water, plus there are photographers who allow direct referencing to their work too on Facebook, useful obviously if you really have not seen an alligator up close or such the like.

Sometimes I forget about looking at my own work, most of which will not have been used for final work and even if it has I can use bits of it again.

I am in the process of creating a collagraph plate and looking at fox references at the moment. I want one loping along, with a purposeful gait. I had been looking around on the internet to translate my imagining into some sort of reality but (yet again) could not find the exact form I was looking for. After procrastinating (yet again!) I found a photo taken a long while ago of a fox by chance in a lane local to my house. Unfortunately he was looking back so his head is effectively missing.

Thanks to the search documents facility bringing up everything with “fox” in on my PC I could then see that one of my finished paintings could be useful for the fox head. The Fox and The Grapes below is an original painting still and it is for sale.

The painting is 29 x 33 cm priced at £150. If you are interested in the painting please email me here diane@dianeyoungartist.com or message me here on facebook .

The Fox and The Grapes – 29cm x 33cm- For Sale £150

Fortunately I have photoshop so a quick flip and some mucking about with the shapes I have pulled them together and have a perfect reference point to move forward to the next stage of putting my next Collagraph print together. Ta da!

Foxy reference ready for incorporating in my next piece of work!

More of my foxes FOR SALE here –

THE DUCK AND THE JUG FOR SALE £75

The Duck and The Jug – Total size with mount 40cm x 30cm- FOR SALE £75 + P&P

THE FOX AND THE GOLDEN BELL FOR SALE £150

Fox and The Golden Bell – 31 x 38 cm – FOR SALE £150

If you are interested in my work please email me here diane@dianeyoungartist.com or message me here on facebook .


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Sundarbans #Seahorses

I am trying to hold back on this work in progress and not ruin it by any rash decision making.

The seahorses and the arc are collagraph print, and what appears as coral is watercolour based on the pattern made by the Sundarbans where hundreds of rivers meet the Bay of Bengal.


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Sense of Place : Vernacher Stag

This is an original collagraph print made from a combination of my photo of Vernacher Loch in the Trossachs placed as textures of the trees and the loch within in the form of a rutting stag. These beasts naturally inhabit both the Highlands and the North Lowlands of Scotland. We were there in 2017 visiting friends when we went to Vernacher Loch for a walk and a lochside supper when I took the photo; such a serene and beautiful location.

Original hand pulled print for sale (25 cm x 19 cm) £45 incl P&P
Vernacher Loch at sunset 2017


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Greedy #Rooks on Dartmoor. Fun with the WordPress new editor!

I have just managed to get totally distracted by this new editor, trying out all the new blocks for text, images, galleries, calendars and lots more. I was supposed to be checking out some photos on my PC of a trip to Dartmoor a few years ago as I want to integrate a Dartmoor scene with a rook profile.

Now I am back on track I have popped some photos in the new editor’s gallery below. Just click to enlarge and get a close up of these Rooky characters. As we drove over the moors the cheeky rooks were waiting in the pull-ins up on the hills and making begging noises for bits of sandwich! It was a great photo opportunity for me. They are such characterful birds.


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#Ammonite #Fossil #Collagraph Plate

Some process images.  I have cut through the drawing to directly carve out my mountboard plate.  Glue is applied with cocktail sticks to make the lines which will be highlights or white; a very absorbing task!  The larger image is where I am peeling the mountboard for the required texture. This is then sealed with button polish, dried, inked and printed.

Click Here to find the result!


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Reviewing your own artwork

It is hard isn’t it!  Some decisions on composition are really easy but at other times they are really hard.   I mean there are potentially so many variables, and reviewing the results, deciding on their worthiness is often really difficult.

Sometimes you want a certain detail left in, you think this detail is a good idea!  But for some reason this great idea does not work.  We want the design to hold together well and be more than the sum of its’ parts. Sadly this can mean letting go of something we really would have preferred stayed as part of the composition.

Collagraph print of a remote house on a cliff by artist printmaker diane young stroud

I had wanted  a back drop and small details (telegraph poles) in these small collagraphs (5″ x 7″); but small details on small collagraphs made with mount board do not work so well.  Possibly because working so small is not correct with this medium, or perhaps I need to hone my technique.    I  do like a graphic look, that is with a white background and sharp profile.  I mean what am I doing creating something that does not fit with what I like in the first place!?

Truly I am quite new to the printmaking medium.  And I should experiment,  but my final print below is a lesson in the “less is more” motto.

Having taken out the small details that are not working, and also the backdrop,  this is the final result which I feel works best.

What do you think?

Original hand pulled collagraph print of a house on a scottish mountain by artist printmaker diane young of stroud
For Sale “Away From It All” Click Here
Photo of textures tested in the form of cats by artist printmaker diane Young stroud


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Keeping Track of Failures!

Yesterday I was watching a Brian Cox programme about the discovery of treatments for diseases; catching up on things recorded last summer!  Brian Cox was describing how these days our investment in research is focused only on the cure or solution to the problem, ie discarding any negative results as irrelevant. The unfortunate problem with this is that scientists and researchers are not being given free rein to discover things by accident when inadvertent discoveries can also lead to the creation of useful results.

The permanent dye for the colour mauve was accidentally discovered by a scientist (William Henry Perkin) who was trying to create a synthetic quinine which is a cure for malaria.  He made his future wealth out of producing this dye particularly after Queen Victoria wore a silk gown dyed with his creation mauveine.  He failed in his original task, yet this discovery was deemed to be a success!

Essentially, both successes and also the detailed records of failures can be of great use to other research in the future.

The same could be applied to artistic endeavours couldn’t they?

I do divide my failures into those which are possibly useful to refer to in the future and  rubbish definitely to be binned!   It just would not be possible for me to store everything especially since switching from painting to printmaking.  Photos of work in progress and experimentation can make it easier to store information, or even just notes.

I hung onto this trio of tom cats below which was created simply to test a printmaking texture.  It was useful yesterday in convincing me to use a particular texture for some mountains on a new piece I am working on at the moment.

Photo of textures tested in the form of cats by artist printmaker diane Young stroud
Photo of textured mountains by artist printmaker diane Young stroud


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The Not-so-Vocal #Swan

I see these swans from Spring onwards on our nearby canal on my regular walks; they are called Mute Swans because they are not so vocal as other swan species.   The serene beauty as they glide across the water hiding a ferocious guarding nature that you would not wish to mess with if their nest was nearby and they thought you a threat.   They mate usually for life, and if you want to identify the male of a pair he is the one with the much larger knob on top of his orange beak.

Photo of a mute swan by artist printmaker Diane Young Stroud

Mute Swan on this morning’s walk © Diane Young

Photo showing a swan resting its head on its back and asleep by artist Diane Young

Sleeping Mute Swan 2019 at Coombe Hill Nature Reserve Glos © Diane Young

I have rarely painted a swan, but I found this very old painting which was intended to be part of a story called The Crow, The Castle and The Beanstalk.  This is Gretel waiting to be rescued…..

Original painting from a story book by Diane Young ARtist


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Is the #Goldcrest a bit glum?

My walk today was bright and dry and full of birdsong.  The usual suspects showed up  robins, blackbird, blue and coal tits.

Blue Tit Chickadee painting by artist Diane Young

Blue Tit –  © Diane Young

Along with crows and wood pigeon, and a crow’s encounter with a low flying buzzard dipping sideways to shake the crow off his tail. Our local canal has a resident heron who is very used to people walking the tow path; he continued his fishing activities unfazed in this morning’s sunshine. 

One of my favourite bird calls is that of the Goldcrest.  They are very small, our smallest european bird, and usually situated very high up in conifer trees.  You might see them from below if you are lucky, but then only their olive coloured underside, and unless you learn their call you would not know that they were there at all.   Their call is high pitched, jingling sound,  listen here to find out what it sounds like…..

https://www.british-birdsongs.uk/goldcrest/

The goldcrest is a tiny cute little bird that looks slightly glum don’t you think?

goldcrest-4758036_1920

Image royalty free from pixabay


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Blueprints #prussianblue #collagraph #printmaking #

It is coincidental that a printmaker’s single colour choice is often prussian blue and that this happens to be one of my favourite painting colours.   Keeping the inks simple is best for me at the moment whilst trying to get the shade via the texture right, as well as the consistency of the ink, the paper and the press!  Prussian blue’s history is extremely varied; if you are mad about colour history there is plenty of very interesting facts about Prussian Blue here.