Diane Young

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


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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.


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What’s not to like about lichen?

In the Cotswolds lichen seems to be a bit difficult to find, plenty of moss but no obvious lichen, until you find it on your door step in a little packet sent from a kind friend in Scotland where it is in abundance.

I have to get a plan together quickly before it deteriorates!

Photo of moss and lichen sent from Scotland to the Cotswolds for Diane Young ARtist in Stroud


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Merry Christmas with #Collagraph Baubles

Planetary Christmas Card created with collagraphy printmaking by artist Diane Young at Stroud

These are handpressed cutouts with textures added and using different coloured inks including the lovely gold!  As I do not have a press these have been put together in photoshop taking up their correct positions in the universe.   It would probably be a good idea for me to make some more Christmassy prints for next year right now as my Christmas creativity never gets started in time for the current year.


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Christmas Fayre 8th December!

I will have a table at the Kingshill House Christmas Craft Fair in Dursley on Sunday 8th December!  Paintings, and prints, framed and unframed with a few pieces of new printmaking pieces print to boot!
 
“The table plan is done, the makers are busy creating lots of lovely things and the Cam Jammers Ukelele Group have spent weeks practicing their best Carols for us!
 
All we need now is you! Come along between 11am and 3pm on Sunday 8th December and shop until your heart is content.
 
With more than 30 stalls, there’s plenty to tempt you and if you’re a hands on kind of person, we’ll have a (free) ‘mini makes’ station set up with our craft club tutor, Jackie Ginley, teaching you the art of Danish paper folding; no need to book.
 
Lastly, we haven’t forgotten your taste buds; Bacon rolls, delicious homemade soup and scrumptious cakes, hot drinks and mulled wine are all on the menu in the Oldridge Bar!
 
Kingshill House Team”


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Curlew over Lower Burnmouth

My original inspiration for trying Collagraphy was coming across an image on a greetings card by Northumberland artist Carol Nunan and wondering how she produced such evocative work.

After a lot of research and several youtube videos later this image is one of my first ever collagraphs produced by hand.  Needless to say this is not the only one as it takes several if not many goes to get a consistent and successful result.  The beginning of a new creative journey!