I found my inspiration for the Printfest commission, sitting beside the deepest lake in England, looking at the tallest mountain in England, with half a mile of shale screes falling vertically half a mile into the fjord like lake, the dusk glowing the rocks pink, the colours changing by the second as night falls.
I made sketches of the view on the spot, and True Grain drawings to use on my return for screen print or lithographic colour separations. I wanted the commissioned print to retain the energy of the sketches, and pay homage to the activity of sketching which was prominent in the the writings of William Gilpin (1724-1804). Gilpin was born in the Lake District & defined the Picturesque in his Essay on Prints, as searching for rough & rugged compositions with a lack of symmetry in the landscape and I saw this in particular in the landscape around Wastwater. I was particularly keen to explore the ideas of the Picturesque movement in my sketches and landscape drawings, and in the print.
I was interested in changing the way I work to suit the subject, and layers of wash suited the landscape more than cut out shapes of solid colour which lent themselves more to strong directional northern light in the Norwegian series. While I was working in the Lake District the weather was constantly changeable with heavy skies and veils of mist.
The first two prints I made were built up in layers of colour, using Mokurito lithography, woodcut and block print.
I also took small aluminium printing plates out into the landscape and made drypoints on the spot, which I will launch as a small box set at Printfest.
I have not worked with master printers since the Royal College, so it was a total treat to work with Peter Bennet of JI Atelier in London for the Printfest Commission. The resulting two prints are views from the middle of Wastwater, looking down towards Wasdale head and up towards Great Gable and close in colour and mark making to my sketches.
The title Utpåturaldrisur comes from a Norwegian word meaning “out in nature never grumpy”, or “out on a trip never sour!” which is fitting as I made all the studies and drawings at Wastwater whilst my children were happily playing nearby.