The Lights That Never Go Out

Here are the first photos from my journey around Scotland’s amazing coastline (Ardnamurchan, Mull and part of the East Coast). I will be using some of these as the inspiration for new paintings and prints. Plenty more to come, so keep watching this space!

photocrati gallery

Fife Council grant acknowledgement pic

The Lights That Never Go Out – A Map of Scotland’s Lighthouses

Here’s a map of all the Scottish lighthouses that I found at Ardnamurchan Point. There’s a lot of them! Almost 100 and pretty much all built by the Stevenson family within 100 years from the first (the Bell Rock) which was finished in 1810. I hope to get to as many as possible over the next few months as part of my project, The Lights That Never Go Out, An Artistic Odyssey From Muckle Flugga To The Mull of Galloway.

So after a day spent washing clothes and repacking the campervan after the Easter trip to the west coast, I’m off again to spend the next few days and nights sketching and photographing the lighthouses between Montrose and Fraserburgh. Tonight I’m hoping for a clear and starry sky (ie. no fog horn!) spent at the foot of Rattray Head.

Scottish Lighthouses
Scottish Lighthouses

Dunfermline Printmakers Exhibition at Frames Gallery, Perth

Come along and see some amazing prints from our very diverse cooperative of artists working across a huge range of printing methods and styles. You are welcome to join us at the preview this Friday evening, 6-8pm (details below). Hope to see you there!

Here’s a link to my own page at Frames Gallery

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New etchings of Edinburgh and Dunnotter Castle, plus a note on the ‘sugarlift’ technique

Here’s a couple of new prints I’ve just finished. Dunnotter Castle in particular is quite different from what I’ve been doing for the past couple of years, but I have loved the painterly method and the scratchy effects you get from using sugarlift, which is how I did this plate. Picasso invented this style of etching where you paint or use a fine nibbed pen to draw a suger solution onto the metal, then once it’s dry you cover the whole plate with straw hat varnish before pouring hot water over it. The water and the heat makes the sugar solution expand and burst through the varnish in the areas you painted, exposing the bare plate. ¬†The varnish elswhere on the plate protects it from the acid. You then clean the plate and add an aquatint (a fine spray of acrylic or resin-based dots which acts like a protective mesh screen) to it and begin the process of exposing it to the acid for the various tints. The tiny dots of aquatint again protect the metal beneath them allowing the acid to only etch the spaces in between, thus creating tone. I usually bathe the plate in 30 second dips for each tone, but it depends on the metal and the acid being used. It can be a wonderfully expressive technique and I’ve used it a few times now.

Edinburgh from Inverleith Park ¬†below is another sugarlift etching. I’m looking forward to experimenting with it some more in the coming months.

 

Edinburgh, Arthurs Seat, etching
Edinburgh from Inverleith Park, etching (35x15cm)

 

Dunnotter Castle
Dunnotter Castle, etching (30x30cm)

 

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