Black, White & Gold

This month, the members of The Glasgow Print Studio were set the brief of creating an artwork on the theme of ‘Black, White and Gold’, set by the GPS sponsors, Ancnoc whisky. The piece was also to have reference to Scotland and elements of print in it.

I have been experimenting with using the medium of monotype printing (one of a kind prints rather than editioned from plates) using block printing inks, oil paints and etching inks.

Taking the theme of the colours and the whisky, I decided to make a print around the idea of a goddess of all the things that go into making Ancnoc whisky. I wanted bees and honey for the honey undertones in the drink, barley and water, for the main ingredients, and an osprey and hills to represent Scotland. I realised that this would have to be a big piece to get all that in, so I ventured into full paper size!

 This is the print I achieved on the first ‘pull’ of the press. The beauty of monotype printing is that you can never ne quite sure what you are going to get. I was pretty pleased with this, but wanted the figure to stand out more against the background.

 This is the second perspex ‘plate’ which was printed over the first print. You can see I have darkened the background a lot. The image is in reverse so it relates properly to the first print.
I also decided to add some gold colour to the first layer, using artist’s oil paint.

And here is the finished piece, The Mistress of Honey and Barley.
I will be framing her this week and hope she perhaps catches one of the judge’s eye. It would be wonderful to win the cash prize, but also very nice to win a nice bottle of Ancnoc to keep the winter chills away!


Now those of you who know me, also know that I always plan paintings and prints in twos, just in case one doesn’t work out. I created a second figure on this idea, which is still in progress.

Here is the first print

 This is the other print with the perspex plate overlaid, ready to be printed. It looked perfect like this, but as is the way with monotype, it didn’t print as well as I would have liked.

This is the print as it stands at the moment. I prefer the dress and the use of gold in this one, but I prefer the face in the other print. I will keep playing with this one to see if I can get something useable, and if not, it will make great collage material!

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