A couple of weeks ago, I was wandering through the Forum in Norwich when I came across a taster exhibit by Norfolk printmakers. I love looking at prints, love making them too, and began to learn at art.tm in Inverness. I'm particularly fascinated by etching; the process is so different to my usual approach to art, which is very much the school of 'turn up, make a mark, see what happens, keep going...'. With etching, much more forethought is required, it's altogether a different kind of thinking, and I found it challenging. Sadly, we moved before I could become proficient with etching. However, I did get chatting to the man who was sitting with the exhibition, who turned out to be Colin Bygrave, whose work I had been admiring as I wandered round. To cut a long story short, he recognised etching withdrawal symptoms when he sees them, and invited me to visit his studio. And that was where I was this morning.
I love the internet, but there is something truly wonderful about sitting with another human over a cup of coffee, surrounded by art in various stages of completion, and the tools for making it, and just talking about The Art. Or anybody's art, actually! It's always interesting to look at someone else's work, and be able to ask things about it, or talk about what it suggests to you. One piece caught my eye in particular, and I told a story about it...including, I said, that house. What house? said Colin, who should know, of course, it being his work, and all... Being a kind man, he let me finish my story. And then, he said, of course, that's not actually a house...just a fence, and a bush... And when I got closer, I realised he was right (as if he was going to be wrong, under the circumstances!!). But whether it's a house or a fence, I'm still sticking to my story. The picture made me feel that wonderful way you feel in late autumn, when you've been for a walk, and it's getting dark, and you're nearly home, and you see the house in the distance, just under that bridge, there, and you're anticipating getting out of the cold and into a warm armchair by the fire... And if you need more than that, go look at his website!
If you're reading, Colin, thanks for the coffee and the (very civilised) conversation. We must do that again soon!
ps today's image is an acrylic painting on Khadi paper, which is destined, methinks, for either cropping, or collage, or possibly both...not everything succeeds as planned!