I've fallen in love...


I forgot to include on image of the print I finally made after returning to etching, so here it is. It’s called “Angel”.
It’s printed on one of my favourite papers to work on, Fabriano Avorio. It is a soft, off white colour and black ink looks particularly velvety on it, and, I think, perfect for this image. So, below you can see the plate on the left (with thumb-marks for added authenticity) and the proof on the right.

After an absolutely dreadful two months of “work” which inevitably ended up as firelighters or in the recycling bin, things began to go right on Tuesday. And about time too! Up until then it seemed everything I touched in the studio was doomed. To compound the problem, the the arrival of the R.H.A entry form with it’s deadline at the end of March was now like a runaway train hurtling down the track to my studio door.


This breakthrough came after a great weekend in London, a trip to my mecca, Cornelissen's for ink, a brilliant night of jazz at the 606 Club and visiting a few exhibitions, I began to take stock of what I had to work with: stacks of drawings, notebooks full of ideas for prints, and various sizes of steel and acetate plates. I also decided to take stock of my skills: fairly nifty with a pencil, know a bit about drypoint, but a bit rusty in the etching department. I decided to go back to basics, I mixed up a bath of nitric acid, (so there was no going back), and prepared a steel plate for etching in order to test a new-ish image that I have had in a notebook for a while. I always liked it, but never knew how to use it. As I haven’t etched a plate for well over a year, I was a bit wobbly at the start. But then something wonderful happened….I have discovered that I have fallen in love with etching all over again! It (almost) brought me back to the first baby steps I took in the N.C.A.D print room in Kildare Street in 1978. The thrill I felt when I started to remove the wax ground after etching the plate, the image emerging from the black slime. And the wonderful feeling when the first proof is pulled, the reversal of the plate’s image and the peachy feel to the paper surrounding it, never dulls. I have realised, once again, that there is something very special about the technique of etching and it’s results, which I never got with drypoint.