Friday, 24 June 2011

Open Studio

Well the Surrey Artist Open Studios event is on and Ochre are taking part for the fourth year running.  Following on from Ron Pokrasso’s  workshop it has been a busy time.  We had the open studio private view on Saturday, having hung the final few pieces of the exhibition on Friday night.  Saturday was a lively affair with some bands playing and refreshments available and the studio open for people to try their hands at producing a monotype.

We are open again this weekend (11-5pm) so come down and see a wide variety of high quality work by over 30 members of the studio on display.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Ron Pokrasso – Workshop and Talk

The last few days in the studio have been particularly busy as we have had a visiting artist running a workshop and giving a public talk.  Ron Pokrasso, comes from Santa Fe in New Mexico, USA where he runs his own print studio, running workshops, assisting other artists and producing his own work.
I was not doing the workshop myself but acting as technician (aka tea and coffee maker) in the background, but it allowed me to observe all the work going on in the studio and to see Ron’s demonstrations.
The workshop ‘Beyond Monotype’ explored the way monotype could be used as an explorative process, through repeatedly re-working on plates, exploiting the ghost images left behind from an earlier print.  Making use of collage elements and overprinting to further develop prints in progress.  Ron’s approach offered great freedom to play and try out different ideas in a way perhaps unfamiliar to many printmakers.  For some of the participants this was perhaps an initially frightening way of working but they all soon found their own ways of opening up and going for it.

During his visit Ron spoke of the three ‘C’s as being part of his philosophy of working and teaching, Craftsmanship, Content and Composition.  Of the three composition within a work was most important, without good composition the rest would not hold up the work.  Content should be from within, the passions that are part of you, for Ron it was clearly music, family, art and baseball.

In his talk he showed many paintings and assemblages from the last 20 years where the works had been built up on panels and started to incorporate more musical elements until they actually had guitar strings, piano strings and even parts of old pianos, such as legs and sounding boards.  These were large sale works of about 5 to 6 feet long, but they retained much of the same feel as the smaller works on paper that he makes with the monotype process.

Ron was an inspirational teacher and I know that all the participants got a great deal from the workshop and were sorry when it ended.  He provided many tools and ideas to help people enhance their own working practice rather than trying to convert them to his method.  A sign of a fine educator and practitioner and it will be interesting to see how they all absorb these ideas in future work.

Ron about to give a demo

A couple of Ron's demo prints
Everyone hard at work

The wonderful array of colours
A tired but happy crew at the end of the workshop