Development of the Stencils for ‘The Green Chapel’

Guide Drawing

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Stencils are made on transparent film, one per eventual colour in the print, and so some impression of the image may be had as the layers build, though of course the colour is missing. The drawing lying underneath the stencils is the template of the image throughout the process.

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The sample colours at the side of the stencils, indicate to the printer the colours required at the printing stage. This print will consist of five colours.

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As the density of the render increases with each stencil, I occasionally have to remove layers to better see what’s going on. The crayons, pencils, inks and paints used are not transparent, and so each new layer begins to obscure what lies underneath. The printing inks by contrast are largely transparent, allowing the many layers to show in the finished print.

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Using an improvised etching needle to break up the heavy lithography crayon with sgraffito and create what will eventually be a more tonal layer of ink.

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In the image below the sketches in the margin were made as I worked out the composition.

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In the image below, the scratches catching the light on the surface of the plastic stencil, in the print will create an area of softer tone


Below, tonal stencils will underlie the stencils on which the details of the image are rendered.








12 thoughts on “Development of the Stencils for ‘The Green Chapel’

    • Thank you Carolyn. The project has become even more charged with energy as we’ve progressed. Simon Armitage’s text has always been such an inspiration, but having reached this stage there’s definitely a sense of all the threads of the narrative coming together for the denouement.

  1. Hello Clive, loving the cinematic qualities of this image and the rocky outcrops/standing stones.
    It feels brooding and tense yet calm and poised to me.
    P.S. I’ve had some more ideas for ‘Beastly Passions’ – taking your feedback on board, and incorporating more beasts! just haven’t had a chance to do any of the sketches yet. know how some people play ‘spot the rude thing’ in your pictures?! – weeelllll that doorway does look a biiitttt like a ‘thingy’ (immaturely chuckles to himself, then ducks slowly from view when imagining Clive’s ‘cross face’)

    • Oh thanks pal! Ha ha! Yeah, well now you’ve said it, yes, that does seem to be a giant cock-shaped doorway Gawain is standing in!

      The gallerist Lizzie Organ, who gave me my first big exhibition at the Kilvert Gallery in Clyro, claimed there was a penis in every painting I made. Sometimes several. Her partner Eugene was quite taken aback when she announced this over a meal. Well, we all were! She claimed she’d never failed to find one, and that it made looking at my paintings very entertaining!

    • My pleasure. I enjoy the process of preparing the stencils for screen printing, not least because they’re are so beautiful in their own right. As the light changes and the layers develop and shift under my hand, I feel compelled to record each stage.

  2. Clive, I linked with you a while ago because of your visit to the ‘Lookout’ (or ‘Rocket House’) at Prussia Cove, which is I subsequently visited in August last year – a visit which included an evening bubble bath out front!
    Since linking with you I have become more and more enthralled with your illustrations, and this most recent post gives a wonderful insight into the meticulous process involved in the production of your fabulous work. This most recent is particularly beautiful, to my eye.
    If I was a richer lady I might try to persuade you to illustrate my visit to the Rocket House in similar style, to include sheep on top of the hedges and my toes waving in the breeze!
    Kindest regards Sally Pentreath

    • Hello Sally. I think the bubble bath out front might only be improved with the addition of a tray of mezze, a cold beer and an evening display of pyrotechnics by the glow-worms!

      Making the fourteen screenprints in the Gawain series has been a two year project in collaboration with the Penfold Press, and we have to bring it to a conclusion by the end of December in time for exhibitions in January (Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff) and March (MoMA Machynlleth). It’s been quite a journey, and it’ll not be the end of it even when the prints have been completed, because then there’s another stage of it that I can’t yet share, which will take it even further. Funny things, projects. They sometimes take on momentums of their own.

      I hope the toes waving in the breeze episode was planned and pleasant, and not some unexpected plummet in which said toes waving were the final image before blackout and concussion!

  3. Wow!! He looks intensely shamanic, and the patterns of his surroundings are just phenomenal. I love the black and red, am curious how the blues will change things… fantastic!!
    I am behind, but always always so appreciative of your posts! Hugs from G and me.

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