Digital Artefacts

Anne McCrossan has many talents Рand the one I want to highlight today is her work as a ceramicist. Anne works in Cornwall using local clay to make a range of fascinating objects. Through a clever use of digital iconography in her work, she blends the art of making with a nod to the online world in which some of her other work inhabits.

I admire this connection between making with our hands and interacting in a digital workd, and for some time I’ve wanted to explore this intersection through my visual art. I dropped Anne a line yesterday to see if she was OK with me pursuing this. She is, and after I woke very early today, and couldn’t get back to sleep – I got to work. My intention was to create a simple backdrop through repeating a technique of wet on wet watercolour I have used previously, combined with a gradual addition of a second paint pigment. Here are photos showing how I set up my workspace, and the finished, graded watercolour washes.



I had to make all four of these pieces simultaneously – gradually adding measures of red paint to the yellow as I move down the sheets of paper.

Once the paint was dry, I pencilled an outline of the icon I wanted to use, applied some gilding paste and gold leaf, then waited…


I had to apply the gold leaf three times, trying to fill in gaps where it hadn’t stuck to the paper properly. In the end – I got a close enough representation.


As a first attempt I am pleased with the result – I particularly like the tonal shift in the watercolour. This piece will be the free art drop this weekend, given away a little later than usual. Note to self – don’t leave it so late in the week to try a fiddly new experiment next time!

Signals – Part One

Hi folks – my focus has been elsewhere so it’s been a while since I painted…

Hi folks – my focus has been elsewhere so it’s been a while since I painted. Yesterday I was goofing around with some new ink based pencils and made this godawful pattern, don’t worry I shan’t inflict it on you. It took me hours to construct and it was total crap. Or was it? You see – what this crap piece of work did was progress me towards a better idea. That better idea is titled Signals – Part One. I hope to evolve this pattern idea further, to me it is something about digital meets analogue, geometric meets irregular. I hope you like it and it is good to be back. This work has been mailed to someone in Tulsa, USA.



I have relented. I though perhaps it may help to show you the two previous ideas that helped to generate Signals #1. Sorry for the pinky colour – I photographed them in poor light but I hope you get the general idea.