I have for most of my life been a man with a job and a hobby (Photography). About 6 years ago I discovered what is known as Alternative Photographic Processes, and so the obsession began! I mostly work with two processes known as Gum Bichromates and Cyanotypes. These allow me to start with a digital image and then create an artistic interpretation of that image. The result is painterly, unique and archivally sound. I was fortunate enough to be able to take early retirement three years ago, which gave me the most precious commodity of time to indulge myself with these processes
Gum Bichromates (simplified explanation here) are made by firstly producing a monochrome negative of the image at its finished size. A piece of watercolour paper is then coated with a mixture of gum Arabic, a light sensitive chemical and the watercolour pigment of my choice. Once dry, the negative is laid on top of the coated paper and exposed to UV light. This hardens the image in proportion to the amount of light that got through the negative. The image is ‘developed’ in water and brushed as necessary for the desired effect.
Once dry, further layers are applied using either different coloured pigments or same pigments at different strengths or exposure times. I regularly use 6 or 7 layers in any given piece of work.
I am looking to develop my practice to include other photographic processes, mixed media and other media techniques when time allows.
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Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund