Underwater inspiration

New designs created while at Limited Palette exhibition this week

I’ve been having a creative few days down at the St Ives Arts Club. In between visitors to the exhibition I have explored some new design ideas. It is so nice to have the time to use alternative materials other than my usual metal & introduce more colours with paint. This process also helps with the design process for my work too.

I’ve been having a creative few days down at the St Ives Arts Club. In between visitors to the exhibition I have explored some new design ideas. It is so nice to have the time to use alternative materials other than my usual metal & introduce more colours with paint. This process also helps with the design process for my work too.

Underwater explorations

Find out more about my creative process

Continuing with my favourite theme of the sea I have created a collection of small paintings which I have decided to initially reproduce as greetings cards. Crabs, sea anemones, starfish & mermaid’s purses nestle amongst seaweed fronds. I will also frame the original pieces & display them at my next exhibition at the St Ives Arts Club in July this year to compliment my handmade metalwork & jewellery. Visitors will also be able to view the new metalwork which I intend to develop from these designs.

A set of four images of underwater creatures; a crab, seahorse, starfish & limpet designs with seaweed

The creative process

I thought I would share the process of creating these pieces. The starting point was making a Gelli plate print – a type of mono print using a special surface where you can create prints without the need for a press. Working with acrylic paints applied with brushes & then rolling sometimes to blend the colours I use my metalwork pieces to press into the surface to make unique impressions. I tend to use smooth cartridge paper for this as watercolour paper has too much texture which may interfere with the print. Each print has had additional paint applied to the plate. Each piece is completely unique & I find it an exciting way to create background surfaces.

After creating a selection & letting them dry I then start to work onto the pieces. Using a combination of pens & watercolour paint I have added a variety of designs, working from sketches done from previous research into creatures found around the coastline of the UK. Such as the jewel anemones shown below which look so exotic.

A hand painted image of a collection of sea anemones in pink, green & turquoise colours by Sharon McSwiney

Watch this space for further details of developments with this collection in the near future!

Leave a Reply