Sunday, June 26, 2011

Trace Vol.iii...'the yellow book'

Although sign-writing as a trade was once a genuinely creative skill when I first learnt the art of hand painted signs, there were a lot of signs that followed a certain formula as to what colours made the most impact on the reader. Black on yellow is at the top of that list and there seemed certain weeks of my time as a sign-writing apprentice where every day there was a black lettered text on a lemon or chrome yellow background.The backgrounds were spray painted mostly onto  thin zinc-annel metal sheeting ...each sheet had to be etched primed and sanded back before applying the enamel based lemon or chrome yellow...I hated yellow and I don't think I have ever recovered...the only one saving light of redemption arrived in the form of Aubrey Beardsley's "The Yellow Book" the age of seventeen he was my favourite artist...I never really knew what 'The Yellow Book' was...but some how it evoked something within me...something believable yet part myth...that sense of such a book has remained...the starting point for this third volume is no different to the previous volumes...I have started with drawing/painting directly onto both sides of the intended pages...then I have rolled up a large litho plate with yellow and printed over the top of the initial marks....some of them disappear but some of them stay just beneath the surface...enough to be a trace...sp.


  1. hah! snap! AB was one of my favs when I was a later teen too (I would spend hours staring at a print of his that was pinned up on the art room wall at high school..... ahhhhhhhh)

    love the tale of the yellow peril..... and the work that is slowly emerging....

  2. I think yellow is a fascinating colour. Such strong responses to it. People seem to love it or hate it, and if they hate it, they generalize that response to yellow objects, foods e.g. bananas, custard etc.
    Yet just a touch can change the mood of a painting so powerfully. So what can a huge splash of yellow (as above) do?